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Wisconsin Historical Society

State Archives Timeline

State Archives Timeline | Wisconsin Historical Society

1872

Moses M. Strong suggested the State Historical Society of Wisconsin (SHSW) collect government records

1904

Wisconsin surveyed as part of the Public Archives Commission which suggest the SHSW serve as the State Archives

1907

State department heads are authorized to transfer any records older than 5 years to the SHSW

1914-1917

The papers of Wisconsin Civil War Governors are acquired by the SHSW

1917-1920

"Checklist of  Wisconsin Public Documents" published by SHSW to identify records that had been trasnferred 

1935

The Wisconsin Historical Records Survey (Work Progress Administation program) inventoried state, county, and local government records

1943

Archives program abandoned due to lack of space

1947

Public Records Law passed

1947

Committee on Public Records established

August 1947

Jesse Boell hired as the first State Archivist 

1949      

Approval from the Committee on Public Records for microfilming projects for permanent state records 

1949

Local government records included in the scope of public records to be collected by the State Archives

1951

Court records added to the scope of public records to be collected by the State Archives

1952

Graduate students hired to work on UW Madison Archives

1953

Agreement between SHSW and University of Wisconsin which placed responsibility for handling the UW Archives and space for storage of UW Archives and State Archives with the SHSW.

1954

UW Archives transferred into UW archives storage area

1955

SHSW identified as being responsible for the approval of records disposal ordinances of city and village governments before they become effective

1957

Public Records Act of 1957

1957

State archives staff was transferred from the SHSW to the Bureau of Purchases

1957

Governor added to the Committee on Public Records

8/1/1959

Records management program undertaken by the Department of Administration

1959

Jesse Boell resigns as State Archivist

4/1/1960

State Archives staff transferred back to the SHSW

1966

Public records collection totals 21,000 cubic feet

1978

Awarded a $53,000 National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) grant for a municipal records survey and creation of a records manual 

1980

Awarded NHRPC grant to identify and preserve historically important “machine readable” records; the first NHPRC grant to focus on electronic records.

1981

Wisconsin Municipal Records Manual first published

1981

Machine readable records grant completed

1994

1993 Wisconsin Act 257 created the Pilot Electronic Records Program (PERP) which states that the SHSW will assist agencies in planning the management and long-term preseration of electronic records. Plan to be submitted by 1995.

1995

Reappraisal of public records identified by Director Dr. Nicholas Muller to save storage space

1996-2000

Public Records Project undertaken to reappraise and reaccession state government records

2002

State records archivist eliminated

2005-2006

Joint DOA-WHS study committee on public records

2008

State records program expanded to a staff of two as a result of the study committee’s findings

2008-2013

Participated in the Persistent Digital Archives and Library System (PeDALS) project to develop a shared curatorial framework for the preservation of digital public records such as agency publications and court records

2015

Awarded NHPRC grant to support the preservation and access of state government electronic records.