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Wisconsin Historical Society

General Information

Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule

Wisconsin Municipal Records Manual | Wisconsin Historical Society


The Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule (WMRS) is an adoptable general schedule, approved by the Wisconsin Public Records Board (August 2018), that can be used by Wisconsin municipalities for the administration and disposition of public records.

The WMRS is an updated version of the Wisconsin Municipal Records Manual, commonly referred to as the “Little Orange Book,” that was originally published in 1980.

The schedule includes a column that identifies whether or not the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) requires notification before destruction of records. All municipalities are required per Wis. Stat. § 19.21(4)(a) to notify the WHS prior to the destruction of ANY public records. However, municipalities who adopt the schedule may destroy the identified record series without providing written notification.

Please read the Introduction included with the WRMS for more detailed information regarding applying and following the new schedule.

Adopting the WMRS 

The WMRS must be adopted before municipalities can use it to schedule records. The WMRS can be adopted by submitting the Notification of Adoption Form (PRB-002) form available on the Public Records Board website

Make sure to include Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule in the space marked Schedule Title at the top of the form.

Mail the original and 2 copies (three copies total) to: 

State Archivist
Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS)
816 State St.
Madison, WI 53706

Municipalities are not required to adopt the WMRS. However, the schedule must be adopted before any muncipality can use it to schedule thier records.

A signed copy of the adoption form will be returned to the municipality once it has been signed by the PRB. It is recommended that all municipalities formally enact the WRMS through an ordinance after receiving the signed approval form.

A sample ordinance provided by the Leauge of Wisconsin Municipalities can be accessed here

Wisconsin Municipal Records Schedule 

The WMRS can be accessed in entirety or by individual section of interest. The Introduction provides general overall information about the WMRS. Individual sections include specific information that describes the types of records included under each heading. 

Access to the WRMS is also available on the Public Records Board website.

WMRS Sections

1. Introduction

2. Administrative

3. Cemetery

4. Community Development/Public Services

5. Election

6. Finance

7. Public Works

8. Revenue

Have Questions?

Contact the local government records archivist at: