The Past Makes A Great Present

Continue your holiday shopping in our museum store! Our retail space at the current museum location and online store remain open to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. 

All exhibit spaces are closed as we prepare for construction of the new history center.

The Past Makes A Great Present

Continue your holiday shopping in our museum store! All exhibit spaces are closed as we prepare for construction of the new history center. Our retail space at the current museum location and online store remain open to help you find the perfect gift for everyone on your list. 

The Past Makes a Great Present

Gift one-of-a-kind presents and experiences, start shopping!
Go on a Historic Wisconsin winter adventure, go site seeing!
Give the gift of Wisconsin History and give a gift membership today!

A new history center is on the way! 

Artifacts are on the move! We’ve got big news to share as we move one step closer to the construction of the new Wisconsin history center. This state-of-the-art space will invite visitors to engage with history in an exciting new way and more than double the museum’s current footprint.

Stay tuned! The museum will continue to host walking tours, PK-12 and other exciting programs while we wait for the new history center.

The History of a Museum

The current Wisconsin Historical Museum opened in 1986, at the top of State Street on Madison’s Capitol Square. The building was converted from an old hardware store. The location gave the museum exhibition space and allowed thousands of visitors and students to explore Wisconsin history through 2022.

Explore the exhibits that once filled this museum and learn more about it’s history.

Best Deal in History!

Becoming a member is the best way to explore Wisconsin history. Members get free admission to our historic sites and discounts on special events!


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Wisconsin Historical Museum

Wisconsin Historical Museum

18,850

Collecting, Preserving and Sharing Stories Since 1846.

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Tomorrow, Verona Public Library welcomes beloved Wisconsin storyteller Jerry Apps for the launch of his new book, More Than Words: A Memoir of a Writing Life!

Join beloved Wisconsin storyteller Jerry Apps as he discusses his new book, More Than Words: A Memoir of a Writing Life. Jerry will look back on his nearly six-decade career as a writer, providing an insider's view into the creative process and sharing hard won wisdom and encouragement for aspiring authors.

long the way he recalls his relationships with publishers, editors, TV producers, librarians, booksellers, and others and shares a scrapbook's worth of stories--some funny, some heartwarming, a few of them harrowing--from the road. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Registration is requested for this special in-person event. To register click here: wihist.org/3VBqaKa
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16 hours ago
Tomorrow, Verona Public Library welcomes beloved Wisconsin storyteller Jerry Apps for the launch of his new book, More Than Words: A Memoir of a Writing Life!

Join beloved Wisconsin storyteller Jerry Apps as he discusses his new book, More Than Words: A Memoir of a Writing Life. Jerry will look back on his nearly six-decade career as a writer, providing an insiders view into the creative process and sharing hard won wisdom and encouragement for aspiring authors.

long the way he recalls his relationships with publishers, editors, TV producers, librarians, booksellers, and others and shares a scrapbooks worth of stories--some funny, some heartwarming, a few of them harrowing--from the road. Books will be available for purchase and signing.

Registration is requested for this special in-person event. To register click here: https://wihist.org/3VBqaKa

Do trees remember human history?

Online tonight, join the Charles E. Brown chapter of the Wisconsin Archeological Society and Dr. Evan Larson as he passes on the stories that the trees of the North Woods have to tell.

Notions of Wilderness as untrammeled and unpeopled are pervasive in Western society and readily lead to the perspective that human impacts are always harmful to the environment. In contrast, a growing recognition that Native American peoples affected the environments around them, just as the environments affected them, is forcing us to rethink the idea of a divide between people and nature.

Come hear Dr. Larson discuss a new and amazing study linking tree-ring data, decades of archaeological work in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Indigenous Knowledge, and the rich cultural history of the region. How did people actively shape what is often thought of as a pristine landscape? How can we be better stewards of the land and manage dramatic climate and cultural change? Join us and find out!

Click here to learn more: wihist.org/3VHDVal

📸: Tree: WHI ID# 126631
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
Do trees remember human history? 

Online tonight, join the Charles E. Brown chapter of the Wisconsin Archeological Society and Dr. Evan Larson as he passes on the stories that the trees of the North Woods have to tell.

Notions of Wilderness as untrammeled and unpeopled are pervasive in Western society and readily lead to the perspective that human impacts are always harmful to the environment. In contrast, a growing recognition that Native American peoples affected the environments around them, just as the environments affected them, is forcing us to rethink the idea of a divide between people and nature. 

Come hear Dr. Larson discuss a new and amazing study linking tree-ring data, decades of archaeological work in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Indigenous Knowledge, and the rich cultural history of the region. How did people actively shape what is often thought of as a pristine landscape? How can we be better stewards of the land and manage dramatic climate and cultural change?  Join us and find out! 

Click here to learn more: https://wihist.org/3VHDVal

📸: Tree: WHI ID# 126631

Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

On this day in 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor claimed over 2,000 American lives--however, one Wisconsin man miraculously survived.

Russ Warriner, a 25-year-old first class seaman on the USS Arizona, was present when the explosions ripped apart the Arizona and killed nearly all his mates.

At the time of the attack, Warriner was on the sky control platform, where his job was to spot enemy ships and planes. The bomb that struck the Arizona sliced through the steel deck and exploded into a fuel tank. Fire flared for seven seconds before it ignited 1.7 million pounds of explosives held in the ship's magazine.

More than 1,000 sailors died instantly, including many on the lookout platform with Warriner. Warriner lost his balance and fell onto the platform. His hands swept through fiery magnesium remaining from incendiary bombs and were nearly burned off. He was knocked off the ship, pulled aboard a small motor boat, and eventually made his way to shore. Warriner was treated at Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, where plastic surgeons were able to repair his hands. Warriner settled in Wisconsin, married and raised two children. In the late 90s, Warriner was a retired piano tuner living in Beloit Township.

📷: Battle at Pearl Harbor: WHI ID# 36555
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3 days ago
Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. 

On this day in 1941, the attack on Pearl Harbor claimed over 2,000 American lives--however, one Wisconsin man miraculously survived. 

Russ Warriner, a 25-year-old first class seaman on the USS Arizona, was present when the explosions ripped apart the Arizona and killed nearly all his mates. 

At the time of the attack, Warriner was on the sky control platform, where his job was to spot enemy ships and planes. The bomb that struck the Arizona sliced through the steel deck and exploded into a fuel tank. Fire flared for seven seconds before it ignited 1.7 million pounds of explosives held in the ships magazine. 

More than 1,000 sailors died instantly, including many on the lookout platform with Warriner. Warriner lost his balance and fell onto the platform. His hands swept through fiery magnesium remaining from incendiary bombs and were nearly burned off. He was knocked off the ship, pulled aboard a small motor boat, and eventually made his way to shore. Warriner was treated at Great Lakes Naval Base in Illinois, where plastic surgeons were able to repair his hands. Warriner settled in Wisconsin, married and raised two children. In the late 90s, Warriner was a retired piano tuner living in Beloit Township. 

📷: Battle at Pearl Harbor: WHI ID# 36555

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Definitely worth seeing

FDR willingly sacrificed all those men so that he could further drag us into the conflict. They new that it was going to happen, and allowed it to happen so that public support for the war would be increased