This is the preview version of the Wisconsin State Legislature site.
Please see for the production version.
44.32   Officer.
44.33   Duties of the state review board.
44.34   Duties of the state historical society.
44.36   State register of historic places.
44.39   State agency cooperation.
44.40   State agency decisions; negotiation.
44.41   Protection and use of state agency property.
44.42   Negotiations with political subdivisions and school boards.
44.44   Certification of historic preservation ordinances.
44.45   List of locally designated historic places.
44.47   Field archaeology.
44.48   Archaeological resources.
subch. I of ch. 44 SUBCHAPTER I
44.01 44.01 Historical society; corporate structure.
44.01(1)(1)The historical society shall constitute a body politic and corporate by the name of “The State Historical Society of Wisconsin," and shall possess all the powers necessary to accomplish the objects and perform the duties prescribed by law. The historical society shall be an official agency and the trustee of the state.
44.01(2) (2)The historical society may adopt, and change, a seal, a constitution and bylaws, promulgate rules, and elect such officers as the constitution or bylaws prescribe. The eligibility requirements for membership in the historical society shall be determined by the constitution and bylaws. There shall continue to be a board of curators for governing the historical society with powers substantially the same as at present.
44.01(4) (4)The historical society's acceptance of any benefits granted it by law shall be conclusively deemed its complete acquiescence in all laws enacted concerning the organization and operation of the society.
44.01 History History: 1971 c. 125; 1979 c. 110; 1983 a. 27; 1989 a. 359.
44.01 Annotation The historical society is a state agency. The board of curators falls within the coverage of ss. 893.82 and 895.46. 74 Atty. Gen. 54.
44.015 44.015 Powers. The historical society may:
44.015(1) (1)Acquire any interest in real or personal property by gift, bequest or otherwise in any amount and, subject to prior action under s. 13.48 (14) (am) or 16.848 (1), may operate, manage, sell, or rent real estate acquired by gift, bequest, foreclosure or other means, upon such terms and conditions as the board of curators deems for its interests but may not sell, mortgage, transfer or dispose of in any manner or remove from its buildings, except for temporary purposes, any article therein without authority of law.
44.015(2) (2)Sell, exchange or otherwise dispose of duplicate books, periodicals or museum objects, or books, periodicals and museum objects outside its field of collection.
44.015(3) (3)Accept collections of private manuscripts, printed materials, tapes, films, optical discs, materials stored in electronic format, and artifacts, and it may enforce any reasonable restrictions on accessibility to the public, use, or duplication of said collections that are agreed upon by the donor and the historical society.
44.015(4) (4)Take proper steps to promote the study of history by lectures, and diffuse and publish information relating to the description and history of the state.
44.015(5) (5)By rule, establish fees to recover costs under s. 44.02 (24).
44.015(5m) (5m)Except as otherwise provided by law, establish fees for services or products or for admission to venues.
44.015(7) (7)Contract with the Wisconsin Historical Foundation, Inc., or any other nonstock, nonprofit corporation under ch. 181 for the purposes of administering the historical society's membership program, soliciting and accepting contributions, gifts, grants, and bequests for the historical society, marketing the historical society's goods and services, providing support for the operation, management, and development of the historical society's programs, and performing other functions approved by the board of curators.
44.015(8) (8)Contract with the Wisconsin Historical Foundation, Inc., for the purpose of providing support to the Wisconsin commission for the U.S. semiquincentennial commission under s. 45.13 (4) in performance of the commission's functions of accepting donations, making procurements, expending funds, and entering into contracts, leases, or other agreements.
44.015(10) (10)Promulgate rules necessary to implement this chapter.
44.015 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also HS, Wis. adm. code.
44.02 44.02 Historical society; duties. The historical society shall:
44.02(1) (1)Serve as trustee of the state in the preservation and care of all records, both printed and written, and all articles and other materials of historic interest and significance placed in its custody, and interest itself constructively as the agent of the state in the preservation and care of all similar materials wherever they may be.
44.02(2) (2)Collect by gift, exchange or purchase books, periodicals, pamphlets, records, tracts, manuscripts, maps, charts and other papers, artifacts, relics, paintings, photographs and other materials illustrative of the history of this state in particular and of the West generally.
44.02(3) (3)Conduct research in the history of Wisconsin in particular and of the West generally.
44.02(4) (4)Inculcate through publications, museum extension services and other media a wider and fuller knowledge and appreciation of the history of Wisconsin and its significance.
44.02(5) (5)Keep its main library and museum rooms open at all reasonable hours on business days for the reception of the residents of this state who may wish to visit the library or museum. Except as provided under subs. (5g) and (5m), the historical society may collect a fee from residents and shall collect a fee from nonresidents for admission to historic sites or buildings acquired, leased or operated by the historical society, including areas within state parks or on other state-owned lands which incorporate historic buildings, restorations, museums or remains and which are operated by the historical society by agreement with the department of natural resources or other departments, or for lectures, pageants or similar special events, or for admission to defray the costs of special exhibits in its several buildings of documents, objects or other materials not part of the historical society's regular collections but brought in on loan from other sources for such special exhibitions or for use of the main library. The historical society shall take action on a continuing basis to raise funds from private sources for the operation of its main library. The historical society may procure and sell or otherwise dispose of postcards, souvenirs and other appropriate merchandise to help defray the costs of operating its several plants and projects.
44.02(5g) (5g)
44.02(5g)(a)(a) Not charge a fee for use of the main library by any member of the historical society, any member of the faculty or academic staff of the University of Wisconsin System, any student enrolled in the University of Wisconsin System or any other person exempted by rule of the historical society. The historical society may not charge a fee for use of the main library by any other person unless the historical society submits a fee schedule to the joint committee on finance that includes the specific fee to be charged to different categories of persons and an identification of any persons exempted by rule of the historical society. The fee schedule of the historical society shall be implemented if the committee approves the report, or does not schedule a meeting for the purpose of reviewing the report within 14 working days after receipt of the report.
44.02(5g)(b) (b) Charge a fee for research services provided by the historical society to any nonresident who is not specifically exempted under par. (a).
44.02(5m) (5m)Not charge a fee for admission to the Wisconsin Historical Museum located at 30 N. Carroll Street in Madison until construction of a new museum is completed. Fees collected from admissions shall be used to support public programming and operations of the new museum.
44.02(5s) (5s)Except as provided in s. 16.84 (2), have responsibility for security at the Wisconsin Historical Museum located at 30 N. Carroll Street in Madison.
44.02(6) (6)Thoroughly catalog the entire collections of the society for the more convenient reference of all persons who have occasion to consult the collections. The society may loan to libraries, educational institutions and other organizations or to private individuals in good standing items from the collections of the society.
44.02(8) (8)Bind, except when microfilmed or transferred to optical discs or electronic format, the unbound books, documents, manuscripts, pamphlets, and especially newspaper files in its possession.
44.02(9) (9)Take an active interest in the preservation and use of the noncurrent public records of historical importance of counties, cities, villages, towns, school districts and other local governmental units and courts.
44.02(10) (10)Conduct a research center in American history for the benefit of the students and faculty of the University of Wisconsin System as well as for members of the general public and to facilitate the further understanding by the general public of the significance of the American experiment.
44.02(11) (11)Work with the auxiliaries, affiliates and chapters established under s. 44.03 in the encouragement, stimulation and development of worthwhile historical projects and undertakings at the county and local level.
44.02(12) (12)Be the custodian of the official series of the portraits of the governors of Wisconsin under s. 41.53 (1) (g) and maintain the portraits in proper condition. The society may permit any or all of the portraits to be exhibited in such state buildings for such periods of time as it deems feasible.
44.02(13) (13)Faithfully expend and apply all money received to the fulfillment of its duties and purposes as directed by law.
44.02(14) (14)Hold all its present and future property for the state.
44.02(15) (15)Promote a wider appreciation of the American heritage with particular emphasis on the collection, advancement, and dissemination of knowledge of the history of Wisconsin and of the West.
44.02(16) (16)Collect, embody, arrange, and preserve in authentic form, a library of books, pamphlets, maps, charts, manuscripts, papers, paintings, statuary, and other materials illustrative of the history of the state.
44.02(17) (17)Preserve the memory of its early residents and pioneers, and obtain and preserve narratives of their exploits, perils, and adventures.
44.02(18) (18)Exhibit faithfully the antiquities, and the past and present condition, and resources of Wisconsin.
44.02(20) (20)Have authority to operate, maintain, acquire and develop outdoor historic sites related to the outdoor recreation program under s. 23.30.
44.02(21) (21)Serve as the principal historic preservation agency of the state and in that capacity carry out a program of preservation of historic properties as specified under subch. II of ch. 44.
44.02(22) (22)Acquire, maintain and operate historic properties representative of this state's rural and urban heritage.
44.02(23) (23)Identify any archaeological site, including contiguous land necessary to protect the site, in this state that is listed in the national register of historic places in Wisconsin or the state register of historic places and that is not cataloged under s. 157.70. Any information collected under this subsection the disclosure of which would be likely to result in the disturbance of an archaeological site is not subject to s. 19.35 (1).
44.02(24) (24)Promulgate by rule procedures, standards and forms necessary to certify, and shall certify, expenditures for preservation or rehabilitation of historic property for the purposes of ss. 71.07 (9m) and (9r), 71.28 (6), and 71.47 (6). These standards shall be substantially similar to the standards used by the secretary of the interior to certify rehabilitations under 26 USC 47 (c) (2).
44.02(25) (25)In cooperation with and upon request of the board on the U.S.S. Wisconsin, maintain a permanent exhibit at a suitable location in this state relating to the history of the 2 battleships named “Wisconsin".
44.02(26) (26)With the department of administration, promulgate rules identifying historically significant materials and obtain historically significant surplus materials under s. 16.72 (5) (c).
44.02(27) (27)Administer the historical markers program under s. 44.15.
44.02(28) (28)Annually distribute the amount appropriated under s. 20.245 (1) (b) as a grant to the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum to fund the operations of that society and museum.
44.02(29) (29)Support the Wisconsin commission for the U.S. semiquincentennial commission as provided for in s. 45.13 (4).
44.02 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. HS 3, Wis. adm. code.
44.03 44.03 Affiliated societies.
44.03(1)(1)County or local historical societies without capital stock may be incorporated as affiliates of the historical society, to gather and preserve the books, documents and artifacts relating to the history of their region or locality. No fees shall be charged by any register of deeds for recording nor by the department of financial institutions for filing the articles of organization or its amendments, or for a certificate of incorporation of any such society, but the department of financial institutions shall not accept articles of incorporation under this section unless they are approved by the board of curators of the historical society.
44.03(2) (2)Statewide, county or other patriotic or historical organizations, or chapters in this state may be incorporated as affiliates of the historical society under sub. (1) if their purposes and programs are similar to and consonant with those of the historical society and its affiliates, or if already incorporated, the organizations or chapters may apply to the board of curators for affiliation with the historical society. Upon incorporation under this section or acceptance of affiliation by the board of curators the applying organization shall as an affiliate accept the provisions and shall be entitled to all the benefits of this section. Any affiliated society shall be a member and entitled to one vote in any general meeting of the historical society. The board of curators may terminate the affiliation as an affiliate of the historical society under this section of any such organization by formal resolution, a copy of which shall be deposited with the department of financial institutions.
44.03(3) (3)Every affiliated society shall make a report of its work annually to the historical society that contains the information specified in sub. (3m), which, in its entirety or in part, may be included in the publications of the historical society, and upon application of any affiliated society the historical society may accept, in behalf of the state, custody of or title to the property, records and collections of the affiliated society or may assist in the disposal thereof. If any affiliated society becomes, in the opinion of the board of curators of the historical society, inactive or defunct, title to such property, records and collections not otherwise provided for in the grants of donors or in the articles of incorporation of the inactive and defunct society, shall vest in the historical society which shall take appropriate action in the public interest for the protection or disposal of such property, records and collections. Preference in disposition shall be given to historical or related organizations in the area or to whatever county or local governmental unit that has aided such affiliate financially.
44.03 Note NOTE: Sub. (3) is shown as amended by 2021 Wis. Acts 249 and 258 and as merged by the legislative reference bureau under s. 13.92 (2) (i).
44.03(3m) (3m)The report under sub. (3) shall include all of the following information:
44.03(3m)(a) (a) The name of the domestic nonstock corporation or foreign nonprofit or nonstock corporation and the state or country under whose law it is incorporated.
44.03(3m)(b) (b) The mailing address of its registered office and the name and e-mail address of its registered agent at that office in this state.
44.03(3m)(c) (c) The mailing address of its current principal office.
44.03(3m)(d) (d) The name and business address of each director and principal officer.
44.03(3m)(e) (e) A brief description of the nature of its business.
44.03(3m)(f) (f) Whether the nonprofit or nonstock corporation has members.
44.03(4) (4)The historical society, for the purpose of establishing uniformity in organization and methods of work, may prepare and furnish uniform articles of organization and bylaws to any affiliated society, but the affiliate may adopt additional bylaws.
44.03(5) (5)The historical society may provide for annual or other meetings of officers or representatives of affiliated societies at times and places to be fixed by its director, or by such officers or representatives, and the proceedings of such meetings, or portions its director selects, may be included in its published reports. Each affiliated society shall receive a copy of each of the publications of the state society on the same terms as those granted to life members of the state society.
44.03(6) (6)Custody of public records of county, village, town, school district or other governmental units may be accepted by any affiliated society which has been designated a regional depository under s. 44.10, but title to these records shall remain with the historical society. In the event of the dissolution or incapacity of any affiliated society, it shall be obligatory on the last group of officers and members to notify the director of the historical society that the affiliated society can no longer retain custody of these records and to deliver them to a depository designated by the historical society.
44.03 History History: 1991 a. 39; 1993 a. 213; 1995 a. 27; 1997 a. 79; 2021 a. 249, 258; s. 13.92 (2) (i); 35.17 correction in (3).
44.04 44.04 School services.
44.04(1)(1)The historical society, as part of its program as an educational institution, shall offer to the schools and teachers in this state all of the following:
44.04(1)(a) (a) Materials as the society shall prepare or make available to facilitate instruction in the history and civil government of Wisconsin, including curricula, lesson plans, classroom projects, facsimiles of historical materials and other instructional materials for the teaching of state and local history.
44.04(1)(b) (b) Seminars for teachers, including continuing education programs, in-service training and programs at teacher conventions.
44.04(2) (2)To accomplish its duties under sub. (1), the historical society shall do all of the following:
2019-20 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2021 Wis. Act 267 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on June 29, 2022. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after June 29, 2022, are designated by NOTES. (Published 6-29-22)