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. 

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

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Collecting, Preserving and Sharing Stories Since 1846.

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Give your kids a history-making summer experience through interactive summer camps for all ages hosted by the Wisconsin Historical Museum! They'll get hands-on with history and travel back in time through fun activities and interactive learning experiences, making memories that last a lifetime.

Explore Wisconsin's weird and mysterious folklore with our Myths and Legends summer camp, or explore hidden histories from around the state with our Archaeology Adventures summer camp. Register today!

Click here to learn more: wihist.org/3WZWE0k
... See MoreSee Less

2 days ago
Give your kids a history-making summer experience through interactive summer camps for all ages hosted by the Wisconsin Historical Museum! Theyll get hands-on with history and travel back in time through fun activities and interactive learning experiences, making memories that last a lifetime. 

Explore Wisconsins weird and mysterious folklore with our Myths and Legends summer camp, or explore hidden histories from around the state with our Archaeology Adventures summer camp. Register today! 

Click here to learn more: https://wihist.org/3WZWE0k

Today is February 3rd: a date that holds an infamous place in history as The Day the Music Died.

On this day in 1959, bad winter weather and a bus breakdown prompted rock-and-roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper to rent a plane to continue on their "Winter Dance Party" tour.

Icy roads and treacherous weather had nearly undermined their performances in Green Bay and Appleton that weekend, so after a show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2, 1959, they boarded a four-seat airplane. The three performers and pilot Roger Peterson perished when the plane crashed about 1:00 AM in Clear Lake, Iowa on Monday, February 3rd.

📸: San Francisco Chronicle: The Day the Music Died: Remembering Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens
... See MoreSee Less

3 days ago
Today is February 3rd: a date that holds an infamous place in history as The Day the Music Died.

On this day in 1959, bad winter weather and a bus breakdown prompted rock-and-roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and the Big Bopper to rent a plane to continue on their Winter Dance Party tour. 

Icy roads and treacherous weather had nearly undermined their performances in Green Bay and Appleton that weekend, so after a show at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 2, 1959, they boarded a four-seat airplane. The three performers and pilot Roger Peterson perished when the plane crashed about 1:00 AM in Clear Lake, Iowa on Monday, February 3rd. 

📸: San Francisco Chronicle: The Day the Music Died: Remembering Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens

Comment on Facebook

They almost died in Oma, Iron County (near Hurley) when their bud broke down in -30 temps. Carl Bunch, the drummer, spent a week in the Grandview hospital with frostbite where he heard about the plane crash.

And Roger Peterson.

The day that music died😞

John Repinski

February is Black History Month!

The Society is celebrating BIG moments in Wisconsin history, including the significant impact that African Americans have had on the history of the state. Learn about this impact through the articles, artifacts, and other important items below that help tell the story of African Americans in Wisconsin.

Click here to learn more: wihist.org/39M8ndA
... See MoreSee Less

4 days ago
February is Black History Month! 

The Society is celebrating BIG moments in Wisconsin history, including the significant impact that African Americans have had on the history of the state. Learn about this impact through the articles, artifacts, and other important items below that help tell the story of African Americans in Wisconsin.

Click here to learn more: https://wihist.org/39M8ndA