Congratulations to the Wisconsin Historical Society for receiving a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to digitize citizen petitions submitted to the Wisconsin Legislature between 1836 and 1890.
Here’s more information about the project from WHS:
The project will arrange, describe, preserve and make the petitions digitally available to the public. When the grant ends in October 2021, more than 2,500 petitions will be digitized and viewable online and detailed descriptive information about more than 15,000 petitions will be searchable alongside other archives finding aids.
Citizen petitions are formal communications between citizens and the government that illustrate early settlers’ role in shaping government decisions and policies. Citizen petitions reflect the issues and topics important to early Wisconsinites and the United States as a whole.
Petitions discuss topics of local interest like county boundaries and school development as well as topics with statewide impact such as railroad construction and natural resource management. The petitions also reflect a local look at national issues such as treatment of American Indian tribes, suffrage for women, and prohibition.
Abbie Norderhaug, the Assistant State Archivist and head of the Government Information Section here, is leading the project.
Wisconsin Library Services also received an NHPRC grant to develop a community-driven strategic planning process to design an Archives Collaborative.