DPI and LRB Join Digital Public Library of America

Guest Post by Emily Pfotenhauer, Community Liaison & Service Specialist, WiLS

More than 15,000 state government documents are now available through Recollection Wisconsin and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA), thanks to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) and the Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau (LRB). These collections are in active development, with new content added each month.

The Wisconsin Digital Archives, maintained by DPI, includes materials from the executive and judicial branches and various boards, councils, task forces and commissions as part of the statutorily mandated Wisconsin Document Depository Program. Since 1901, Wisconsin statutes have included provisions for the distribution of government documents to libraries for preservation and public access in order to “assist state offices, members of the legislature, and other citizens who are studying the growth and development of the affairs and institutions of this state” (1901 Wis. Laws, Chapter 168). The Wisconsin Digital Archives was established in 2004 to enable state agencies to participate in the Wisconsin Document Depository Program by depositing documents in digital formats.

The Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau Digital Collections, launched in 2015, contain documents by and for the Wisconsin Legislature and its service agencies: the Legislative Reference Bureau, Legislative Council, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau and the Legislative Audit Bureau. The Legislative Reference Bureau was founded in 1901 as a nonpartisan legislative service agency providing legal, research, and information services to the Wisconsin Legislature.

The LRB collections and the Wisconsin Digital Archives bring together a wealth of information about state government programs and initiatives through reports, plans, studies, statistics, newsletters, manuals and guides. The annual State of the Tribes addresses, the Wisconsin Briefs series and Information Memorandums published by the Legislative Council are all available through the LRB collections. Notable materials in the WDA collections include the DNR’s master plans for state parks since the 1970s and an array of statistics about life in Wisconsin, encompassing health, natural resources, environment, transportation, crime and corrections, the economy and workforce, education and agriculture.

Direct links to the content in DPLA for both DPI and the LRB are available:

Legislative Reference Bureau Digital Collections

Wisconsin Digital Archives


Written by Emily Pfotenhauer, Community Liaison & Service Specialist, WiLS