The Whitewater Historical Society has been collecting objects related to Whitewater history since 1946. In the 1960s, the collection of “pioneer” era items housed in the old log cabin on the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater campus, which had been donated to UWW in 1907, were transferred to the historical society, giving the museum some unusual items dating from the mid-19th century.
Because of the limited size of the museum, the society cannot exhibit everything in its artifact collection, but many of our large and most significant items are on display in the permanent exhibits in the main gallery. Many other items go on rotating display in the museum’s temporary gallery.
Manuscripts are primarily paper artifacts and range from pamphlets and documents to artwork and greeting cards.
Over the past several years, the society has digitized its collection of almost 6,000 images, most of which are photographs. The society’s collection of over 400 glass-plate negatives have also been digitized. Our digitized photographs have allowed the society to make quick reproductions for display in exhibits and to post images on Facebook in our Flashback Fridays with the Whitewater Historical Society.
The society houses a small collection of audio-visual materials, including cassettes, DVDs, open-reel recordings, and other materials. Many of these are recordings of past Society programs.