submitted by Kay Schwichtenberg; photo by Mike Engelberger
Christian W. Overland has been the Director of the Wisconsin Historical Society since his appointment in February 2018. He came to Madison from sixteen years in various positions at The Henry Ford Museum, in Dearborn, Michigan.
Overland has stepped into the position at an exciting time. He and the Wisconsin Historical Society are planning to develop a new museum that would nearly double the square footage of the current facility on the Capitol Square at Mifflin and State Street. It will be a $120 million public/private funding effort with the state funding $70 million and private funds providing the remaining $50 million. The story is unfolding in several chapters.
Chapter one started with the recently completed Wisconsin Historical Society archive facility on the east side of Madison that houses more than 200 million artifacts. It includes a large North American history collection that is second only in size to the archives in the Library of Congress.
Chapter two now connects that history through events and digital access for every citizen in the state. The new museum will be transformational by boosting access to many thousands more visitors. Those stories will be shared around the state and around the world.
With additional space, Overland believes that exhibition and educational activities could be expanded with new state of the art technology providing visitors and students a unique ‘Wisconsin experience’.
Overland said that public input into the ideas, plans and content is critical to a successful project. To that end, the Historical Society is setting up multiple events across the state to get input. “Every community needs a voice,” Overland said.
For more information visit www.wisconsinhistory.org.
Our thanks to WisEye for videotaping our meeting this week, and if you missed our meeting, you can watch it here.