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Home Collections The State of Wisconsin Collection Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters

About the Collection

The Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters is an independent, nonprofit membership organization. It was chartered by the state legislature in 1870 with the mission of gathering, sharing, and acting upon knowledge in the sciences, arts and letters for the benefit of the people of Wisconsin.

The foundations of the modern day Transactions lay in the very first publication of the Academy: the Bulletin of April 1, 1870. Written by ex-governor of Wyoming Territory John Hoyt, a founder of the Academy and its first president, this document argues the need for a publication like Transactions. Essential to the Academy's central goal of uniting scientists, humanities scholars, and artists together to stimulate learning and exchange of research was that "each member . . . devote as much time as possible to the investigation of such subjects as have special attractions for him, and in the preparation of papers thereon, to be published in its volumes of Transactions." Transactions was of key importance because it would enable the Academy to participate in research exchange with other academies and societies beyond the boundaries of Wisconsin. The Academy's constitution, also contained in the Bulletin, further emphasized the need for Transactions in its goals to form a general library and to "disseminate correct views of the various departments of Science, Literature, and the Arts."