Wisconsin State Law Library

Serving the Wisconsin Supreme Court and State of Wisconsin

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September 24, 2018

Wisconsin Legislative journals

Assembly and Senate journals can provide insight into past legislatures, as well as open a wonderful window to Wisconsin's history.

The David T. Prosser Jr. Library - our main library - has the journals in microfiche from 1848-1995 and print journals from 1836-1927. The Wisconsin State Law Library also provide easy online access from 1854-1981 to all of our library cardholders through LLMC Digital.

LLMC Digital allows you to search the full text of Senate and Assembly journals, as well as browse through them by year and volume. The journals include roll call data, motions, votes, statements, and speeches on bills from each chamber.

Older volumes may also include letters, committee reports, and financial records. Speeches and presentations preserved in the journals provide valuable insight into Wisconsin's past, such as this excerpt from the 1849 Senate Journal. In this report from the State Library committee, F. A. Sprague makes the case for the addition of a law library to the State Library collection and services. This law library would later become the State Law Library.

"A Law Library, containing the best elementary works not only upon the Common Law of England upon which our statutes are based, but also treatises upon the civil law, in the opinion of your committee, is a matter of very great importance to the State of Wisconsin. It would afford most important facilities to practitioners in our Supreme Court - it would be of great convenience to our Supreme Court Judges; and from these considerations it is evident that it would assist materially in the enlightened dispensation of justice..."
Our library has Wisconsin Legislative journals in the following formats. Ask a librarian for help!

LLMC 1854-1981
Legislature website 1981 to current session
HathiTrust & Google (some)

David T. Prosser Jr. Library
Microfiche 1848- 1995*
Paper in Compact Storage 1836-1927
*1836-1847 in paper only

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