The foundations of the modern day Transactions lay in the very first publication of the Wisconsin Academy: the Bulletin of April 1, 1870. Written by ex-governor of Wyoming Territory John Hoyt, a founding member of the Wisconsin Academy and its first president, this document argues the need for a publication like Transactions. Essential to the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin Academy to participate in research exchange with other academies and societies beyond the boundaries of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin 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." With the 2003 publication of Wisconsin Waters: A Confluence of Perspectives, the Wisconsin Academy created its final issue of Transactions. However, the spirit of the publication lives on today in the Wisconsin Academy's Wisconsin Idea program and publications.
The University of Wisconsin Digital Collections houses an indexable and searchable archive of the Wisconsin Academy's entire catalog of Transactions. Click here to visit the archive.