HMI is incorporated as a non-stock, non-profit corporation. We are affiliated with the Wisconsin Historical Society (WHS) through the Wisconsin Council for Local History. The purpose of this organization is exclusively educational. HMI's objective is to promote the preservation of knowledge and dissemination of information about Madison's past.
The organization was formed in 1973 and continues to foster an appreciation of Madison's heritage by:
- Producing materials about individuals, events and places of historic interest, such as Forest Hill Cemetery, Resurrection Cemetery, and the Madison Park and Pleasure Drive Association
- Publishing a journal almost annually: The Journal of Historic Madison, Inc. (1975-1993) and Historic Madison: A Journal of the Four Lake Region (1995 - )
- Supporting other organizations and individuals with their historic projects, such as Street Without Cars video, Nolen in the 90s Symposium, Underground Railroad Storytelling Project, 300 Years of the Piano, and neighborhood and ethnic celebrations
- Leading tours of historic sites such as Native American effigy mounds and cemeteries
- Presenting the biennial Alternate Parade of Homes, featuring older homes in historic neighborhoods