15 October 2010

Follow Friday: Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collection

My alma mater, Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, Michigan is the repository of records for 12 southwest Michigan counties:  Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Calhoun. Cass, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, St. Joseph, and Van Buren.

Some of the records one can find at WMU Archives and Regional History Collection include:  public records, county histories, regional manuscripts, diaries, letters, photographs, regional governmental records, state and federal census, university archives and much more. 

One of the interesting university archive collections is WMU's yearbooks.  The WMU archive website has online access for WMU's Yearbooks, 1906-1975.  I was excited when I discovered this as my father graduated from WMU in 1950.  I searched page by page to no avail.  I guess he was photo shy!  It was interesting to see the buildings and culture of Western while he was there though.

The archives can be found at Room 111, East Hall, on the East Campus of Western Michigan University, off Oakland Drive in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  Current hours are:  Tuesday through Friday 8-5 and Saturday 9-4.  The archives are closed Sunday and Monday.  Some metered parking is available as well as a $5 visitor parking pass. 

Check out the WMU Archives and Regional History Collection, a great resource for southwest Michigan.

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