17 October 2011

Preparing for the Library of Michigan

I am fortunate that all eight of my great grandparents settled in Michigan.  Why has it taken me so long to go to the Library of Michigan then?  It is only an hour from my house and pretty easy to get to.  I don't really have an excuse, so I finally put it on the calendar and went.  Before I went I took time to plan my visit.

The Library of Michigan is located at 702 W. Kalamazoo St. Lansing, Michigan in the Michigan Library and Historical Center Building.  The Archives of Michigan and Historical Museum are here, too.

I created a repository checklist.  Feel free to copy it for your own use.  Otherwise, the important information is below.

Admission is free to the library.  They are open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except state holidays.

Parking is available next to the museum with entrance to the circle drive on Kalamazoo Street.  The cost is $1 an hour; maximum of $8. They only except cash at the present time.

Food is available on the 1st floor or you may bring your own and eat in the snack shop eating area.  No food or drink is allowed in the library.

The Library of Michigan's Abrams Foundation Historical Collection is located on the 2nd floor.  This collection is of particular interest to genealogists.  Census records, cemetery transcriptions, city directories, county and family histories, newspapers, land records, vital records, military indexes, and more can be found here. 

ANSWER is the library card catalog.  Using this before you visit the library will give you more time for research.  I created a list of resources I wanted to check before I went.  When I got to the library I looked at the books to the right and left of those I wanted, especially location specific ones.

One of the great collections is the library's newspaper collection.  They have newspapers from before Michigan became a state in 1837.  The microfilm newspaper collection has papers from all 83 Michigan counties.  You can research what newspapers are available online.  You can search by county or if you don't know the county you can search by the first letter of the cities name.  I was excited to see they had the September 1950 Mining Journal from Marquette, Michigan.  The library in Marquette didn't have the paper from that year.  I enjoyed the one stop researching.  Researching my ancestors from the Upper Peninsula to Southeast Michigan was done in one day and one place.

Photocopying is available.  A copy card is needed.  You can purchase one for $1 and it is loaded with $1 credit.  Copies cost $.20 each.  The copy cards are used for microfilm copies too.  Again, cash only is accepted.  There is a microfilm scanner available which you may scan to a flash drive if you prefer.

Your starting place for a visit to the Library of Michigan is at their website.  Everything you need to know is on the website.  If you need anything from the Archives of Michigan it is just a short walk from the Abrams Genealogy Collection. 

How great was a trip to the Library of Michigan?  You will just have to wait for the next post when I tell more.


  1. Brenda, have a wonderful time. I wish I could also go and hunt down information on the Lay and Farmer families. Do bring back some new research to blog about. Good luck.

  2. Barbara, I did check a Calhoun County early will book, but no luck. I will have a few things to blog about. Thanks.

  3. Oh thank you Brenda for thinking of me.