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Exciting Times for the Archives of Michigan

13 March 2015

It is an exciting time to be researching at the Archives of Michigan.  Kris Rzepczynski, Senior Archivist at the Archives of Michigan presented at the Michigan Genealogical Council Delegate Meeting yesterday.  He shared with the group what is going on within the Archives and there is a lot to look forward to in the coming months.

First, the Archives of Michigan received a large donation from the Detroit News, this includes:
  • Detroit News Card Index- 1 million subject card index spanning 1890-1990's has been scanned and will be available within the week at seekingmichigan.org.  To find, click Seek, then Indexes, then Detroit News.
  • Newspaper Clipping Subject Files that the above index points to are available through the Archives of Michigan.  These are stored off site, so if one is interested you would have to notify the Archives of Michigan which clippings you would like to see before visiting the Archives, about two-three days before your visit. Due to copyright issues, the clippings will have to be viewed at the Archives, no email requests for clippings to be sent will be available.
  • Detroit City Directories-Pristine condition, nearly complete run of these directories are now on the shelf at the Archives of Michigan.
  • Other newspaper files that will be available after processing includes:
    • Newspaper photo files/negatives from 1930-present.
    • Set of Detroit Times microfilm
    • Full run of Detroit News in bound volumes
    • Detroit Free Press clipping files
The Detroit News and the Detroit Free Press included the Detroit area, statewide, and national news. Do you want to know about the Detroit Riots that took place in July of 1967?  This would be a great resource.

Next, and Kris wasn't going to elaborate other than to say soon, is the long awaited Michigan Death Certificates, 1921-1952.  Kris knew the date that they would 'go live', but was very tight-lipped about it. We begged, but he wouldn't give us any other clue.  He did say the images and index are done and linked and will be made available online 'soon'.  Kris encouraged us to keep checking SeekingMichigan.org. The certificates that will be available will be deaths that occurred from 1921-1939. Each January a new year will be added.  This is due to Michigan privacy laws.

Of course in a group of genealogists we wanted to know what would be next!  Next, to be digitized will be the Naturalization records that are in the Archives collection. Approximately, 61 of the 83 counties are in their collection.  Hopefully, other counties will get with the program and share their records with the archives.  Are you listening, Manistee county?  No time line was given for this project and I am sure it will be awhile before we see them online due to the complexity of the process.

Seeking Michigan is an excellent resource for anyone researching in Michigan and it is FREE! Currently, Michigan Census Records, Death Certificate Images 1897-1920, Civil War manuscripts, photographs, records, and volunteer registries, Photographs from early photography and Michigan Main Streets, Early Michigan History documents, Governors of Michigan, Surveyor Plat Maps, Sheet Music, Rural Property Inventories and more are available.  If you haven't been to Seeking Michigan before, it is a must see website for Michigan history and genealogy.

Lastly, Kris announced the key note speaker for the Abrams Seminar which is held in July each year. This year Michael Lacopo will be speaking on 1) Evidence and 2)Between the Census Years.  There will be a lock-in at the Archives the night before the seminar.  More information will be available in the next week at the seekingmichigan.org website under events.

As you can see it is an exciting time for researchers in Michigan.  I am looking forward to the death certificates coming online, in fact, I am going right now to create a report from Roots Magic on Michigan deaths from 1921-1939!  


Barbara Poole said...

Thanks, Brenda for your update. I'm always interested in what Michigan is doing with their records.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Excited to hear what's coming coming online from the Archives of Michigan!

Brenda Leyndyke said...

Dear Barbara and Mary, Keep checking at seekingmichigan.org as they are adding things as they can. I am looking forward to the death certificates! Thanks for commenting.

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