20 February 2018

Preparing for a Visit to the Library of Michigan

National Genealogical Society is offering a research trip to the Library and Archives of Michigan, Tuesday 1 May 2018.  If this is your first visit, you may want to do a little pre-planning. I hope the information below will help. You may have planned to extend your conference trip with a visit to Lansing.  It is less than 70 miles driving distance.  No matter how you plan to visit the information will come in handy. 

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. and Saturdays 10:00 am-4 pm, except state holidays. The hours are subject to change. Please check the hours before going.

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. If driving, a credit card is required for entry, and payment is made upon exiting.  Visa, Master Card and Discover are accepted; no American Express.  Weekend parking is free.

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.  Local restaurants are 4-5 blocks east of the library on the other side of the state Capitol.

ANSWER is the library card catalog.  Using this before you visit the library will give you more time for research.  Be sure to check the location of the material you are interested in. If an item you are looking for is located at the Archives of Michigan, don't fret, it is in the same building.  I will be writing about the Archives next.  

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.  During a recent visit, 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.

Other materials of interest at the library include city and county histories, vital records, cemetery transcripts, plat maps, church histories, and more. The staff at the Library of Michigan is awesome.  They are available to help you with newspaper scanning, finding materials, using their Answer catalog and more.

Your starting place for a visit to the Library of Michigan is at their website.  Everything you need to know is on the website.