What is Michiganology?
web platform for the Archives of Michigan, replaced Seeking Michigan. I found
quite a learning curve to using Michiganology and I even attended presentations
on it. I have been digging deeper into the website and thought I would share my
tips on using it successfully.
What does Michiganology Mean?
-ology means the study of. Therefore, Michiganology is the
study of Michigan. According to the Michiganology website their mission is to”
foster curiosity, enjoyment, and inspiration rooted in Michigan’s stories.”
Michiganology is more than vital, census, or naturalization
records. Those records were popular at Seeking Michigan. Seeking Michigan had
about one million records. Now Michiganology visitors have access to over
ten million records with room to grow.
How do I find records on Michiganology?
I heard this question over the years while I was President
of the Michigan Genealogical Council. The process of creating a new website
that can hold what is already digitized and have room for future growth was a
huge undertaking. It was not without glitches, but I must give my
congratulations to the staff of the Archives of Michigan. They have worked
tirelessly to create this website.
Michiganology is more than Genealogical Records
The Archives of Michigan is not just for genealogists. This
is important to remember. The Archives of Michigan is responsible for
preserving state government records and other public institution records. While
you will find death certificates, naturalization records, and state census
records, you will also find state commissions records, the state Senate and
House records, corporation records, and more.
The Archives of Michigan holdings include more than eighty million state and local government records
and private papers, 300,000 photographs and 500,000 maps, plus films and audio
tapes. Remember the Archives of Michigan works with more than genealogists.
The Archives of Michigan has two websites. One, Michiganology houses the online digitized
records in their collection. The second one is the Michigan.gov/mhc
website. The Archives of Michigan is part of the Michigan History Center. Michigan.gov deals with the business side of the Archives. Items such as
hours, museums, events, and more can be found here. Eventually guides and
circulars will be here.
Three Keys to Finding Items on Michiganology
1. Think about State Government. Michiganology does not have one area where you can go to find state records. There are many divisions of state government and each one is responsible for different record sets. Below are the divisions and what collection sets fall under their responsibility. I will explain why this is important next. Find each department at the bottom of the Collections page.
Michigan Department of
records from the Building Engineering Office.
from the Attorney General’s Executive Office.
from the Mental Health Commission
the state’s prisons
from the Library of Michigan
contains records from the Clean Air Assistance Compliance Advisory Panel
Human Services-supports foster care and adoption, child support, abuse and
neglect, vital records, safe sleep for infants, and aging and adult services.
Health-records from the
Disease Control, Records, and Statistics Division
and Financial Services-records from the Consumer Services Division
from the House of Representatives and Senate.
Licensing and Regulatory
Affairs-includes the Corporations Division and the Michigan Public Service
Management and Budget-collections
includes Bureau of Facilities Management and Exposition and Fairgrounds
Military and Veterans Affairs-
administers the state’s veterans’ affairs agency, veterans’ homes, and National
Establishment- records from Office of the Adjutant General
includes Archives of Michigan, Director’s Office, Marketing and Outreach
Division, Michigan History Center, Parks and Recreation, Public Information
Office, Real Estate Office, and Wildlife Division.
Police-records from the Training Division.
State-Bureau of Elections,
Bureau of History, Executive Office, and Office of the Great Seal.
Technology, Management and
Budget-collection includes Center for Educational Performance and
Information, Office of Financial Management, and Office of Retirement Services.
the Complete Streets Advisory Council
Use State Government departments to find
Each department in number one sends records of importance to the Archives of Michigan. Some records are
digitized and available at Michiganology. In the future records will be sent to
the Archives of Michigan in a digital format. This will allow for faster upload
times on the website. If you have records you are looking for, think about
which department would be responsible for it. Here are a few examples.
The Archives of Michigan is under the Department
of Natural Resources. Go to the department page and click on Archives
of Michigan. There are three
Collections on Microfilm, Archival
Collection, and Audiovisual
Materials. Each one of these has records from Seeking Michigan.
If you are looking for the Military
Regimental Records, 1861-1865, look under the Department of Military
Establishment, Adjutant General records.
If you are looking for Corporation
Annual Reports, look under the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.
Years 1997-2006 are available.
Do you want to know what was in the State
Constitution in 1835? Look under Department of State?
These are just four examples from the millions of records available online at the Archives of Michigan.
Each collection page has a search within feature to help you locate the information.
Put Google to Work for You.
I know it is a
copout to say this, but this time it will help. There is so much information on
Michiganology it isn’t always easy to find. If I am having trouble finding information
on Michiganology I google it. For example, I was looking for the civil war
manuscripts that I knew had been digitized. I entered civil
war manuscripts at Michiganology and found the link. Try your search using
Archives of Michigan in place of Michiganology.
Michigan is working on streamlining indexes that will help with finding what
you are looking for. It allows a deeper dive into the digital records. Remember,
not everything is digitized and online.
The Archives of Michigan
is working in partnership with Family Search to digitize and bring online the
Michigan Naturalization records and the Probate Records. Both record sets will
be online once they are digitized and transcribed.
things are happening with the Archives of Michigan and Michiganology. Look using
the above three keys at Michiganology. Happy Hunting!