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Library Research Guides

History 202: Doing History

A research guide for students in History 202: Doing History, the gateway seminar for history concentrators.

Archives of Michigan

The State of Michigan Archives serves as a repository and service point for the records of Michigan's past and present.

Highlights of the collections include:

  • Civil War diaries
  • Government agencies and legislative papers
  • Military records
  • Vital records (births, deaths, and marriages, divorces)
  • Prison records

You can search the online catalog to see the archives' holdings. Additionally, there are numerous online finding aids to the collection.

If you have questions, you can contact the archivists at

Library of Michigan

The Library of Michigan provides special collections related to the state of Michigan for public use. Collection highlights include:

  • Abrams Genealogy Collection, emphasizing the Great Lakes region and states east of the Mississippi River. Materials include U.S. and Canadian census records, city directories, maps and atlases, land records, county and family histories, ships' passenger records, vital records, and cemetery transcriptions.
  • Michigan Collection, current and historical materials ranging from local government publications to history and biography, to business and industry, to literature. Includes a vast newspapers collection and the Notable Books program texts. The Notable Books program comprises 20 of each year's most notable books either written by a Michigan resident or about Michigan or the Great Lakes (budget cuts have affected the purchase of these materials, so the most recent notable books date to 2007).
  • State and Federal Documents, as the official repository for Michigan documents.
  • Law Library, includes legal research assistance, and a collection of state and federal primary law (emphasis is on Michigan), and secondary sources such as treatises and law reviews. Canadian and British statues and cases are also available. Contact a Law librarian at (517) 373-0630 or
  • Rare Book Collection, includes approximately 20,000 items from pioneer accounts to Civil War rosters, and focuses primarily on natural history, law, angling, travel and exploration, Native Americans, and Michigania. Of note is the nearly 500-piece collection of Michigan-related sheet music.

Check out the Library of Michigan's visitor information, including hours of operation, directions, and staff contacts.

You can search the library's online catalog to find materials, or contact a librarian if you have questions: (517) 373-1300 or