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History 202: Doing History

Resources for students in History 202: Doing History, the gateway seminar for history concentrators.

Library and Archives 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.

You can search the library's catalog to find materials, or contact a librarian if you have questions.

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

Seeking Michigan Digital Collections includes photographs, maps, spoken histories, and a variety of other documents

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

Walter P. Reuther Library

The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs houses a significant collection of materials related to labor history in the United States. The collection includes archives, visual materials, oral histories, and photographs and other materials documenting the U.S. labor movement. Unions whose archives are housed at the Reuther include the United Auto Workers (UAW), the American Federation of Teachers, the AFL-CIO, and many, many others.

Manuscript collections at the Reuther can be searched here.

The finding aid for the Oral History Collection is available here.

Virtual Motor City is a rich collection of digitized photographs documenting Detroit history from the Detroit News Collection.

This online collection also includes digitized Detroit News Newsreels.

MSU Special Collections

Highlights of the MSU Special Collections Library include:

  • Comic Art Collection, which includes international comics as well as translated editions into multiple languages.

Further descriptions of these and other Special Collections Library collections can be found here.

Additionally, the MSU Libraries has digitized some of the materials from their collections, including pieces from the Africana, Comic Art, Cookery, Radicalism, and Veterinary Medicine collections, among others.

Detroit Public Library Special Collections