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LIBRARY GUIDE TO History of Michigan

General Histories of Michigan
General histories at Kresge Library in chronological order of publication:

James H. Lanman, History of Michigan, Civil and Topographical, in a Compendious Form; with a View of the Surrounding Lakes (1839)
Special Collections, F 566 .L29  and on Google Books

E. M. Sheldon, The Early History of Michigan, from the First Settlement to 1815 (1856)
Special Collections, F 566 .S54 and on Google Books

Charles R. Tuttle, General History of the State of Michigan; with Biographical Sketches, Portrait Engravings, and Numerous Illustrations. A Complete History of the Peninsular State from its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time (1873)
F566 .T96 and on Google Books

James V. Campbell, Outlines of the Political History of Michigan (1876)
F566 .C19 and online

Men of Progress : Embracing Biographical Sketches of Representative Michigan Men with an Outline History of the State (ca 1900)
F565 .M55 and on Google Books

Charles Moore, History of Michigan (1915)

George N. Fuller, Economic and Social Beginnings of Michigan; A Study of the Setlement of the Lower Peninsula during the Territorial Period, 1805-1837 (1916)
F566 .F962 and on Google Books

George N. Fuller, Historic Michigan, lLand of the Great Lakes; Its Life, Resources, Industries, People, Politics, Government, Wars, Institutions, Achievements, the Press, Schools and Churches, Legendary and Prehistoric Lore (1924)  
F566 .F97 and online

George N. Fuller, Michigan, a Centennial History of the State and its People (1939)
F 566 .M676 and online

Calvin Goodrich, The First Michigan Frontier (1940)
F566 .G66

M. M. Quaife and Sidney Glazer, Michigan: From Primitive Wilderness to Industrial Commonwealth (1948)
F566 .Q3 1980

Willis F. Dunbar, Michigan through the Centuries (1955)
F566 .D85

Willis F. Dunbar,  Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State (1979)
F566 .D84 1980

Bruce Catton,  Michigan: A History (1984)
F 566 .C3 1984

Roger L. Rosentreter, Michigan: A history of Explorers, Entrepreneurs, and Everyday People (2014)
F 566 .R67 2014

Matthew R. Thick, ed. The Great Water: A Documentary History of Michigan ((2018)
F 566 .G795 2018
Other Michigan history books
Search Michigan history books in Library OneSearch.
Local History (South East Michigan)
Silas Farmer, History of Detroit and Wayne County and Early Michigan: A Chronological Cyclopedia of the Past and Present (1890)
Special Collections, F 574 .D4 F24 1890  and online

Clarence M. Burton and M. Agnes Burton, History of Wayne County and the City of Detroit, Michigan (1930)
F 572 .W4 B97 and online

Milo M. Quaife, Condensed Historical Sketches for Each of Michigan's Counties (1940)
Special Collections,  F 572 .A15 Q3

History of Macomb County, Michigan: Containing ... Biographical Sketches, Portraits of Prominent Men and Early Settlers, the Whole Preceded by a History of Michigan
F572 .M2 H6 1980

Past and Present of Macomb County, Michigan (1905)

Michigan County Histories and Atlases
428 digitized titles (many composed of multiple volumes) published before 1923.

Other resources:
Detroit history bibliographies
Bibliographies of secondary sources about Detroit compiled for the Institute for Detroit Studies
A comprehensive list of sources about Detroit history, organized by topic.
Primary sources at KL and beyond
Local history collections at Kresge Library
The university archives and special collections at Kresge Library have a number of original collections documenting Michigan history, especially Oakland County:

Oakland Press archive

The entire archive of the Oakland Press, formerly Pontiac Press, covering all issues 1835-2007; photographic archive for the 1960s-1990s

Oakland County Tax Rolls and records
Tax rolls and other records of Oakland County and townships going back to the 1830s

Eugene Mack papers
Papers of a prominent farmer and business and civic leader of Addison Township, in Oakland County

Oakland County Tuberculosis Sanatorium records
Correspondence of the sanatorium's business manager. The sanatorium operated from 1927 to 1964, when the building and property were sold to Oakland Community College

Billie S. Farnum papers
Billie Farnum served in the House of Representatives as a Democrat for the new 19th Congressional District in 1965-1967. Before that he was   Assistant Secretary of State of Michigan (1957-1960) and Auditor General of Michigan (1961-1965).

Michael J. Rogers Congressional Collection
Michael J. "Mike" Rogers (1963- ) served as a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives between 2001 and 2015, representing Michigan's 8th District. He was the chairman of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (2010-2015). Before his election to the U.S. House of Representatives, he served as a Senator in the Michigan Senate in 1994-2000.

City Directories
  • Detroit (1837-1974, some years missing)
  • Pontiac (1927-1953, some years missing)
  • Rochester (1967-1984)
Special Collections at Kresge Library also contain numerous reports regarding regional planning, economics, architectural heritage, and other topics for southeast Michigan cities and regions. Search the library's collections or ask special collections staff.

Other local history collections at Kresge Library are listed on the Special Collections website
Michigan Pioneer and Historical Collections
Collected materials presented at the annual meetings of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society since 1876.

The first 7 volumes include mostly pioneer reminiscences, short biographies, and the proceedings of the local pioneer societies. Starting in 1886, original primary sources were included.

Online or at KL, for years 1874-1912  (F 561 .M47)

 A Classified Finding List of the Collections of the Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society (F561 .M4712) can help understand how the volumes are organized. For more information, see Eastern Michigan University guide.
Highlighted books at KL
Joe Grimm, Michigan voices : our state's history in the words of the people who lived it
F 566 .M52 1987

Life of General Lewis Cass: comprising an account of his military services in the Northwest during the war with Great Britain, his diplomatic career and civil history (Philadelphia, 1848)
Special Collections, E 340 .C3 L7

Caroline Kirkland, A new home: or, life in the clearings
PS2187 .N4  (a modern edition of a story first published in 1839 about life in the upper midwest)
Digitized primary sources
Virtual Motor City
A rich collection of digitized photographs documenting Detroit history from the Detroit News Collection; also includes digitized Detroit News Newsreels (Reuther library)

Digital collections of the Archives of Michigan (maps, photos, pre-statehood documents, civil war records...)

The Making of Modern Michigan
A collaborative project of 52 Michigan libraries to place online materials documenting Michigan history

Digital collections of the Bentley Historical Library
Books, periodicals, and manuscripts relating to the history of the University of Michigan and the State of Michigan and its people and institutions

Michigan History Collection
Collection of 19th century Michigan history materials (Hathi Trust)

Michigan death records, rural property inventories and other state government records

 Digital Collections at the Henry Ford

Detroit Public Library Digital Collections

Arab American National Museum

Record of service of Michigan Volunteers in the Civil War (Hathi Trust)

Detroit Pre-Statehood Descriptions
Over 100 first-hand accounts of individuals who visited Detroit between 1701 and 1837 (Clark Library)

Records of the Michigan Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1814-1851
Correspondence relating to the U.S. government's relations with Michigan native Americans, including negotiation and enforcement of treaties, land matters, annuity and other payments, intertribal hostilities, military operations, depredation claims, missionaries and schools, and more.

12th Street Detroit
history of Detroit’s 1967 Civil Unrest through archival sources (Reuther Library)

Detroit 67
Oral histories of participants and witnesses in the events of 1967 in Detroit (Detroit Historical Society)

Some of these, and many other digitized collections are findable online via the Digital Public Library of America
Michigan Newspapers
Michigan County Histories and Atlases (online)
How to use them

Atlas of Historical County Boundaries, Michigan
G 1411 .F7 A8 1997 Mich.

1859 Wall Map, 1875 Atlas Map, 1895 Atlas of Macomb County, Michigan
Special Collections G 4113 .M25 E54 1983

Combination Atlas Map of Macomb County, Michigan (D.J. Stewart, 1875)
Special Collections G 1413 .M25 S8 1875

Standard Atlas of Macomb County, Michigan (Geo. A. Ogle & Co., 1895)
Special Collections G 1413 .M25 034 1895

Standard Atlas of Oakland County (1908)
Special Collections G 1413 .O2 O2 1908

Gazetteer of the state of Michigan (John Blois, 1840)

Clark Library maps (University of Michigan)
Archives and Libraries of South East Michigan
Michigan History Directory
Reference,  F561 .M5
State Library and Archives
The Archives of Michigan preserves the records of the Michigan government and other public institutions. The collections also include documents, maps, photographs and film from private individuals and organizations.

The Library of Michigan  collects all Michigan publications.
Bentley Historical Library
The Bentley Historical Library has collections that trange from the papers of governors of Michigan, to the records of student and faculty life at the University of Michigan, to the papers of many Michigangers and the records of Michigan organizations.
Clarke Historical Library

The Clarke Historical Library documents the history of Michigan and the Old Northwest Territory and the history of Central Michigan University

Michigan State University Archives and Specia
The Michigan State University Archives and Special Collections  include materials that document Michigan State University, the physical campus and grounds, early student life, the lumber industry, environmentalism in Michigan, and the Civil War
Wright Museum of African American History
The Wright Museum of African American History houses over 35,000 artifacts and archival materials and is home to the Blanche Coggin Underground Railroad Collection, Harriet Tubman Museum Collection, Coleman A. Young Collection and the Sheffield Collection, a repository of documents of the labor movement in Detroit.
Arab American National Museum
The Arab American National Museum’s Russell J. Ebeid Library & Resource Center (L&RC) administers the single largest collection of materials by and about Arab Americans.
Walter P. Reuther Library
The Walter P. Reuther Library of Labor and Urban Affairs is home to the collections of numerous unions and labor-related organizations. Its collection strengths extend to the political and community life of urban and metropolitan Detroit, the civil rights movement in Michigan and nationally, and women's struggles in the workplace.
Burton Historical Collection
The Burton Historical Collection at the Detroit Public Library is a vast collection of local history (including genealogy). It includes personal papers, records of organizations, businesses and churches, as well as the governmental archives of Detroit and Wayne County. Also photographs and clippings. Also a subject file on many aspects of local history.
Ernie Harwell Sports Collection
The Ernie Harwell Sports Collection at the Detroit Public Library primarily focuses on baseball and includes books, programs, scorecards, baseball cards, video and audio tapes of games, clippings, and photographs.
National Automotive History Collection
The National Automotive History Collection, housed at the Skillman Branch of the DPL, is an automotive archive documenting the history and development of the automobile and other wheeled land transportation
E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Ameri
The E. Azalia Hackley Collection of African Americans in the Performing Arts includes photographs, recordings, rare books, manuscripts, and archives of performing artists.
Local Historical Organizations
Local Historical Organizations
Historical societies, museums, archives, and other history organizations that are members of the Historical Society of Michigan
For more information
Library Contact
Picture: Dominique Daniel

Dominique Daniel
Humanities Librarian for History and Modern Languages

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