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LIBRARY GUIDE TO History of Oakland County, Michigan

General Oakland County history
S. W. Durant, A History of Oakland County, Michigan (1877)
Special Collections, F 572 .O2 D6

Portrait and Biographical Album of Oakland County (1891)
F 572 .O2 P8 (KL 3rd floor)
Detailed biographies of selected white men

T. Seeley, History of Oakland County Michigan: A narrative account of its historic progress, its people, its principal interests (1912)
Lengthy and detailed. Chapters 20-25 are about Pontiac and cover many aspects of the history of the city to 1912. Other chapters deal with other towns and cities of Oakland County.

L.D. Avery, An Account of Oakland County (1925)
Lengthy and detailed. Organized topically. Chapter 8 is about the city of Pontiac

A. Hagman, Oakland County: Book of History (1970)
F 572 .O2 H3 (KL 3rd floor)
The most recent and comprehensive account of the history of the area

AR. Waddell and J. Starbuck, Out of Small Beginnings: A Bicentennial Historical Sketch of Oakland County, Michigan, 1815-1976
F572.O2 W3 (KL 3rd floor)
Developed from a research project of the Oakland County Planning Commission and thesis of J. C. Starbuck (University of Chicago, 1968)

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

Charles H.  Martinez, Hammering Out the Past : Prehistoric Stone Artifacts Found in Oakland County (1991)
Special Collections, E 78 .M6 M35 1991

Richard B. Stamps, John B. Cameron, Nancy Lang, and Richard L. Zurel, A Pilot Survey of the Archaeological and Architectural Resources of Oakland County, Michigan (1980)
Special Collections, F 572 .O2 P55

James C. Starbuck, Oakland, Michigan: A Statistical History... (1967)

2 volumes prepared for the Oakland County Planning Commission.
Other Oakland County histories can be found in the Michigan County Histories and Atlases collection
Pontiac history
Polk's Pontiac City Directory (1927-1930, 1945-1946,1948,1950,1952-1953)
Special Collections, F 574 .P55 P6
Names and contact information for individuals and businesses in Pontiac; some city information

N. Kilmer, Pontiac Township, 1827-1983: The End of an Era (1983)
F 572 .P6 R3 (KL 3rd floor)

 S. Woods, Pontiac: The Making of a U.S. Automobile Capital, 1818-1950 (1991)
 F 574 .P6 W6 1992 (KL 3rd floor)

A. Russell, Blacks in Pontiac (1977)
Special Collections, F 574 .P55 R8 1977
Short biographies of prominent African American residents of Pontiac in the mid-1970s with photographs
Archival sources at Oakland University
The Pontiac/ Oakland Press
A rich photographic archive of the Oakland Press since the 1960s (40 linear ft. of prints and 1,914,318 digital images (or 2.38 TB), along with a complete microfilm collection of all issues since 1845 and print copies of some issues from 1851 to 1905. This newspaper, based in Pontiac, has long been one of the main newspapers in Oakland County. Access: Archives and Special Collections

Oakland County Historical Records at Kresge Library's Archives and Special Collections
Tax rolls and other county and city records going back to the 1830s.

Eugene Mack Papers
Personal archive of Eugene Mack, a prominent farmer and business and civic leader of Addison Township, in Oakland County. Includes notebooks, diaries and ledgers as well as legal documents, correspondence, receipts and other miscellaneous documents relating to his activities as a farmer, business man, and civic leader, mostly from the 1880s through the 1910s.

Billy S. Farnum Papers
Papers of Billy Farnum who represented the 19th Congressional District in Oakland County in the House of Representatives (1965-1967), Local issues are documented, especially the implementation of the Johnson Administration's War on Poverty programs in Oakland County.

Oakland County Tuberculosis Sanatorium Records
Selected archive of the sanatorium, 1929-1949

Charles Ferry Papers
Manuscript materials from Charles Ferry (1926-2007), a Rochester area author of children's books who won the Best Books for Young Adults award of the American Library Association twice.

African Americans in Oakland County Oral History Project
Interviews of African Americans in Oakland County, especially in Pontiac conducted in 1976-1982.

City directories
Contain useful overviews of the cities involved
  • Pontiac (1927-1953, some years missing)
  • Rochester (1967-1984)
  • Oakland County (1941)

See full list of Oakland County-related collections at Kresge Library's Archives and Special Collections.
Archival sources online
Oakland County newspapers
A few were digitized at the Digital Michigan Newspaper Portal
For a more comprehensive list, see the Chronicling America site

Oakland County Historical Resources
Digitized local history materials from local cultural heritage organizations.

Other local history collections
The Digital Public Library of America offers online access to other digital collections about Oakland County

Library of Congress digital collections
Photographs, maps, and other resources about Oakland County

Bloomfield Township Digital Library
Historical resources and archive of the Bloomfield-Birmingham Eccentric Newspaper, 1882-1964
For more information
Oakland University's Archives and Special Collections:

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Library Contact
Picture: Dominique Daniel

Dominique Daniel
Humanities Librarian for History and Modern Languages

Office hours by appointment
[by phone or virtual meeting]


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