Where Michigan’s History Lives

Explore the Ever-Present Past

Come discover our resources, collections, and learn about the ways in which the past impacts the present.

Register to Research

Our archives might be historical, but our registration system no longer is. The Bentley recently launched a new online registration system that offers users myriad benefits including the ability to request materials online and a streamlined duplication request process.

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Bentley Magazine

As a young immigrant from Latvia in 1949, architect Gunnar Birkerts boarded a Greyhound bus traveling from New York to Birmingham, Michigan, to work in what was the epicenter of modern architecture at the time. Ambitious and talented, Birkerts would design award-winning buildings that include the newly opened National Library of Latvia. At the Bentley Historical Library, more than 12,000 of Birkerts’ original drawings illustrate his impressive productivity and innovation.

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Michigan Firsts

As the University of Michigan prepares to celebrate its 200th year, the Bentley takes a look back at some “Michigan firsts” that helped put this great University on the map. From its leading role as one of the first large universities in the country to admit women to its first rivalries on the gridiron, our archives help celebrate Michigan history and tradition—then and now.

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Photo of the Month
Richard Rummell colored print depicting U-M campus, circa 1907.


Old Ann Arbor Postcards

Bentley Historical Library postcard collection, dating from the 1890s, much of which has been digitized and is available through the Bentley Image Bank.