About the Bentley
The Bentley Historical Library was established in 1935 by the University of Michigan Regents to carry out two functions: to serve as the official archives of the University and to document the history of the state of Michigan and the activities of its people, organizations and voluntary associations. Originally sharing space with the Clements Library and then moving to the basement of the Rackham Building, library moved to its current building in 1972. The library is comprised of four divisions: the Michigan Historical Collections, the University Archives and Records Program, Digital Curation and Access and Reference Services. The library also manages the historic Detroit Observatory.
Some seven decades after its founding, the library has amassed extensive holdings on the history of the state and the university, including more than 50,000 linear feet of archives and manuscripts, 90,000 printed volumes, 1.5 million photographs and other visual materials, over 10,000 maps and nearly 60 terabytes of digital content. The library's holdings are consulted by Michigan's citizens, the university's students, faculty, staff, alumni and administrators, scholars from across the nation and around the world, and others interested in the history of the state and the university.
Directors of the Michigan Historical Collections / Bentley Historical Library
Lewis G. Vander Velde, 1935-1960
F. Clever Bald, 1960-1966
Robert M. Warner, 1966-1980
Richard M. Doolen, 1980-1981 (acting)
Francis X. Blouin, Jr., 1981-
More About the Bentley
- Bentley Historical Library -- 75 Years
- A Timeline Highlighting Some of the Activities at the Bentley Historical Library
Video (U-M / Big Ten Network "Out of the Blue" segments
- Bentley Historical Library
- Jim Craven (conservation lab)
- Astronomy and the Detroit Observatory: Part 1 -- Part 2
- The Bentley Historical Library : its history and purpose Bentley Historical Library staff. (2004)
- A decade of sponsored research: the Research Fellowship Program for Study of Modern Archives Francis X. Blouin and William K. Wallach. (1994)
- An Enduring Gift. The Bentley Historical Library. Keeper of Michigan's History Bentley Library Staff. Bulletin, no. 32 (October 1983) 20 pages.
- The History and Purpose of the Michigan Historical Collections. Francis X. Blouin & William K. Wallach. Bulletin, no. 33 (December 1983) 26 pages.
- History of the Michigan Historical Collections. Robert M. Warner. Bulletin, no. 22 (May 1974) 19 pages. [out of print]
- Local History is Alive and Well. Ray Allen Billington. Bulletin, no. 23 (May 1974) 11 pages.
- The Michigan Historical Collections of the University of Michigan. F. Clever Bald. Bulletin, no. 3 (December 1948) 15 pages. Revised August 1951 and June 1956. [out of print]
- The Michigan Historical Collections of the University of Michigan. Robert M. Warner. Bulletin, no. 13 (January 1964) 12 pages. [out of print]
- Michigan Historical Collections: The Vander Velde Years. Ruth Bordin. Bulletin, no. 11 (June 1961) 16 pages.
- Not Perfect, but Just Right: A Tour of the Conservation Area, Bentley
James W. Craven. Bulletin, no. 50 (April 2004) 20 pages.