About the Michigan Historical Collections
Papers from Harrison Soule collection
The Bentley Historical Library houses the Michigan Historical Collections, which documents the history of the state of Michigan and the activities of its people and organizations. Its rich collections draw university students, Michigan citizens, and scholars from all over the world. Situated on the North Campus of the University of Michigan, it constitutes one of the primary historical research facilities at the university and in the state of Michigan.
Founded in 1935, the Michigan Historical Collections is composed of more than 6,500 archival collections, 65,000 printed works, over 10,000 maps, nearly 1.5 million visual images (including photographs, negatives, films, and videotapes), and over 700 collections of digital material. This is a statewide collection for Michigan covering all periods from the days of exploration through to the present, with collections drawn from each of Michigan's 83 counties.
Individuals and organizations represented in the collections have been among the most prominent in state politics, business, religion, and social and public service. Among the papers of 35 governors of the state are those of Stevens T. Mason, Frank Murphy, G. Mennen Williams, George Romney, William Milliken, James Blanchard, John Engler, and Jennifer Granholm. Among the papers of prominent Michigan families are those of C. W. Post and John Harvey Kellogg of Battle Creek, Dexter M. Ferry, C. L. Franklin, and Albert Kahn of Detroit, and Arthur Vandenberg of Grand Rapids. Influential organizations have donate their records here, including the Detroit Urban League, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Mothers Against Drunk Driving along with many churches, businesses, political parties, public policy associations, and immigrant groups. The collections also include the papers of many farmers, laborers, teachers, architects, engineers, activists, artists, entrepreneurs, and other citizens whose work has contributed to the building of this important and diverse state. The collection ranks among the finest state historical collections in the United States.