Searching for Historical Events
- Michigan Historical Collections (commonly known as Michigan Pioneer Collections)
- Michigan History Magazine
- Published City or Town Histories
- Published County Histories
- Vertical File
- Subject Guide: Introduction to Local History
Calhoun County Report, 1897
Michigan Historical Collections
This serial publication, authored by Michigan Historical Commission/Pioneer and Historical Society of the State of Michigan, records early state news, events, and historical reports. The Pioneer Collection consists of articles and reports submitted by individual counties. The information within each volume varies greatly but consistently contains a wealth of early Michigan information. This publication, which ran from 1874 to 1929, is indexed.
A page from the
This magazine has been published since 1917. As the official publication for the Michigan Historical Commission and the State Historical Society of Michigan (formerly Michigan Pioneer and Historical Society), it has documented many events throughout Michigan's history. An index exists for most of the publication's run.
Reading newspapers of the past is a great way to put family history into a larger historical context. Newspapers reveal local and national events that affected the lives of ancestors. Announcements, such as birth, marriage, or death notices, are sometimes included within newspapers as well. It is important to note that obituaries were somewhat random until the 1900s.
The Bentley Historical Library holds many Michigan newspapers, especially from the Ann Arbor area. Some exist on microfilm although most remain in the orginal paper format. Please see the library's Checklist of Newspaper Titles for more information about available newspapers.
The Bentley Historical Library collects published materials along with manuscript collections and records. The holdings contain many books about Michigan cities, villages, and townships. The histories vary widely but most contain information about area pioneers or prominent citizens. Books can be found within MIRLYN by completing a subject search for the city's name followed by "(Mich)." For example, if a researcher was looking for information about Newberry, Michigan, he or she would click on "subject" and input "Newberry (Mich.)"
History of Saginaw County, Michigan;
together with ... portraits ... and biographies ...
History of Michigan ... by Michael A. Leeson,
C. C. Chapman &
The Bentley Historical Library has many published histories about specific Michigan Counties. The majority were published in the late 1800s or very early 1900s. They contain information about county origins, government, schools, businesses, individual city or town information, and biographies about pioneers and other important individuals.
Due to their frailty, the library does not photocopy county histories. The only exception is Washtenaw County histories for which the library has duplicates for such purposes.
Published county histories can be found within the university's online library catalog, MIRLYN, by searching for the county name and then adding "history" or "biography." For example, if searching for Monroe County, Michigan, click on "subject" search and type in "Monroe County (Mich.)--History" or "Monroe County (Mich.)--Biography."
Vertical File. Fires and Fire Fighting
The Bentley Historical Library's vertical file contains clippings, pamphlets, reprints, and other miscellaneous materials relating to persons, places, organizations, and topical subjects relating to Michigan. An online index is available for searching or browsing by topic or name.
Please see this subject guide to local history written by the Bentley Historical Library. It describes the breadth and depth of local history holdings within the library.