The Bentley Historical Library is open by appointment to the public. Please see our full announcement here.


The Bentley Historical Library collects the materials for and promotes the study of the histories of two great, intertwined institutions, the State of Michigan and the University of Michigan. The Library is open without fee to the public, and we welcome researchers regardless of academic or professional affiliation.

The Bentley’s 11,000 research collections range from the papers of governors of Michigan, to the records of student and faculty life at the University, to the entire historical record of intercollegiate athletics at Michigan, and much more. The Library houses a state-of-the-art conservation lab that conserves books, maps, architectural drawings, and other materials. The lab is also where expert archivists and conservators teach conservation techniques and aid in the reformatting of preserved materials.

The historic Detroit Observatory, located on the University of Michigan’s central campus, is a division of the Bentley Historical Library.

The Bentley also manages and maintains the History of U-M site.

Our staff are available to help you answer your questions and engage with the collections in a meaningful way.