Politics and government

Ann Arbor, Mich., Police Officers, 1870

Ann Arbor, Mich., Police
Officers, 1870

The Michigan Historical Collections has emphasized the documenting of Michigan politics and public policy throughout its more than fifty years of collecting historical materials. Recognizing its obligation to future generations, the Bentley Historical Library, which houses the MHC, has consistently and aggressively pursued a balanced acquisitions program, one that strives to reflect all sides of public debate on political, economic, and social issues. One of the continuing goals of the library is to illuminate the lives of leading political figures, the activities of political organizations and interest groups, and the vicissitudes of political movements. Materials placed here document political affairs on the state and local levels of Michigan, yet they also provide perspectives on regional, national, and international affairs.

The research and political communities have benefited by the availability of materials on the political process in Michigan. These personal papers and organizational records enable researchers to study policy development, constitutional change, campaign strategies and tactics, coalition building, legislative history, and the impact of individuals, institutions, and policies on Michigan's citizens and society. Historical collections accessioned by the library have attracted the interest of researchers from across the state and nation. Included among MHC's holdings are the records of the state Democratic and Republican parties, and the papers of twenty-seven Michigan governors, significant United States senators and representatives from Michigan, leading Michigan legislators, and other individuals and groups which have directly influenced the course of Michigan political history.