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

University History

Here you will find a list of more specific Bentley databases related to the history of the University of Michigan.


  • Search this database for files on alumni and former students who attended U-M and who died prior to 1965. You can request to see the entire file in our Reading Room or order a copy.

    Go to Alumni Files Index

  • Start your historical journey into U-M sports! The Bentley is the official archive for the U-M Athletic Department, and our Athletic Archivist has created searchable rosters and other online exhibits about U-M sports.

    Go to Athletics History

  • The Bentley has digitized some full collections or large segments of collections and made them available here. Examples include early records of the Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and a survey of early female graduates of the University. Check the “online content” tag for digital material dealing with more specific subjects – like our Civil War collections.

    Go to Digitized Collections






  • Many publications archived at the Bentley – for example, the Michiganensian and Ann Arbor city directories – have been scanned and added to HathiTrust. Using the HathiTrust collections linked here makes it easier to search a range of dates, rather than one year at a time.

    Go to Publications in HathiTrust

  • The Subject Guides highlight Bentley collections and items (and sometimes background information) related to different topics. They are no longer updated and may not include more recent information, but are useful for identifying different collections with material about the same area or subject.

    Go to Subject Guides



  • The vertical file contains newspaper clippings and other miscellaneous published material. They are organized according to people, places, organizations, or issues affecting the University or the state as a whole.

    Go to Vertical File