Detroit Public Main Library

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United States
Wayne County
Archives and Libraries
Detroit Public Main Library
Detroit Public Main Library

Contact Information


5201 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202

Telephone: 313-481-1300; Burton Historical Collection 313-481-1401


  • Monday: CLOSED
  • Tuesday : 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday: 12:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  • Thursday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Friday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
  • Sunday: CLOSED

Map, directions, and public transportation:

Internet sites and databases:

  • Detroit Public Library calendar, news and highlights, special collections, favorites, catalog and database search, special services, locations, research and resources, and services.
  • Detroit Public Library catalog online by keyword, author, title, subject, series, or periodical title.
  • Burton Historical Collection has background history of the Great Lakes area, New England, and New France as well as local and county histories for both the United States and Canada.

Collection Description

The Detroit Public Library Main Branch is home to the Burton Historical Collection and to the Detroit Society for Genealogical Research. They also have many unpublished family histories, research aids like indexes and cemetery guides, and an obituary collection. Their family folder collection is large, as is their very good newspaper collection.[1]

The Burton Historical Collection contains records pertaining to Detroit’s history from her days as a 17th century settlement to present day, with information about the Great Lakes Region including the role of Canada, the French and English influence. There are atlases, maps, photographs, pamphlets, bound newspapers, personal papers and much more. Some Vital records such as marriage, birth and death records are available. Federal population schedules along with family histories, personal papers, immigration records, some Detroit high school yearbooks, probate indexes and records plus city directories for most years and other supporting resources are also available.


Alternate Repositories

If you cannot visit or find a source at the Detroit Public Main Library, a similar source may be available at one of the following.

Overlapping Collections

  • Alternate Repository {create link for each, and give line or two describing collection}
  • such as: NARA I
  • National Archives at _____
  • State Archives
  • State Library

Similar Collections

  • National Personnel Records Center
  • LC
  • FHL

Neighboring Collections

  • County Vital Records Office
  • City Vital Records Office
  • County Archives
  • County Orphan's Court
  • County Probate Court
  • County Recorder
  • County Coroner
  • U.S. District Court
  • County and local historical societies
  • County and local genealogical societies
  • Public Libraries
  • Museums and heritage societies
  • Repositories in surrounding counties: [Chattam], [Durham], and [Franklin]
  • State Vital Records Office
  • State Historical Society
  • State Genealogical Society
  • University Libraries
  • Church archives
  • Repositories in surrounding states (or provinces): [SC], [TN], and [VA]


  1. William Dollarhide, and Ronald A. Bremer, America's Best Genealogy Resource Centers (Bountiful, UT: Heritage Quest, 1988), 61. At various repositories (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 J54d.