Michigan Archives and Libraries

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The following archives, libraries, and societies have collections or services helpful to genealogical researchers.

State Archives of Michigan

Department of State
717 West Allegan
Lansing, MI 48918-1837
Telephone: 517-373-1408
Internet: http://www.michigan.gov/sos/

National Archives and Records Administration—Chicago Branch
7358 South Pulaski Road
Chicago, IL 60629
Telephone: 312-581-7816
Internet: http://www.archives.gov/great-lakes/chicago/

Library of Michigan
717 West Allegan Street
P.O. Box 30007
Lansing, MI 48909
Telephone: 517-373-1300
Internet: http://www.michigan.gov/hal/0,1607,7-160-17445_19270---,00.html

The Michigan Genealogical Council has published Guide to the Michigan Genealogical & Historical Collections at the Library of Michigan and the State Archives of Michigan (not at FHL). This book is organized by county and then by towns within the county. It lists county and church histories, atlases, censuses, newspapers, vital records, indexes to transcribed cemetery records, land records, probate records, naturalization records, church records, genealogical and historical society newsletters, and various other genealogical materials located at the two facilities. (See the "Societies" section for the address of the Michigan Genealogical Council.)

Bentley Historical Library
University of Michigan
1150 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Telephone: 313-764-3482
Internet: http://bentley.umich.edu/

Burton Historical Collection
Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, MI 48202
Telephone: 313-833-1480
Internet: http://www.detroit.lib.mi.us/burton/burton_index.htm

An inventory of this collection is:

Sprenger, Bernice Cox. Guide to the Manuscripts in the Burton Historical Collection. Detroit, Michigan: Detroit Public Library, Detroit, Michigan1985. (FHL book 977.4 A3sb.)

A useful guide to other collections of Michigan is:

Stevens, Wystan. Directory of Historical Collections and Societies in Michigan. Ann Arbor, Michigan: Historical Society of Michigan, 1973. (FHL book 977.4 E24s; film 924606 item 13.)

The Family History Library has other guides to archives with genealogical collections. For example, the library has numerous state and local inventories compiled by the Historical Records Survey and indexes to the manuscript holdings at the Library of Michigan.

Computer Networks and Bulletin Boards

Computers with modems are important tools for obtaining information from selected archives and libraries. In a way, computer networks themselves serve as a library. The Internet, certain computer bulletin boards, and commercial on-line services help family history researchers:

  • Locate other researchers.
  • Post queries.
  • Send and receive E-mail.
  • Search large databases.
  • Search computer libraries.
  • Join in computer chat and lecture sessions.

You can find computerized research tips and information about ancestors from Michigan in a variety of sources at local, state, national, and international levels. The list of sources is growing rapidly. Most of the information is available at no cost.

Addresses on the Internet change frequently. As of May 1997, the following sites are important gateways linking you to many more network and bulletin board sites:



A cooperative effort by many volunteers to list genealogical databases, libraries, bulletin boards, and other resources available on the Internet for each county, state, and country.



A useful list of sites and resources. Includes a large, regularly-updated research coordination list.

To get started with computer network research regarding Michigan, contact the following:

University of Michigan Library Gopher Service

Searches their on-line library.

Helm's Genealogical Toolbox: Michigan


Lists genealogical societies, mailing lists, and publications.

Cyndi Howell's List


Extensive links to other Internet sites touching on Michigan family history.

For further details about using computer networks, bulletin boards, and news groups for family history research, see the United States Research Outline, 2nd ed., "Archives and Libraries" section.



The Family History Library and some Family History Centers have computers with FamilySearch™. FamilySearch is a collection of computer files containing several million names. FamilySearch is a good place to begin your research. Some of the records come from compiled sources; some have been automated from original sources.

Computers with FamilySearch do not have access to computer on-line services, networks, or bulletin boards. However, those services are available at many public libraries, college libraries, and private locations.