Michigan Archives, Societies & Publications

It is a good idea to familiarize personally with just about any repository in Michigan that you simply might travel to by communicating with to the best suited archive or library in advance.

Most, if not all, Michigan repositories have written and published content that present its collections as well as research policy.

Michigan archives and historical organizations usually have On-line sites that provide equivalent details. Several also contain down loadable data for some or parts of their collections.

List of Michigan Archives

  • State Archives of Michigan, 702 W Kalamazoo Str, P.O. Box 30738, Lansing, MI 48909-8238; (517) 373-1408; Original material generated by government offices at the state and/or local level, including census records, tax assessment rolls, military records and photographs are among the extensive holdings. They also have some naturalization files, correctional facility records, school records, and depression era agency files. The archives distribute information circulars on many topics. The circulars act as finding aids to their extensive collection.
  • National Archives – Great Lakes Region (Chicago), 7358 South Pulaski Road, Chicago, Illinois 60629-5898; 773-948-9001; E-mail: chicago.archives@nara.gov (Maintains retired records from Federal agencies and courts in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.); General Information Leaflet
  • Archives and Historical Collections, Michigan Technological University, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931; Phone number (906) 487-2505This depository is responsible for Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, and Iron counties; it currently holds vital records for Houghton and Keweenaw counties, but has inventories for and will be acquiring records of the other counties. Special collections include those of the Michigan Technological University and the Copper County Historical Collection, the latter containing records of the mining companies and benevolent societies.
  • Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library, 5201 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI 48202; This, the largest collection in Michigan, includes diverse and extensive holdings of original, printed, and micrographic historical and genealogical material. The emphasis of the collection is on Detroit and Michigan beginning with the seventeenth century.
  • Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan,  1150 Beal Avenue, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113; The focus for genealogical work in this collection is original source materials for Michigan history and church records for almost all Protestant denominations, including discontinued churches.
  • Archives and Regional History Collections, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008; Phone number (616) 387-3990; This collection includes township and county records from Allegan, Barry, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Calhoun, St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Kent, Muskegon, Ottawa, and Van Buren counties and 8,000 catalogued photographs.

List of Michigan Libraries & Museums

List of Michigan Historical & Genealogical Societies

For almost every state there is a state genealogical society, a state genealogical council, or both.

In addition to their own work, Michigan groups many times help coordinate the efforts of local societies throughout the Michigan.

Their unique publications, newsletters and quarterlies, supplement those created through the area societies.

Regional and State Societies

County, Township and City Societies

Religious and Ethnic Societies

Michigan Newspapers & Publications

Michigan Genealogical publications (magazines, newsletters, periodicals, books, etc.) contain all types of invaluable information about specific ancestors, whole lineages and families, places in time, and about all sorts of genealogical records and repositories.


The first newspaper in Michigan was the Michigan Essay or Impartial Observer. Only one edition of it was ever published. That edition was published on August 31, 1809 in Detroit.

The Detroit Gazette began continuous publication in July, 1817. The last page of the Detroit Gazette included printings of important articles in French.

Many Michigan newspapers have been placed on microfilm and are available at the Library of Michigan. They are also available through inter-library loan programs.

Large collections of newspapers from Michigan can also be found at the Detroit Public Library and in Ann Arbor at the Bentley Historical Library.


Genealogical journals provide you with plenty of sources of information and facts, they are generally overlooked by genealogy and family history researchers and genealogist in looking around for family history.

Many regional and county genealogical and/or historical societies produce periodicals which have records relating to the region or vicinity they operate.

Frequently these publications have articles involving records that are not obtainable somewhere else.

  • Michigan History Published bimonthly by Bureau of History Michigan Department of State this contains state history articles book reviews and information pertinent to historical research.
  • The Detroit Society for Genealogical Research Magazine published by the society with a mailing address at the Burton Historical Collection of the Detroit Public Library has been published since 1937. It is not limited to Detroit but also publishes family histories and source material for the entire state as well as states or areas from which Michigan residents came: New York New England Pennsylvania and Canada particularly Ontario and Quebec.