Sunday, July 18, 2010

52 Weeks of Online American Digital Archives and Databases: Michigan

This is the 23rd post in a weekly series of Online American Digital Archives and Databases found for free at state, county, municipal, college and university history, library, and archive websites, as well as public and private library and museum sites, and historical and genealogical society sites.

State of Michigan - New Links to Resources -,1607,7-192--225350--,00.html - "Executive Order No. 2009-36, effective October 1, 2009, abolished the Department of History, Arts and Libraries. The essential functions of the Department of History, Arts and Libraries will be performed by other principal departments in state government." Page lists new links to genealogical and historical resources.

Archives of Michigan -,1607,7-153-54463_19313---,00.html - There is a lot of useful information available on this site to help with genealogical and historical research. For instance, under the genealogy drop menu, you can find "Circulars" which identify various records the archives have and how to access them. You can access the State Naturalization Record Indexes, the Portrait Collection, and Subdivision Plat Maps. There are also photo collections, forms, guides, and links to many collections also mentioned in this post.

Historical Society of Michigan - - Michigan History magazine, Chronicle quarterly, and Michigan Historical review; Michigan Centennial Farm Program ; useful educational resources and history links

Library of Michigan -,1607,7-140-54504_18635---,00.html - click on Genealogy in the left-hand menu to access the 1870 Census, cemetery and newspaper locators, the naturalization indexes, Michigan Genealogist, SAR indexes and more

The Making of Modern Michigan: Digitizing Michigan's Hidden Past - - "The Making of Modern Michigan is a collaborative project involving 52 Michigan libraries. It includes local history materials from communities around the state. Michigan's unique heritage is represented through over 4,500 different subjects of photographs, family papers, oral histories, genealogical materials, and much more. The Making of Modern Michigan is headed by the Michigan State University Libraries, in partnership with the Library of Michigan, the Michigan Library Consortium, and the 52 libraries currently participating in the project."

MeL (Michigan eLibrary) Michigana Digital Projects - - Archives of Michigan Image Collection; Birdseye View Panoramas of Michigan Communities; Civil War Diaries Collection; Connecting the Upper Peninsula: East to West and North to South - The Wesley Perron Railroad Collection and Others; Early Detroit Images from the Burton Historical Collection; Grand Valley State University Digital Collections; Keweenaw Digital Archives - Michigan's Copper Country in Photographs; Mackinac Bridge Authority - Mackinac Bridge; Making of Ann Arbor; Michigan Oral History Database; Polar Bear Expedition Digital Collections; Sault Ste. Marie Shipping and Locks Collection; Upper Peninsula Digitization Center Collections; Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive; War of 1812 Digitization Project: Footsteps to the Battlefield; Ward Morgan Photography Collection, Southwest Michigan Images from 1939-1980; and much, much more!

Michigan Department of Community Health Genealogical Death Indexing System - - 1867-1897

Seeking Michigan - - State of Michigan's Digital Archive Collection; digitized images of Civil War Manuscripts, Service Records, and Photographs; Death Certificates, 1897-1920; Early Documents and Photography; WPA Property Inventories, 1936-1942; Oral History; Maps; Lighthouses and Life-Saving Stations; Main Streets and Architecture; Governors of Michigan; and more


Andrews University Center for Adventist Research - Databases and Resources Links - - SDA Periodical Index, SDA Obit Index, biographies, photos, personal papers

Calvin College - Heritage Hall - Archives of the Christian Reformed Church in North America - - databases on the ministers, synods and synod minutes of the Christian Reformed Church; anniversary, birthday, wedding, and obit announcements from the Banner (newsletter), 1996-2008; digital membership records from closed churches; Gold Star (military) deaths of members of the Christian Reformed Church in North America, 1941-1973, collected by the Young Calvinist magazine (list is not complete).

Central Michigan University - Clarke Historical Library - - online exhibits; Michigan in Letters; click on Resources in the menu to browse the collections, then use the left-hand menu to access them: Aladdin Company of Bay City; Bibliographies of Clarke Library Material; CMU Information and Exhibits; Full Text of Michigan Local History; Isabella County Sesquicentennial; Native Americans in Michigan; Sunday School Books: Shaping the Values of Youth in Nineteenth-Century America; and more

Grand Valley State University Special Collections and University Archives Digital Collections - - Civil War and Slavery Collection; GVSU Photographs and Publications; Veterans History Project; and more

Hope College Joint Archives of Holland - - archives of the history of Holland, Michigan and Dutch immigrants; includes biographical and church files, newspaper collections, photos, and college magazine indexes

Kalamazoo College CACHE: College Academic and Historic Experience - - college photos and publications (yearbooks, alumni magazines, and histories)

Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections - - includes Keweenaw Digital Archive - Michigan's Copper Country in Photographs and An Interior Ellis Island: Ethnic Diversity and the Peopling of Michigan's Copper Country

On the Banks of the Red Cedar: Michigan State University Digital Collection - - "a new website providing quick and easy online access to documents, images, film, and audio materials related to the history of Michigan State University." Currently is not much data, but check back again to see what has been uploaded.

Saginaw Valley State University Archives and Special Collections - - Ken Follett Papers, Flying Melzoras Collections (circus performing family), SVSU history

University of Michigan Bentley Historical Library - - features UofM's history, but Michigan history as well. A must-visit site for anyone researching Michigan roots!

University of Michigan - Michigan County Histories and Atlases - - fully text searchable; 428 digitized titles includes county histories, biographies, atlases, and plat books

Wayne State University Virtual Motor City Collection -;c=vmc - "The digitized images in the project represent a small subset of the Detroit News Collection, one of the premier photojournalistic resources freely available from a national-level newspaper and held at the Reuther Library...The full collection consists of more than 800,000 specially selected glass and nitrate, acetate and polyester film-based negatives...." Also available are over 400 digitized newsreels.


Albion District Library Local History Room - - obituary and photograph databases; Veterans' Project (photos and oral history; oral history section currently not working)

Ann Arbor District Library History and Biography Databases - - from this page you can access the Signal of Liberty abolitionist newspaper; Making of Ann Arbor Digital Collection (postcards, buildings, maps, texts, pictorial history); and the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit

Barry County Clerk's Public Records Index - - includes death records index

Branch County Clerk's Death Record Search -

Brighton District Library Obituary Index -

Calhoun County Clerk and Register of Deeds - - Marriage and Death Record Indexes

Capital Area District Library Special Collections - - city directories; maps; images, documents and other ephemera featuring various automotive collections, historic fires, and history of Ingham County

Charlevoix Public Library Research Center Obituary Database -

Chippewa River District Library - Isabella County Newspaper Obituary Index -

City of Port Huron - Lakeside Cemetery Records Search -

Delta County Genealogical Society - - births, marriages, divorces indexes; cemetery and census records; transcribed directories; newspaper extractions; hospital, immigration, probate, veterans, and voters records indexes and extractions

Department of Michigan - Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War - - Michigan's Messenger, monuments and memorials, online GAR records of posts and membership rosters

Detroit Public Library Special Collections - - includes the Burton Historical Collection (genealogical materials and rare books), the Hackley Collection (contributions by blacks to the performing arts), National Automotive History Collection, Making of Modern Michigan, the Lincoln Collection, the Third Michigan Cavalry Collection and more!

DeWitt District Library - Local History/Genealogy - - databases include marriage, cemetery, biographical and newspaper indexes, and yearbooks

Emmet County Clerk Marriage and Death Record Indexes -

Farmington Community Library Heritage Collection - - includes indexes for obituaries, maiden names, marriages, surnames, and cemeteries; digitized books (monographs) and newspapers; historical images; and history

Fremont Library Local Records Database - anniversaries, births, marriages, military service, obituaries. Website has current notice: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but our Local Records Database is not currently available via our website. We are working on the problem. Please come into the library to access the database directly."

Genealogical Society of Washtenaw County, Michigan, Inc. - Washtenaw County Data Files - - Obituaries, Deaths, Marriages, Birthdays, and Notices from Washtenaw County Newspapers

Genealogists of the Clinton County Historical Society - - old photos and yearbooks, surname index, vital records index (Births 1867 to 1900, Marriages 1863-1940, Deaths); county cemetery index, school records and history, county farm residents' index, and local histories

Genesee County Clerk Death and Marriage Record Index -

Grand Rapids Public Library Archives and Photos - - use this page as a launch to access the Photo Essays and the Photo Archive. Essays include the 1904 Flood, Civil Rights Leaders, From the Dugout, Fannie Boylon, A Grand Century, Grand Rapids Symphony, La Grande Vitesse, Remembering Jerry Ford, and the Ryerson Library Building. The Archive includes photos classified by the following subjects: Events, Commerce and Industry, Recreation and Entertainment, Transportation, Street Scenes, Buildings, Furniture Industry, People, Seasonal, and Miscellaneous.

Grand Traverse County Death Records Index -

The Henry Ford - Benson Ford Research Center - - "access archives, records and collections that document the American Experience"

Rochester Hills Public Library - Greater Rochester History Online - - digitized postcards and photos

Grosse Pointe Historical Society - - history, vintage photo slide shows and online exhibits, and newsletter archive

Grosse Pointe Public Library Local History Archives - - obituary database, c. 1930 to the present; archived and digitized magazines, newspapers, books, photos, maps, and autographs

Hartford, Michigan History - - township history, photos, historic events and homes, military letters, obituary index

Ingham County Genealogical Society - - archived newsletter, newspaper indexes, burial permit indexes, and tombstone readings

Jewish Historical Society of Michigan Yearbook Project - - search database by name, school and/or year

Kalamazoo Public Library - Kalamazoo Sources - - Local Information Database contains many various genealogical indexes; Local Photograph Database; also links to Kalamazoo Genealogy site, the owner of whom is a local genealogist who has scanned and transcribed much of the library's genealogical collection, including vital records index cards, obituaries, and city directories, to name a few

Kalamazoo Valley Genealogical Society Historical Records Database Search - - county census, police deaths, foreign deaths, foreign marriages, bible records, indigent military burials, area ministers and clergymen, poor farm burials, industrial accidents, suicides, probate records, county home inmates, funeral home records and much, much more!

Livingston County Clerk's Office Vital Records - Marriage and Death Records Index, 1950-present -

Livonia Public Library Obituary Index -

Macomb County Clerk/Register of Deeds Death Record Index -

Monroe County Historical Commission Archives - Obituary Search -

Monroe County Library System Genealogy Indexes to Resources - - newspaper index, interviews, obits, oral history, cemetery index, and baptism records

Mount Clemens Public Library Genealogy Collection and Services - - numerous online databases and indexes for Macomb County including local history, 1930 census, naturalization, cemeteries, obituaries, funeral home records, military records, probate, WWI Draft Registration, WWI Service Records, 1890 Special Veterans Census, city and telephone directories, yearbooks, maps, and more

Muskegon County Genealogical Death Indexing System -

Muskegon County Genealogical Society - - databases include indexes to cemeteries, state censuses, church listings, citizenship records, obituaries, photos, street renumbering project, veterans lists and more

Northville District Library - Northville History Index - - index from local newspaper as well as "a cumulative index of over 73,000 records from more than 100 printed sources, all of which are owned by the Northville District Library and available for viewing upon request"

Northville Genealogical Society - - history, cemetery and obituary indexes

Oakland County Historical Resources - - a collaborative effort by 10 local libraries and six local genealogical and historical societies and museums; subjects include Adoption, Agriculture, Biographies, Births, Buildings, Business/commercial districts and town scenes, Celebrities, Cemetery, Census (population only), Correspondence, Death records/notices/obits, Disasters, Employment/occupation/union, Events, Family, Government, Histories, Immigration, Individual, Industry, Institution, Land/Properties, Map, Marriage/Divorce, Memoirs, Memorabilia, Military, Organizations, Politics, Recreation, Religion/institutions, Roads/streets, Schools, Taxes, Transportation, Votes/Voters, and Waterways

Paw Paw Township Cemetery Indexes -

Plymouth Historical Society and Museum - - besides the current and past online exhibits and timeline, check out the archives to access the history of the 24th Michigan Infantry, Company C, as well as mortality censuses for Plymouth Township (1850 - 1880); the 1890 Special Census of Union Veterans; cemetery transcriptions, funeral home records, and the high school alumni association directory and deaths

Public Libraries of Saginaw Obituary Database -

Rawson Memorial District Library - Cass City Newspaper Index and Cemetery Records - - use left-hand menu to access databases

Rochester Hills Public Library - Greater Rochester History Online - - digitized postcards and photos

Salem-South Lyon District Library Digital Archives - - searchable .pdf files and browsable images of the South Lyon Herald, 1929-2007

Saginaw County Marriage and Death Certificate Indexes - - for records from 1995 to the present

St. Clair County Library System - Michigan Room - - digitized city directories, plat atlases and an agricultural census

Suburban Library Cooperative Digital Media Archive - a collaborative digital collections effort between the following seven libraries: Mount Clemens Public Library, St. Clair Shores Public Library, Sterling Heights Public Library, Troy History Museum (falls under the direction of the Troy Public Library), Fraser Public Library, MacDonald Public Library, and Roseville Public Library.

Traverse Area District Library - County Marriage and Death Record Indexes -

Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society - - their mission is to "preserve and share the history of the people and places of these [Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren] southwest Michigan counties." Cemeteries, local history department and master index, obits, photos, and birth and death indexes.

Veteran's Memorial (Mount Pleasant Public) Library - Isabella County Obituary Index -

Washtenaw County Clerk/Register's Office Marriage and Death Indexes -

Waterford Township Historical Society - - history, newsletters

Waterford Township Public Library - Genealogy and Waterford History - - numerous databases and indexes including death, probate and marriage notices, censuses, landowners, business notices, and maps

West Bloomfield Township Public Library Digital Collections - - images of sculptures, architecture, area lakes, Michigan Military Academy, 1976 tornado, scanned memoirs and more

Western Michigan Genealogical Society Online Searchable Databases - - Death Notices and Obituaries index (also includes listings of Engagements, Weddings, and Anniversaries); Kent County School Censuses; Michigana index; Grand Rapids Home for Veterans' residents' index; WWI Veterans Census; manuscripts; members' genealogies; Black Monument Company order books index; Farm Bureau News index; Census index compilations (1860 and 1870 Federal; 1884 and 1894 state); Kent County Death Index; Kent County Marriage Index; Latzek Funeral Home registers index; every name index to Chapman's 1881 History of Kent County and Goss's History of Grand Rapids and Its Industries; and more

Willard Library - Historical Images of Battle Creek, Michigan - - Battle Creek Homes and Buildings, c. 1940; Photos from Battle Creek's History; Dorothy Martich Black History Photo Archive

Wyandotte Clerk's Office - Wyandotte Death Index -


Check out my Michigan Online Historical Directories and Michigan Online Historical Newspapers pages.


Susan Clark said...

Miriam, May I add a plug for a very local, private website Sand Hill City that has indices and article transcriptions for late 19th/early 20th c. newspaper articles for Grand Haven in Ottawa County?

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, NR,

There are some amazing private genealogy websites out there...I haven't added them or the ones found at USGenWeb or USGenNet, because my intention is not to have the next Cyndi's List on my blog! :-) I will, however, leave your comment for my readers' convenience.

My qualifications for these posts are that the site has free access and that it falls under the following description: government (state, county, municipal), academic (college, university, or other institution), library and museum, and historical and/or genealogical society. For instance, in my Massachusetts and other New England states' posts, I did not list the New England Historic and Genealogical Society, because to access their databases requires a subscription.

Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to leave your comment. I appreciate it!

Jasia said...

Woo Hoo! Great job, Miriam! I've been waiting (not so patiently ;-) for this blog post. And it sure was worth waiting for! I'm always amazed at how many resources abound in my neck of the woods that I didn't even know existed. I'm just delighted with this list you've put together. I can hardly wait to have a chunk of time to delve in to some of those databases and collections...

And that said, I'd better get back to work :-7

Thanks Miriam!

Miriam Robbins said...

You're welcome, you probably know, this post was personal. I was delighted to find some new treasures in researching the info, as well!

TK said...

Yeah, what Jasia said!

This is such an awesome series, Miriam!

Miriam Robbins said...

Thank you, cousin! :-)

Kathryn Lake Hogan said...

Greetings Miriam,
You ROCK! I just started a new research project for a client with Michigan roots. You have made my job so much easier. Your hard work is very much appreciated.

Miriam Robbins said...

Thank you, Kathryn! And good luck in your research for your client!

GrannyPam said...

I thought for sure that I might know of a resource that you did not, especially since I live and research right her in Michigan. But I didn't find even one on my list that you missed. I highly recommend your series for all the states!

Miriam Robbins said...

Thanks, Pam! I appreciate the vote of confidence! :-)

Ann said...

Excellent list, but you missed the Mount Clemens Public Library which has a number of databases for Macomb County. The Funeral Home Index includes encompasses not just Macomb Co but also Wayne & Oakland Cos. Michigan Also see the Digital Archives of the Suburban Library Cooperative which is documents & photos from all the Libraries in the Cooperative

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, Ann,

Thank you, but Mount Clemens Public Library IS on the list...check again, it's in the local resources list (last list...first is state, then academic, then local).

Thanks for the link to the Suburban Library Cooperative Digital Media Archive...I will add it right now!

And thanks for dropping by!

Anonymous said...

A fantastic resource for anyone with ties to southwest Michigan: the Van Buren Regional Genealogical Society, whose mission is to "preserve and share the history of the people and places of these [Allegan, Berrien, Cass, Kalamazoo and Van Buren] southwest Michigan counties."

Miriam Robbins said...

Thanks, Anonymous, I'll be adding that link shortly!