Regional History Digital Collections

Learn about the history of southwest Michigan through images that reflect the people and places of this area and document its past.

Women from the Let Us Be Friends Club in Michigan Manual of Freedmen's Progress book. “Michigan Manual of Freedmen’s Progress” Book

This PDF version of the 1915 edition of the "Michigan Manual of Freedmen's Progress" book includes photographs, charts and searchable text.

Front exterior view at Everyman's House located at 2026 South Westnedge in Kalamazoo Michigan.Caroline Bartlett Crane Everyman’s House Collection

This collection includes a mix of blueprints, letters, photos and a book from the nationally recognized home design built in Kalamazoo, Michigan, by Caroline Bartlett Crane.

Kalamazoo Transient Bureau Case Files Collection

Started in 1933 as part of the New Deal, the Kalamazoo Bureau of the Federal Emergency Relief Agency (FERA) provided food, lodging, employment and more for homeless and transient men. This collection includes the registration cards with information about the men who participated in the program.

Lighthouse in South Haven Michigan.South Haven Michigan Lighthouse Logs

These journals from the lighthouse in South Haven, Michigan, have detailed entries about daily activities and tasks at the station from 1872 to 1889.

Open diary of George Harrington.United States Civil War Collection

This collection contains eight diaries and 29 letters written in the mid-1860s by men with connections to Michigan and the Midwest. From musician to a prisoner of war, the writers’ of these items are as diverse as their military experiences.

Women working in the Kalamazoo Stove Company during World War II.Ward Morgan Photography Collection

These photographs reflect the people, industries, built environment and commercial activities of the Kalamazoo area from 1939 to 1980. This is just a selection of the nearly 27,000 original black and white photographic negatives that are available at the Zhang Legacy Collection Center.