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.


  • Caroline Bartlett Crane Everyman’s House Collection

    Blueprints, letters, photos and a book from the nationally-recognized home design built in Kalamazoo, Michigan, by Caroline Bartlett Crane.

    Everyman’s House Collection

  • Kalamazoo Transient Bureau Case Files Collection

    Registration cards from the Kalamazoo Bureau of the Federal Emergency Relief Agency (FERA) program that provided food, lodging, employment and more for homeless and transient men, started in 1933 as part of the New Deal.

    Transient Bureau Case Files Collection

  • Merze Tate Collection

    Photo albums and scrapbooks created by renowned scholar, world traveler and distinguished Western Michigan University alumnae Dr. Merze Tate, detailing her studies, teaching and adventures across the globe.

    A selection of original materials located at the Zhang Legacy Collections Center.

    Merze Tate Collection

  • “Michigan Manual of Freedmen’s Progress” Book

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

    Freedmen’s Progress Book

  • Regional History Photograph Collection

    Photographs and other images depicting individuals and the social, institutional and business activities of Kalamazoo and the surrounding region from the 1860s to 1960s.

    A selection of the thousands of original photos located at the Zhang Legacy Collections Center.

    Regional History Photograph Collection

  • South Haven Michigan Lighthouse Logs

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

    South Haven Michigan Lighthouse Logs

  • United States Civil War Collection

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

    United States Civil War Collection

  • Ward Morgan Photography Collection

    Photographs reflecting the people, industries, built environment and commercial activities of the Kalamazoo area from 1939 to 1980.

    A selection of the nearly 27,000 original black and white photographic negatives located at the Zhang Legacy Collections Center.

    Ward Morgan Photography Collection

Digital collections

Explore our other digital collections

We've digitized thousands of items and made them available to you online.