Library of Michigan, Lansing, MI

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Location: 702 W Kalamazoo St, Lansing, MI 48915




 In 1828 the Legislative Council established a library for use by the fledgling territorial government and the legislature. Until 1860, State Librarians were part - time caretakers.  After 1860, several prominent librarians, Jesse Eugene Tenney/Harriet Tenney, Mary C. Spencer, and Loleta Fyan, expanded the role of the State Library, shaping the collections to benefit all residents.



The Library collects both current and historical Michigana, materials related to the Great Lakes, the State of Michigan and its people.  The collection incorporates a broad range of subjects including state local government publications, business and industry, history, biography and literature.  Holdings include: area antiquities, educational publications, city directories, Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, county plat atlases, war narratives, ships and shipping information, regional folk art, local literature, and materials from all ethnic groups.  In addition, the extensive Michigan newspapers collection, dating from the early 1800s, is an indispensable resource to researchers and historians. 



The focus of these collections is general research, especially for policy-making and for most aspects of state government work.  Special features of the Main and Reference Collections include the Professional Development Lending Library training materials, books, videos and audiobooks, and the Michigan Collection Vertical File with newspaper clippings organized by subject, primarily dating from the 1950s to the early 1990s, with a few items going back to the 1920s.



As the official repository for Michigan print and electronic government documents, the Library works with state government departments to acquire and preserve the publications and information resources they produce.  The Michigan Documents Collection contains items dating from 1805 to the present and provides both contemporary and historical perspectives on the development of Michigan’s state government.  The Library also consults with participating depository libraries around the state to maintain local public access to state government information.  As one of Michigan's repositories for the federal government, the Library also receives selected materials distributed by the U.S. Government Printing Office.  This program links library users to the federal government, with information ranging from congressional hearings and agency reports to economic forecasts and employment information.



The State Law Library provides access to legal resources for state government employees and the general public.  While our librarians cannot provide legal advice, interpretation or guidance on specific legal matters, we can assist patrons in starting their research and demonstrate how to effectively use the materials in the collection.  Additionally, to assist state employees in performance of their job duties, our staff can compile topical information packets, research the background of legislation and perform more extensive research on discrete legal issues.

While our holdings emphasize current and historical Michigan legal materials, the collection includes federal and state primary law, multi-state materials and British and Canadian resources.  Our secondary sources, such as treatises, loose leafs, American Bar Association books and legal encyclopedias, address both broad topics and specific issues in the law. Online legal resources such as Lexis, Westlaw, PACER, HeinOnline and the LLMC Digital Law Library supplement the print collection.   



The Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room houses a collection approaching 20,000 items, from pioneer accounts to Civil War rosters.  The collection focuses primarily on natural history, law, angling, travel and exploration, Native Americans and Michigana.  Of special note is a collection of nearly 500 pieces of Michigan-related sheet music.  Local history materials provide researchers a sense of time and place, while quarterly exhibitions showcase collection highlights.