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Archives of Michigan Reading RoomWhat can you expect?
When you arrive on the second floor of the east wing in the Michigan Historical Center, our registration desk staff will check you in.
- First time? Our staff will generate a photo ID card – similar to a library card – for you. The registration process takes five minutes or less, but please remember to bring a photo ID with you. You will not be allowed to register without one.
- Seasoned researcher at the Archives? Please bring the card with you and the registration process will only take a few seconds.
You are allowed to bring bags, purses, coats, pens, cameras, laptop cases, etc. into most areas of our reading room. If you request archival records, our staff will retrieve them and bring them to a separate viewing area where bags, purses, coats, pens, cameras, or laptop cases are not allowed. You are welcome to use pencils, paper, and laptops without cases. Other items may be left in the main part of our reading room or in free lockers available in the registration area.
- Library books and microfilm are in open stacks and cabinets for researchers to browse.
- We have four public computers. You can use these to check our catalog for specific topics or books, and to access a full subscription to Ancestry as well as other online resources in your research.
- Archival records can be requested through our reference staff. Because they were created in the course of conducting government business and not with historical research in mind, records at the Archives of Michigan are not always organized by name and are not all organized the same way.
A reference archivist is always available to answer questions you might have and show you how to use our guides, inventories, and indexes to find resources that may pertain to your research topic. Please don’t be shy – we’re happy to help!
Please observe the following rules when viewing archives records at the Archives of Michigan. They exist to protect the records so they are available for years to come.
Rules for Viewing Archival Material
- No bags, purses, coats, pens, cameras, laptop cases are permitted in the viewing area.
- No pens.
- No cameras or scanners unless permission is granted by a reference staff member.
- One at a time. Researchers should only have one volume or folder from a box out on a table.
- Keep items within a folder in order.
- Indicate pages for copying by turning them up within a folder or using a folder marker available at each table.
- No more than two people at a table. The one at a time rule still applies.
You are welcome to bring in pencils, paper, and laptops without cases into the archival research area. You can leave other materials in the main part of our reading room or in free lockers available in the reception area.
Library Books and Microfilm
- Cameras and scanners can be used with library material.
- Digital scans can be saved to a USB drive attached to microfilm readers/printers.
- Electronic copies generated by researchers are free.
- Paper copies can be made by microfilm readers/printers and the self-service copier are available in the reading room.
- Paper copies are $0.20 per page.
- Payments for paper copies are on the honor system. Researchers are asked to tally paper copies at the end of the day and pay at the registration desk as they leave.
- We treat archival records differently from library material.
- Unless our staff is unable to make copies, we do not allow researchers to capture images of our archival material via digital cameras, smart phones or scanners.
- Archives staff can make photocopies of most material at a cost of $0.20 per page.
- Electronic copies of archival material will also be made at a charge of $0.20 per page.
- Extra charges apply for photographic quality reproductions or copies of exceptionally large items, such as some maps or blueprints.
Search Our Catalog:
How to search Death Records:
You can search for death records by using the “Advanced Search” button in the top right corner of any page.
- Click the “Advanced Search” button in top right corner of screen.
- Select field you wish to search, such as “Given Name,” from “All Fields” drop down menu.
- Type name, county, or year into blank box.
- Click “Search” button.