Plan Your Visit to the Archives of Michigan

Hours | Admission | Location | Parking | Amenities | Accessibility | Registration | Research | Using Archival Records | Copies

Please plan ahead before your visit. You will need your driver license or other valid photo identification in order to access archival material.

Also, gather as much information as you can before you arrive to make the most of your visit. For example, know dates, places and government agencies related to your topic of research. Have specific records in mind. If you're looking for land records, know legal descriptions. Check our online guides and online indexes before you arrive.

If you are part of a large group who would like to visit the Archives of Michigan, please contact us in advance so we can plan to have reference archivists available to assist you. 

Dates and Hours

Although Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-110 (COVID-19) allowed libraries and museums to re-open on June 8, 2020, the Archives of Michigan remains closed to the public until further notice. The archives will re-open once we can ensure the safety of visitors and staff. We continue to provide reference services by phone and email. Learn about our new video conference reference services. Visit the DNR COVID-19 information page for updates.

Back to top

Admission

There is no fee or admission charge for entering the Archives of Michigan. Please stop at the museum admissions desk on your way in to let them know you are visiting the archives. The staff will be glad to direct you to the reading room. 

Back to top

Location

The Archives of Michigan is located on the second floor of the east wing of the Michigan Library and Historical Center, on the north side of Kalamazoo Street, two blocks east of M. L. King Jr. Boulevard.

Our address is: 

702 W. Kalamazoo St.
Lansing, MI 48915

Back to top

Parking

Visitor parking is located south of the building, with a $1 hourly fee (maximum $8) on weekdays. Weekend parking is free. Buses park for free every day; please see instructions below. Visitors should use the Kalamazoo Street entrance, turning onto the circle drive to enter the visitor parking lot.

Additional public parking is available north of the building across Allegan Street (east of the Hall of Justice and Vietnam Memorial). However, the north entrance of the Michigan Library and Historical Center building is not accessible to those with mobility impairments.

Tips on using the automated parking system:

  • This is a no cash, no coins system.
  • Swipe your Visa, MasterCard or Discover card to lift the entrance gate. You will not receive a spitter ticket - the system has logged your credit/debit card information with a time-stamp of your entry. Your card will not be charged at this time.
  • To exit the lot, insert the same credit/debit card you used to enter the lot. Your parking fee will be calculated and charged to the card provided; the gate will lift, allowing you to exit.

Bus drivers: When you arrive, pull forward close to the entrance gate. Laser sensors will note your arrival and the gate will be opened from a remote location. This may take a moment, so please be patient. Buses never need to use a credit/debit card to open the gate. If there is a problem, please press the button on the gate for assistance. Park in the areas designated for bus parking. When exiting the lot, please follow the same procedure as when entering. The exit gate is located across the lot from the entrance gate.

Back to top

Amenities

The following amenities are available at the Michigan Library and Historical Center:

  • wireless access to the Internet.
  • food service.
  • ATM.
  • The Museum Store gift shop.
  • A nursing room.
  • A sick room.

Back to top

Accessibility

The Archives of Michigan is located inside the Michigan Library and Historical Center. Designated accessible parking is available at the barrier-free south entrance of the building.

Back to top

Registration

When you arrive, our registration desk staff will check you in.

First time? Our staff will generate a photo ID card for you. The registration process takes five minutes or less, but please 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 can bring bags, purses, coats, pens, cameras and laptop cases 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.

Back to top

Research

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 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.

Back to top

Using Archival Records

Please observe the following rules when viewing archives records. They exist to protect the records so they are available for years to come.

  • No bags, purses, coats, pens, cameras or laptop cases are permitted in the viewing area.
  • No pens.
  • No cameras or scanners unless permission is granted by a reference staff member.
  • Researchers should only have one volume or folder from a box out on a table at a time.
  • 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 can 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.

Back to top

Copies

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.

Archival Material

  • We treat archival records differently from library material.
  • Three iPads are available in the reading room for researchers to obtain copies of archival material. Researchers may not use personal devices to obtain copies of archival material.
  • Paper copies from iPads are $.20 per page.
  • Electronic copies from iPads are $.20 per page, up to $3.00 or 15 pages. Additional pages are free.
  • Extra charges apply for photographic quality reproductions or copies of exceptionally large items, such as maps or blueprints.

Back to top

 

Updated 06/17/2020