Kalamazoo Public Library has long been recognized for its excellence in programming. Local historians, authors, researchers and historic preservationists present compelling programs about local people and places of historical significance.
Many of these unique events are preserved on video for future reference. Visit the KPL YouTube channel for more clips and vintage items from our archives.
September 16, 2014, Central Library, 57 minutes
Kalamazoo’s thriving local brewing trade is rooted in traditions that date back to the earliest decades of the 19th century. Keith Howard explores the history of local brewing, from its humble beginnings in the 1830s until Kalamazoo ‘went dry’ in 1915.
April 23, 2014, Central Library, 57 minutes
A journey down the Michigan portion of US 12 (the "Old Sauk Trail") from Detroit to New Buffalo with Dr. John S. Geisler, WMU Professor Emeritus. Presented April 23, 2014, at Central Library.
Originally presented in 1987, 4 hours (in 13 parts)
These programs originally appeared in 1987 as historical segments in the program "Images and Ideas," and were produced through the facilities of the Community Access Center. (13 parts)
Originally presented in 1976, 51 minutes (in 3 parts)
Video versions of a popular multimedia presentation entitled "Kalamazoo '76," produced for the City of Kalamazoo in celebration of the United States Bicentennial in 1976. (3 parts)
March 18, 2014, Central Library, 41 minutes
Historic preservation consultant Pam O'Connor explores some of fountain designer Alfonso Iannelli’s design, sculpture and other work outside Kalamazoo. Presented March 18, 2014, at Central Library.
February 6, 2014, Central Library, 49 minutes
Whatever Happened to Idlewild? is Coy W. Davis, Jr.’s 2001 documentary film about Michigan historic African American resort, presented at Central Library on February 6, 2014.
February 6, 2014, Central Library, 10 minutes
During Coy Davis, Jr.'s presentation of Whatever Happened to Idlewild?, participants were asked to share their own recollections and personal stories about this historic Michigan resort.
November 14, 2013, Central Library, 1 hour 3 minutes
Sharon Ferraro, Kalamazoo’s Historic Preservation Coordinator, presents “Rose Street, South Street and Around the Park.”
October 23, 2013, Central Library, 1 hour 5 minutes
Author John Urschel follows the soldiers of the five most heavily-recruited Civil War regiments from the Kalamazoo area.
September 11, 2013, Central Library, 54 minutes
Author Valerie van Heest discusses Fatal Crossing, her book about the 1950 crash of NWA flight 2501 into Lake Michigan.
May 22, 2013, Central Library, 59 minutes
Lynn Houghton presents an examination of Arcadia Creek history and the major development project more than twenty years ago.
May 8, 2013, Central Library, 55 minutes
Lynn Houghton examines the variety of architectural styles that are found in Kalamazoo's Stuart Historic District.
May 1, 2013, Central Library, 1 hour 8 minutes
Dr. Sharon Carlson shares her extensive knowledge of the Stuart Neighborhood history and founding families.
May 9, 2012, Central Library, 1 hour 18 minutes
Historian Tom Buettner explains why 27 million people attended the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and describes Michigan's exhibits.
May 6, 2012, Central Library, 1 hour 10 minutes
Historian Tim Pinnick explains how to find and effectively use African American newspapers in genealogical research.
May 5, 2010, Central Library, 56 minutes (4 segments)
Local shipwreck hunter and award winning author Valerie van Heest explores wrecks that span the history of shipping on Lake Michigan.
May 26, 2009, Central Library, 41 minutes (5 segments)
Local resident Julie DeLuca describes how a small group of property owners have created an enhanced urban living environment.
May 11, 2009, Central Library, 52 minutes (5 segments)
Local historian Lynn Houghton discusses the rich history and architectural styles that help make the Vine neighborhood unique.
May 7, 2009, Central Library, 68 minutes (7 segments)
Kalamazoo Historic Preservation coordinator Sharon Ferraro shares the stories of Kalamazoo's oldest neighborhood.
March 11, 2009, Central Library, 14 minutes (2 segments)
Sahlgren, co-host of WMUKs Grassroots, discusses his collection of vintage Gibson guitars in a celebration of music from the South.
February 4, 2009, Central Library, 47 minutes (6 segments)
Kalamazoo Historic Preservation coordinator Sharon Ferraro reveals the secrets of this historic landmark and talks about its future.
November 12, 2008, Central Library, 43 minutes (5 segments)
Dr. Sharon Carlson highlighted the history of the Ladies Library Association and its amazing landmark building.
November 05, 2007, Central Library, 60 minutes (6 segments)
A History of the Kalamazoo State Hospital, presented by Dr. William A. Decker, M.D., at Kalamazoo Public Library, November 5, 2007.
Visit the KPL YouTube channel for more clips and vintage items from our archives.