Kalamazoo Public Library maintains a wealth of current and historical information about area citizens, organizations, businesses, buildings, events, plus local, area, and state news (with a local angle).
KPL’s Local Organization Directory features 900+ social service agencies, clubs, associations, churches, and other nonprofit organizations in Kalamazoo County. Library staff annually update each organization’s entry.
KPL’s Local Information Database combines indexing of local newspapers, magazines, historical photos, and other Local History resources. Library staff add new records to this rich resource of more than one million items every day.
The Kalamazoo Gazette has been indexed since 1972, with some coverage of personal names before then. The index includes both subject and personal names and covers local, area and state news. Each citation includes the headline, the date of the paper in which the article appears, the section, page, and column, and indicates whether a picture illustrates the article.
For the date of the most recently input Kalamazoo Gazette, please inquire at either the Reference Desk or the Local History Room Desk.
Complete subjects and personal names (except Circuit Court sentencings and public notices, which begin in 1984). 1966 and 1967 in progress.
Births, deaths, marriage licenses, divorces, engagements, weddings, wedding anniversaries, obituaries, selected other personal names, and some subjects.
Weddings and obituaries, selected other names, no subjects.
Obituaries only. 1937 is in progress.
Obituaries in progress.
1857-1888, 1890, 1891
Obituaries only (only a few exist for 1863 & 1864, none for 1865). 1889 completed through June.
Complete personal names. Complete subject index available on microfilm.
1900-1912 selected names
1913-1922 selected names
19 April 1879 – 26 Aug 1879 obituaries only.
Local magazines are a gold mine of information about local people, businesses and organizations.
- Business Digest
- Business Direct
- Business Insight
- Greater Guide
- Guide Magazine
- Kalamazoo Collective
- Kalamazoo Magazine
- Kalamazoo Review
- K'zoo Area Magazine
- Metropolitan Kalamazoo
- Society Magazine
- SW Michigan Spark
- Welcome Home
- Your Home Southwest Michigan
The Local History Room section of the database captures a wonderful variety of information not indexed in the other databases, including access to the clipping files, scrapbooks, pictures and short sketches in books, etc.
- Afro-American Journal and Directory, 1894
- Amazing Women of West Michigan, 2006
- American Biographical History..., 1878. (Kalamazoo County names only)
- American Women, 1939-1940 (Kalamazoo County names only)
- Art Work of City of Kalamazoo, 1894
- Artists in Michigan, 1900-1976
- Bench and Bar of Michigan, 1897
- Bibliography of Michigan Authors, by M. K. Goodrich, 1928
- Biographical Directory of the American Congress, 1774-1989 (Kalamazoo County names only)
- Biographical Sketches: Recollections of the Earliest Days and Pioneers of Albion, Michigan... (selected names only)
- Bird's Eye View of Kalamazoo, Mich., 1883
- Bold Women in Michigan History, by Virginia Law Burns, 2006.
- Buildings of Michigan, Revised Edition, 2012 (Kalamazoo County entries only)
- A Chronological Souvenir of St. Luke's Church, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1903
- Compendium of History and Biography of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, by David Fisher, 1906
- Cyclopedia of Michigan..., 1890
- Directory of Living, Black Scientists, 1983 (Michigan names only)
- Directory of Michigan Artists, volumes I, II and III
- A Drive Down Memory Lane: the Named State and Federal Highways of Michigan, 2004 (Kalamazoo County entries only)
- Educators of Michigan, 1900
- Emancipated Spirits: Portraits of Kalamazoo College Women, 1983
- Eminent and Interesting Albionians, 1955 (selected names only)
- Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball, 2006 (entries for Kalamazoo Lassies and their players)
- Engaging the Wisdom, 2013
- First Ladies of Michigan, 1994
- Foreign Marriages and Intents to Marry, Kalamazoo County, Michigan
- General History of the State of Michigan..., 1874
- Guide to Manuscripts in the Bentley Historical Library (selected names only)
- Guide to the Manuscripts of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Supplement Number One, 1957 (selected items)
- Hard Hats, Boots and Goggles, 1985
- Historic Women of Michigan, 1987
- Historical Catalogue of the Students of Kalamazoo College and of Kalamazoo Theological Seminary, 1851-1902.
- Historical Directory, by Robert E. Meader, c.1945
- Historical Record of the Michigan Daughters of the American Revolution, 1893-1930, vol. 1 (Kalamazoo citations only)
- History of Allegan and Barry Counties,... 1880
- History of Calhoun County, Michigan, 1877
- History of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, 1880
- A History of the Michigan State Federation of Women’s Clubs, 1895-1953, and Supplement 1953-1966
- History of the Sixth Circuit, 1976
- History of the Kalamazoo Rotary Club, 1945 (portraits only)
- History of the University of Michigan with Biographical Sketches, 1906
- History of the Woman's Club Movement in America, 1898 (Kalamazoo County items only)
- History of Van Buren County, Michigan, by O. W. Rowland, 1912 (vol. 2)
- History Detectives 2008 Oral History Project
- History Room Michigan File
- History Room Name File
- History Room Photograph File
- History Room Pictures in Books Index (personal names only)
- History Room Scrapbooks: Art, Authors, Biography, Famous Visitors, Historic Sites, Military Service, WMU Personnel, and World War, 1939-1945
- History Room Subject File
- An Honor Roll Containing a Pictorial Record of the War Service of the Men and Women of Kalamazoo County, 1917-1918-1919
- If Only the Walls Could Talk; The Architectural Heritage of Cooper, Michigan, by W. Ward Christlieb, 2000.
- Illustrated Atlas of Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1890
- Kalamazoo Academy of Medicine: Bicentennial Program and Other Papers, 1976
- Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan: Golden Memories, 2001
- Kalamazoo Christian High School: 50 Years of Christian Education, 1941-1991
- Kalamazoo City Directory, 1876 (sketches about local businesses and institutions at front of volume)
- Kalamazoo College Index, 1917 (yearbook)
- Kalamazoo County (in Historic Michigan, by George N. Fuller, 1928)
- Kalamazoo County Probate Records, 1831-1857
- Kalamazoo Gazette, Centennial Edition, 1937
- Kalamazoo high school and college yearbooks in progress (see the yearbook page for a complete list)
- Kalamazoo Illustrated, 1892
- Kalamazoo Institute of Arts local artist files
- Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo Co., Mich., 1853 (map)
- Kalamazoo Leads the World, 1887 (selected names only)
- Kalamazoo Lost and Found, by Houghton and O'Connor, 2001
- Kalamazoo: Nineteenth-Century Homes in a Midwestern Village, by Peter J. Schmitt, photographed by Balthazar Korab, 1976
- Kalamazoo, the Debt-Free City..., by Ford F. Rowe, 1939
- Kalamazoo, the Place Behind the Products, 1981 and 1998 editions (selected names and subjects)
- Lineage Book of the Charter Members of the DAR (Kalamazoo County members only)
- Livingstone's History of the Republican Party..., by William Livingstone, 1900
- Made for You in Kalamazoo: Directory of Streets and Business Advertising, 1920 (photos only)
- Map of Kalamazoo, McKenzie & Simmons, Lith., c1859
- Medical Memoirs of 50 Years in Kalamazoo, by Rush McNair, 1938
- Men of Michigan, 1904 (Kalamazoo County names only)
- Men of Progress, 1900
- Michigan Authors, 3rd edition, 1993
- Michigan Biographies..., 1924
- Michigan’s Centennial Family Farm Heritage, 1986 (Kalamazoo County entries only)
- Michigan: A Centennial History of the State and Its People, 1939 (Kalamazoo County names only)
- Michigan Federation of Labor...Year Book, 1908 (Kalamazoo County entries only)
- Michigan Manual, 1925-2005 (Kalamazoo County legislators only)
- Michigan Mortality Schedule, 1850 (Kalamazoo County names only)
- 1860 Michigan Federal Mortality Schedule Abstracts (Kalamazoo County names only)
- Michigan One-Room Schoolhouses, 2008 (Kalamazoo County entry only)
- Michigan Pioneer Collections (memorial reports and biographical sketches for Kalamazoo County)
- Michigan Through the Centuries, 1955
- Michigan Women: Firsts and Founders, volumes 1 & 2
- Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations, 2012 (Kalamazoo only)
- Michigan's Own: The Medal of Honor, Civil War to Vietnam War, 1987
- More than Petticoats: Remarkable Michigan Women, 2007
- Obituaries from the Schoolcraft Express, 1917-1972
- Oshtemo Township Reconnaissance Level Historic Resources Survey
- Parkview Hills, by Barbara Walters, 2008
- Pictorial Souvenir of the Police Department, 1914
- Picturesque Kalamazoo, Craig, 1890
- Picturesque Kalamazoo, Labadie, 1909 (selected names only)
- Portrait and Biographical Record of Kalamazoo, Allegan and Van Buren Counties, Michigan, 1892.
- Portrait and Biographical Album of St. Joseph County, Michigan, 1889
- The Prairie School: Design Vision for the Midwest, 1995 (names of architects known to have buildings in Kalamazoo)
- The Presbyterian Pulpit: A Volume of Sermons by Ministers of the Synod of Michigan, 1898 (Kalamazoo County items only)
- Progress in the Practice of Medicine, 1930-1990, Interviews by C. Allen Alexander, M.D.
- Real World War II Stories, compiled by Marlene Ailes, 2000.
- Social Changes in Western Michigan, 1930-1990, Interviews by C. Allen Alexander, M.D.
- Souvenir Silver Jubilee St. Augustine's Church Kalamazoo, 1894
- Standard Atlas of Kalamazoo County, 1910 (photographs only)
- Stewards of the State, 1987
- Telling the Kalamazoo Community Race Story, 2010
- The Story of the Twenty-Fifth Michigan, 1897 (Civil War)
- This Place Called Portage, by Larry Massie (Heritage Firms and Organizations only)
- Under the Oaks..., by William Stocking, 1904
- Views in Kalamazoo, Michigan (New York Daily Graphic poster, 1878)
- Walking Through Time, 1981
- Who's Who in Michigan, 1936
- Women With a Vision, by Grace Potts, 1979
- World War I & II records
- World War II Memories: A Collection of Essays from Residents of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, 1999
- World War II Memories, by the Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church, Richland, Michigan, 2005
- Yes, There were Germans in Kalamazoo, 1979
More than 1300 of our photographs have been scanned and loaded onto our website. There are also about one thousand images from the Kalamazoo Valley Museum collection and another 800 from the WMU Archives and Regional History Collections available on our website. All of these are cataloged. Additional cataloging records are periodically added for unscanned photographs. These images will be scanned and added to the website at a later date. For those photographs in our collection which have not yet been cataloged, please ask the staff for assistance in locating what you need.
The local history room has also recently received a generous donation of more than 4000 photos from the Miller-Davis Company. These photos have been scanned and are currently being cataloged. Many are now available on the website.