NOTICE: Central Library will close at 4 pm on Friday, October 7, and will reopen at 5 pm for our 150th Anniversary celebration. Please note library services will NOT be available after 4 pm.

Local History & Genealogy

Clarence L. Miller Family Local History Room

Local History RoomLocal History Room services are available to everyone, with or without a library card. History Room materials do not circulate, but photocopy machines and scanners are available.

Library staff will answer brief mail and telephone inquiries. To make a request, follow the instructions below. For questions requiring additional research, a list of persons who will do research for a fee is available.

The Kalamazoo Gazette Collection

Search Kalamazoo and Michigan history with The Kalamazoo Gazette Collection. Coverage from 1837 through current. For best results, staff encourages researchers to use this tool in combination with the library’s helpful Local Newspaper Index.


Pages from the Past

We are pleased to be able to offer three of Kalamazoo’s most important history books, published by the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Commission, in a digital format. Well-referenced, popular and successful, the books can be found in library, museum and personal collections in Kalamazoo and beyond. Enjoy!


1950 U.S. Census

The 1950 census records were released by the U.S. National Archives on April 1, 2022. This website provides full access to the 1950 census images, including population schedules, enumeration district maps, and enumeration district descriptions.


Be Part of Our History

Do you have a special memory or a fun story about your family visiting the library? How has Kalamazoo Public Library impacted your life? Do you have photos of the library buildings or events? Celebrate Kalamazoo Public Library’s 150th Anniversary in October 2022 by sharing your library story. Learn more…


2020 Pandemic: Share Your Story

The COVID-19 Pandemic has affected all of us in many different ways and we are all eyewitnesses to this important time in our history. To preserve this snapshot in time, Kalamazoo Public Library is collecting materials that demonstrate the impact of coronavirus and COVID-19 on our community. Learn more…


Obituary & Article Requests

Looking for an obituary or article from a Kalamazoo newspaper but you live outside of West Michigan? Local History staff are here to help. Requests may be made through the website or by mail. Learn more…


Local Information Database

KPL’s Local Information Database combines indexing of local newspapers, magazines, historical photos, and other Local History resources. Learn more…


New In Local History

New Genealogy Databases!

The local history staff is thrilled to announce the addition of three databases to our offerings for genealogy research – HeritageQuest, Fold3, and Newspapers.com.


Local History Collection

Local History Collection

The History Room maintains an extensive collection of materials about all aspects of the history of Kalamazoo County, including businesses, institutions, buildings, and biographical and genealogical information about county residents. To a lesser extent, we also collect information about Michigan, and the areas from which Kalamazoo drew its original settlers.


All About Kalamazoo History

Dig deep with the library’s award winning collection of articles about Kalamazoo’s important people and places, including local cemeteries, rural schools, houses, buildings, businesses and institutions.


Local History Room

The Local History Fund

The Clarence L. Miller Family Local History Fund was established in memory of Clarence L. Miller, his wife Frances Anna Miller, and their daughters Mary Frances and Katheryn, for the purpose of enhancing interest in historical documents of the county and in aiding in their preservation.

Mr. Miller, the second city manager of Kalamazoo, devoted the major portion of his life to service in city and county government. He was a descendant of the Reverend Leonard Slater, pioneer missionary to the Ottawa Indians in this area. Mrs. Miller was a church leader and businesswoman, Mary Frances a university professor, and Katheryn an artist and teacher.

The fund was dedicated in 1987, during the sesquicentennial celebration of Michigan’s statehood, by Mary Frances Miller Patton and her husband, Major General John S. Patton.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events at this time.

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