March 17, 2009

Seeking Michigan Digitizes Michigan History

Interested in Michigan history? Take a look at Seeking Michigan, a new website of digitized documents, maps, films, images, oral histories and artifacts, which tell the stories of the State's families, homes, businesses, communities and landscapes.

Seeking Michigan includes one million death records covering the years 1897 through 1920. These records -- never before available electronically -- are indexed for searching by name, death date, location and age, and hold tremendous research opportunities for genealogists, historians and students.

In addition, the site currently has:
  • more than 100,000 pages of Civil War documents;
  • approximately 10,000 photographs;
  • a variety of Michigan sheet music;
  • a rich section about Michigan's 44 past governors;
  • Works Progress Administration data (circa 1936-1942) about land and buildings throughout rural Michigan; and
  • oral histories with notable Michigan residents.
According to Sandra Clark, director of the Michigan Historical Center, Seeking Michigan moves the archives and library experience outside of the bricks and mortar of the building in which the collections are housed. By employing the latest Web technologies and social media, the site aims for an enhanced user experience.

Seeking Michigan is a project of the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan. Funding is from the Talbert and Leota Abrams Foundation, a Lansing-based nonprofit that has provided more than $2.5 million toward the development of the Library of Michigan's and Archives of Michigan' genealogy collection. The National Historic Publications and Records Commission provided additional funding.

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