The Michigan History Center is the state's main repository for local and state historical records and the flagship of the Michigan Historical Museum System. The museum features 25 galleries whose exhibits tell the story of Michigan's history, from prehistoric times to today. Some staff members even dress in period costume at various points of the year for special events as part of their effort to provide an authentic and engaging experience. Highlights include a white pine, the state's official tree, and a three-story-tall topographical map of Michigan. The Center also houses the state archives, which holds 80 million state and local records, 300,000 photographs, 500,000 books, and also films and audiotapes. The earliest records in the archives date back to 1792.
The Michigan Historical Museum encompasses the highlights of
the state's entire history. The first floor atrium features Michigan's official
state tree, a live white pine, which was also the main draw for European
settlement in Michigan. A three-story topographical map of the state overlooks
the main gallery, which tells the story of Michigan's Native Americans, the
lumbering era, and its strong agricultural history. The third floor takes the
visitor through Michigan in the 21st century, leading into manufacturing
(particularly the auto industry), Michigan's role in WWI and WWII, and tourism
and recreation based around the state's fantastic natural resources.
With documents dating back to 1792, the Archives of Michigan houses much of
Michigan's record heritage. More than 80 million state and local government
records and private papers, 300,000 photographs and 500,000 maps, plus films
and audio tapes are available for research.
The Center also offers tours to the public of its facilities as well as
educational field trip opportunities for students, and it hosts ongoing special
events. Check out the online calendar for more information!