Local History at TADL

  • Traverse City Public Library, ca. 1905


The Local History Collection is a closed collection of materials. To obtain access or to ask a question about Local History, please email ask@tadl.org. Access and donation guidelines have temporarily changed, please check this page for details. 

View more Local History photos


Recording Life in Quarantine

  • The Traverse Area Historical Society is collecting accounts of local citizens’ experiences during this challenging time. Those accounts will be archived in TADL’s Historic Archives.
    Your entries could range from a few sentences to a photo with captions, to several paragraphs or more.  You can send the TAHS your entries in two ways:

    1. Go to the TAHS’s Facebook page and post your comments.
    2. E-mail your accounts to traversehistory@gmail.com.

  • Living Through the Coronavirus – National Writer Series invites you to share your story of quarantine and COVID-19 through essays.
  • Leelanau Historical Society invites Leelanau residents to share their thoughts, photographs and stories about this pandemic. Please email your submissions to: info@leelanauhistory.org  or reach out by phone to discuss your gift with the curator: (231) 256-7475.
  • Michigan History CenterThe Michigan History Center is documenting the impact of the coronavirus emergency on Michiganders through your stories. Learn how you can add your story to the record of this unprecedented event.
  • COVID-19 Oral History ProjectThe COVID-19 Oral History Project is a rapid response oral history focused on archiving the lived experience of the COVID-19 epidemic. Anyone is welcome to record and upload their oral histories.
  • COVID-19 Photo Archive -Two English photographers have started this platform to begin building a digital archive of photographs taken during the pandemic. Anyone is welcome to add photos to the site.
  • Telling Our Stories in the Age of COVID-19 – A researcher at Cornell University is collecting journal entries from people who wish to share their experiences during the COVID-19 Pandemic.


Most Requested Resources

Area Historical Society Links

Grand Traverse County Links and Info

Research Links

  • Ancestry Library Edition Genealogy research tool provided by The Friends of TADL – Only available to use at library locations.
  • MyHeritage Library Edition Family history resource including more than 6 billion historical ​records from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and other regions. Includes the full USA federal census (1790-1940); census of England and Wales (1841-1901); U.S. World War II Army Enlistment as well as records of Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers. Over 2 billion family trees.
  • Newspaper Archive Historical collection of Michigan newspapers, including the Traverse City Record-Eagle
  • TADL Local History Collection Digital collection of local manuscript and published works, including photographs, yearbooks, plat maps, postcards and newspapers
  • Then and Now Traverse City A self-guided walk for local history created through a partnership with the Traverse City Arts Commission, TC Downtown Development Authority, Traverse Area Historical Society, and Traverse Area District Library, launched in October 2019. A series of ten plaques featuring photos from “then” next to the landscape of “now” are displayed throughout Downtown Traverse City along East and West Front, State, Cass, and Union Streets.
  • Michiganology.org is a partnership between the Archives of Michigan and the Library of Michigan delivering more than 10 million records online.