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Palmer School Story

One of the most recent collections added to the Archives is the Palmer School Building Story Slides. This collection documents the building of the new Palmer School from 1953-1954. Included are images of the construction of the school, classrooms, teachers, and events surrounding the dedication of the building. The original Palmer School was built in […]

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“Modern as Tomorrow” – Mid Century Modern Along Michigan’s Roadside

To coincide with the Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America Exhibition & Symposium coming to Grand Rapids this Spring and Summer, the Local History Department has been featuring a series of displays on mid century modern architecture and design in Michigan. The first of these highlighted architect and builder James Bronkema. The newest display, done […]

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Registration is open: Genealogy Lock-in

Have you heard about the best place to spend a Friday night? It’s at our Genealogy Lock-in, April 11th, 6-10pm. We are celebrating our 5 year anniversary! There will be food, prizes, and guidance from wonderful volunteers from the Western Michigan Genealogical Society. Register now, space is limited!

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History Detectives 2014

Sleuthing for Local History

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Genealogy Lock-in Registration Open

Do your New Year’s resolutions involve finding your long lost great-great grandfather or just wanting to start your family tree? If so, our Genealogy Lock-in is the event to help you out! Friday, January 17th at 6pm -10pm. Volunteers will be available from the Western Michigan Genealogical Society to guide you. Registration is required.  We […]

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Registration open for Genealogy Lock-in

October is Family History Month and the Local History Department celebrates with a genealogy lock-in! This popular after-hours program fills up quickly! Reserve your spot today for an opportunity to network with other genealogists, take a class or two, and work with volunteers from the Western Michigan Genealogical Society as they help you break through […]

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Bootstrapper

Part Annie Oakley, part hippy farmer, with a bit of Little House on the Prairie stirred in, Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm is the kind of book that grabs you from the first sentence, if that super cover and awesome title haven’t already. This is a fierce memoir, the sort […]

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Reading the Great Lakes 2013

This Thursday evening we are kicking off the 2013/2014  Reading the Great Lakes series with The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson. Reading the Great Lakes is a book discussion group that meets the first Thursday of the month at 7pm in the Vander Veen Center on the 4th floor of the Main […]

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In Rememberance of Gettysburg

In honor of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg (July 1-3, 1863), the library rehung a plaque honoring Abraham Lincoln. The plaque was dedicated in 1935 by the Sons of Union Veterans and it was the first of its kind in Michigan. It hung in the Main Library near the Circulation Desk. A […]

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Modern Home History

I grew up in southeast Wisconsin, about 12 or so blocks from Lake Michigan. One of the things my dad liked to do each weekend before bringing us home was drive along the Lake, stopping at parks here and there. His route was always the same and so my sisters and I stared out the […]

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