Local History

Grand Rapids and Michigan History

Let us show you around! Find a summary of everything Level 4 of the Main Library has to offer: archives, books, photos, city directories, real estate listing cards, and more.

Archives and Photos

Get an overview of what we have available in our archives. Plus, you can be a photo sleuth! See if you know any information about a mystery photo from our collections. We post a new image monthly.

Finding Aids

Dig into our archival collection by entering your search terms here. Finding aids usually contain a history of the person or organization that produced the collection and an inventory of its contents.

Digital Collections

Browse, search, and purchase photographs from our archival collection.


Get your research started with this overview of available resources, including some fantastic databases.


If you already know where you’re going, head straight to the database you need.

Furniture Design

The Grand Rapids Public Library is home to one of the country’s finest collections of books devoted to furniture history and design. We also have a collection of furniture trade catalogs and trade periodicals.


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