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The Holbrook Heritage Room

Image: The Holbrook Heritage Room

Mission

The mission of the Heritage Room and the local history collection is to preserve, protect, and promote the history of Coldwater and Branch County through the acquisition of local materials in almost any format. The aim of local history is to preserve the past, collect the present, and promote for the future in a systematic and accessible manner. Genealogical material, as the sources relate to individuals and families who are residents or once were residents of Branch County, is a major collection development goal.

Genealogy

The Heritage Room seeks to acquire genealogical material for all counties in southern, lower Michigan and from areas where significant portions of our forbearers left to settle Branch County. We encourage genealogical researchers to give the results of their research to the Heritage Room. New genealogical books, periodicals, and computerized data bases are regularly acquired, as our budget allows. There are also ongoing volunteer projects to index local materials, such as newspapers, club publications, obituaries, etc.

Focus and Objectives

Emphasis will be on primary source local materials, covering all of Branch County, that document the social, economic, religious, business, and government activities and history. Also of interest, are materials relating to the Sauk Trail, Chicago Pike, and U.S. 12.

Image: The Holbrook Heritage Room

Types of Materials Available

All subjects related to Branch County are collected such as biographies, business, buildings, the arts, government, religion, health, recreation, environment, education, and transportation. It is also important to represent the various social and economic strata of the community. To this end, our collection contains:

  • newspaper archives on microfilm (and a wonderful machine to view/scan/print the film on)
  • printed histories
  • telephone directories, city directories, governmental directories, commerce or industrial directories, school directories, etc.
  • biographies
  • annual reports, advertising brochures, and other printed business matter
  • membership lists, agendas, minutes, and other reports from local associations, services clubs, and organizations.

Databases

The library offers many online databases that you can use to aid your genealogical search, such as Ancestry Plus. Visit our databases page to access them all.

We are happy to announce our new digital archive for Branch County History. We have started off by digitizing a collection of old audio cassette recordings of interviews conducted by the Branch County Historical Society. Over time, we'll be digitizing documents and images related to our local history. These items will come from collections at our branches in Coldwater, Bronson, Quincy, and Union Twp. This will be an ongoing project.

You can view the digital archive here: www.branchdistrictlibrary.org/branch.