The mission of the Holbrook Heritage Room, and the local history collections at all our branches, is to preserve, protect, and promote the history of 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.
The Heritage Room seeks to acquire genealogical material for all counties in southern, lower Michigan and from areas where significant populations 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.
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 microfilm readers and digitizers
- printed histories
- telephone directories, city directories, governmental directories, commerce or industrial directories, school directories, etc.
- annual reports, advertising brochures, and other printed business matter
- membership lists, agendas, minutes, and other reports from local associations, services clubs, and organizations.
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.
Our Local History Digital Archive contains information of local relevance, like directories, history books, yearbooks, oral histories, and more. We are continually adding to this collection.