City Directories: All Ann Arbor City directories from 1868 through 2001 are available to search and browse online. Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti directories are also available in the Local History collection at the Downtown Library in print.
Historic Interviews: Hundreds of audio and video interviews are available to stream or download. We've collaborated with several area organizations, including the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), the Washtenaw Alano Club, and the Argus Museum, to document their histories and the Jewish Community Center’s "Conversations!" series. See also: Oral Histories and Podcasts, below.
Magazines & Newsletters: Historic magazines and newsletters such as the Ann Arbor Observer, Old West Side News, Family History Capers, and Washtenaw Impressions are available in the Local History collection Downtown. Online newsletter collections include Repast, a publication by the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor; Argus Eyes, the newsletter for the former Argus Camera Company; and many years of Ypsilanti Gleanings, the newsletter for the Ypsilanti Historical Society.
Maps: Our map cabinet at the Downtown Library includes aerial surveys, political maps, and historical maps of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County. Sanborn fire insurance maps are available on microfilm (and through the Library of Congress). Online maps include the 1874 plat map and W. B. Hinsdale's Indians of Washtenaw County (1927). The map of the Downtown Historical Street Exhibit Program and our Living Oral History Project's Walking Tour of historically black neighborhoods provide an opportunity to interact with our city's changing history.
Microfilm: Microfilm of the Ann Arbor News, Ypsilanti Press, as well as local 19th-century newspapers are available in the Local History collection at the Downtown Library.
Newspapers: Browse our historical newspaper collection by issue or search all newspapers in our Community Collections. In addition to the many thousands of articles and photographs from the Ann Arbor News, we have issues and articles from Ann Arbor's many 19th-century newspapers and alternative newspapers from the 1960s-90s.
Oral Histories: Hightlights include the AADL's long-running Living Oral History project in partnership with the African American Cultural and Historical Museum. AADL also hosts the Legacies Project of interviews by area high school students.
Photographs: Our Ann Arbor News photo-negative collection makes up the bulk of our historic photos. These photographs are scanned on demand through patron requests and projects and are available to search in our Community Collections. Other photograph collections are available through our Digital Collections A to Z. Highlights include a slide collection of historic buildings by local historian Susan Wineberg; a collection of people and events from the 1960s-1980s by Peter Yates, former Ann Arbor Observer photographer; the Living Oral History Digital Collection covering topics important to Ann Arbor's African American community.
Programs: Thousands of programs from Ann Arbor's concert, theatrical, and festival histories are available in our Community Collections, including a complete run of concert programs from the University Musical Society's history; programs from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Summer Festival, and film schedules from the heyday of Ann Arbor's campus film history in our Cinema Ann Arbor collection. We also have a collection of programs from the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre's history; and a few special historic programs such as the December 10, 1971 John Sinclair Freedom Rally.
Video: Local history videos include the Welcome to Commie High Archive; the "I Remember When" series filmed for Ann Arbor's Sesquicentennial; and our Living Oral History collection, and “Back Page”: A Super Colossal Production, a silent film production made by Ann Arbor News staff in 1936.
Yearbooks: Ann Arbor high school yearbooks are available to browse and search online. Print copies can be brought from our Archive to the Downtown Library for in-house use.