Save the date for a Spring Into Romance Author Panel with four Michigan adult romance writers on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 1:00 pm!


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The Department of Special Collections was created around 2007 as an answer to the rising need to collect, preserve, and make accessible regional collections and the newly acquired Thunder Bay Research Collection in partnership with the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve. Since its creation, it has become a premiere center for genealogical, regional history, and Great Lakes research. In 2022, the Library announced the George R. and Edith Angell Cook Endowment which was established to support and enhance the efforts of the department. This endowment also came with a name change to George R. and Edith Angell Cook Special Collections. Whose mission is “to acquire, steward, and provide access to historically significant archival materials pertinent to the heritage of Alpena County and the maritime cultural heritage within the boundaries of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary”.

Our physical location is on the second floor of the main library building just past the study rooms.  The Alpena History Room is where you can talk to knowledgeable staff, access books, view microfilm, and browser collections.

Our finding aids to collections  are in the process of being added to our online database. You can also look at our list of Finding Aids


Enter here to learn more about Alpena’s rich maritime heritage, our renowned Great Lakes Maritime Database, the SS City of Alpena logbook transcription, and the Thunder Bay Island and Middle Island Life-Saving Station / Lighthouse Logbooks transcriptions.


Discover the transformation of Alpena's community over time! Click on the link to access an array of resources, including City of Alpena directories, maps, digital collections, and more. Our department boasts the most extensive collection of papers, letters, photographs, and archival materials related to Alpena and its neighboring areas.


Are you interested in researching genealogical records? Click on the link to access numerous indexes related to individuals who resided in Alpena County. The page comprises an extensive collection of vital records indexes, local cemetery information, and naturalization and letter of intent indexes, among other resources related to Alpena and its neighboring areas.