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.