While CADL's general collection brings the world to the Greater Lansing community, our local history holdings bring the Greater Lansing community to the world.

Whether you are discovering history or making history, CADL has resources and expertise to support you.

About the Forest Parke Library & Archives

The Capital Area District Libraries' local history collections have been named in honor of Mr. Forest Parke, a long-time Lansing resident and a 1901 graduate of Lansing Central High School. When he passed away, his wife Mary made a gift to the library to ensure that local history materials would be preserved.

Read more about Mr. Parke here.

Search our Online Collections

We are working every day to bring a wide variety of material from the Forest Parke Library & Archives collections to the web.

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Conduct Research in Person

Explore our holdings in person and consult with local experts.

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Make History

Users can reformat their older materials such as VHS or slides to digital at the Forest Parke Library & Archives Digital History Station.

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Request a Lansing-Area Obituary

To request an obituary for the greater Lansing area, please read and complete this form, and mail it to Capital Area District Libraries with your payment. Staff will conduct a search and contact you with any results.


Forest Parke Library & Archives is always looking to add new archival materials to our collections, in accordance with the Library's Materials Selection policy (SER101). Examples of items we seek are photographs, audio or video recordings (including film), personal papers, business or organization records, posters and flyers, and more. We accept many formats including digital photography and audio. Our collecting focus is on Ingham County and Greater Lansing, and we are particularly interested in material that documents rural communities, marginalized groups, subcultures, and other non-mainstream subjects.

Please speak to the Local History Specialist if you would like to learn more about the types of materials we collect and preserve, and to help determine whether your materials would be a good fit in the Forest Parke Library & Archives.

Our standard Deed of Gift form must be completed and included with any donation of materials you wish to make.

While we do not charge for access to any of our collections and services, monetary donations are also gratefully accepted.


Have old books?

Your Old Books

The Rare Books and Manuscripts Section (RBMS) of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) has prepared a guide about old books, to help understand their value and whether they would be suitable to donate to a library. If you have books you would like to donate, read this guide first. Your books may be suited for Local History, but if not, consider donating to one of CADL's used book sales operations.

Looking for Conservation Help?

MSU Libraries Conservation Referral List

The Michigan State University Libraries maintains an online Conservation Referral List of people and businesses in Michigan that do conservation and restoration of historical materials.

The Henry Ford Conservation Department

The Henry Ford provides a one-on-one consultation service with staff conservators, who are available to provide conservation advice and referrals to local conservators. Note that The Henry Ford’s conservation laboratory does not carry out conservation treatment work for individuals. For more information, contact research.center@thehenryford.org.

Find us on Social Media

Forest Parke Library & Archives is on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We also have a Local History video playlist on the CADL YouTube channel. Follow us!

Contact Us

For local history inquiries contact the Forest Parke Library & Archives at:

517-367-6313 or localhistory@cadl.org

Upcoming History Events

Black History Month Event--Redlining-496 & Lansing's African American Community (All ages)

Saturday Feb 1, 2020 11:00am - 12:00pm Downtown Lansing MSU Professor John Aerni-Flessner will tell stories of homeowners affected by "urban renewal" and the process of redlining in Lansing, focusing on construction of Interstate 496 from 1963-1970.  Read More

Black History Month Event--Storyteller Miz Rosie (All ages)

Sunday Feb 9, 2020 2:00pm - 3:00pm Downtown Lansing History comes to life when storyteller Rosie Chapman performs as Sojourner Truth, the African-American abolitionist and women's rights activist best known for her inspiring "Ain't I Woman" speech.  Read More
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