Local History Home

Welcome! Throughout our Local History web pages, you'll find guides and resources for reseaching the history of your house, using our extensive Local History Online digital collections, finding yourself or a relative in one of over 500 school yearbooks for Lansing and Ingham County schools, and lots more. Schedule an appointment to visit in-person, or contact us with questions about research or donating materials.

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

Reminisce--Library Collections (Adults)

Tuesday Jul 19, 2022 2:00pm - 3:00pm Aurelius
Our group meets monthly for reminiscing, fellowships and refreshments. New members are always welcome! Today: Come find out about all that the library now offers, including the Library of Things, digital books, brain games tablets, Life Kits, access to free databases like Ancestry.com and more! 
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*Virtual Michigan Tales--Michigan Ballot Initiatives (Teens & Adults)

Tuesday Jul 19, 2022 6:00pm - 7:00pm
All Locations
This virtual series connects you with a variety of topics relating to Michigan--our culture, our food, our history and more. This month our topic is "Michigan Ballot Initiatives." Many current initiatives focus on voting and the rights of voters. Learn about these, along with the initiatives process, from members of the Lansing League of Women Voters. *Registration required to receive a link to the virtual event; call 517-367-6312 or click on "Register."
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