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.

Learn More

Conduct Research in Person

Explore our holdings in person and consult with local experts.

Learn More

Make History

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

Learn More


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.

Contribute

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.

For a small amount of digital materials (images, video, audio, documents), you can use this form to submit them for consideration in Local History. If you have large quantities of digital material, please contact us!

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 (@CADL Local History), Twitter (@CADL_LocalHist), and Instagram (@cadl.localhistory). 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 (Adults)

Tuesday Apr 11, 2023 2:00pm - 3:00pm Aurelius Our group meets monthly for reminiscing, fellowship and refreshments. New members are always welcome! Today's event will focus on CADL's online local history resources. Join us as CADL Local History Librarian Heidi Butler provides an overview of the digital resources now available 24/7 on CADL's website.  Read More

History of Ingham County One Room Schools (Adults)

Tuesday Apr 18, 2023 6:00pm - 7:00pm Okemos Join us for an overview of the history of Michigan's "local control" of schools; some background on the development of teacher education; discuss some of Ingham County's earliest one-room school structures; mention "Standard Schools" and MI's attempts to raise the standards of rural schools. Presented in partnership with the Ingham County Historical Commission. Read More
Show Me More