J.M. Longyear Research Library
Any question about Marquette regional history has an answer, and you can find it right here.
The J.M. Longyear Research Library has grown to more than 16,000 titles, including rare books and primary source materials by early surveyors, pioneer settlers, businesses leaders and community developers. The Library is considered one of the finest private historical research libraries in Michigan specializing in the history of the Lake Superior region.
The library and archives collection includes rare books, manuscripts, scrapbooks, newspapers, current event files, magazines, diaries, correspondence, business ledgers, personal papers, genealogy sources and much more. The map collection holds more than 1,000 items, from 19th Century hand-drawn maps to the latest atlas of Marquette County. Other graphic materials, such as architectural drawings, charts, plat books and over 10,000 photographic images help reflect life in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
New Ways to Research
We are pleased to announce a new online finding aid/catalog is now available for the John M. Longyear Research Library. A Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities helped us digitize family heirlooms, photographs, special papers and mementos. Thanks to this grant and a generous Longyear descendant, these digitized items and others from the collection are now available to the public through the online catalog. This project is ongoing and items are continually added. Please use the button below to start your search.
Research Library Hours
Call first to speak with the librarian about your research project. Research materials can then be waiting for you when you are able to come in and view them.
Email: Research Librarian Beth Gruber, [email protected]
Assistant Librarian, Hunter Laing, [email protected]
We continue to operate by appointment as this allows us time to prepare and pull information for you prior to your visit. Please call or email for an appointment. Thank you!
Monday - Closed
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday - 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday - 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
John M. Longyear, one of the first explorers to survey in the Upper Peninsula, made his home in Marquette in 1873. History was his passion and he amassed a large personal library of early maps, books and photographs of this region. In 1925, through a bequest of Helen Longyear Paul, daughter of J.M. Longyear, the Museum acquired his private collection. This became the nucleus of the J.M. Longyear Research Library.
Library & Archives
The collection of the library and archives is very diverse with resources for everyone.
Extensive collections of books, manuscripts, serials, pamphlet files, scrapbooks and our archives provide you with original source material.
The Longyear Library is one of the best places to begin your search for a Marquette County ancestor. We can help you fill in the branches on your family tree!
Family history is one of our specialties. If we cannot find information on your family, we will refer you to someone who can. The staff is happy to research any of the above resources.
Homes & Property
How do I begin? Who were the past owners? What did the home originally look like? When was the home built? Where are the records regarding the home?
Looking for answers to these questions about your home?
The Longyear Library has many resources to help in conducting a home search and we will be happy to help.
Photos & Maps
More than just photos and maps! This remarkable collection includes postcards, stereographs,albums and more.
Over 100,000 photos and thousands of maps are well organized, documented and ready to be explored.