Learning Marquette’s history at The J.M. Longyear Research Library

One of the finest research libraries in Michigan exists right here in the Upper Peninsula with thousands of historic photographs, 800 maps, more than 17,000 books, and 800,000 obituaries.

Specializing in the history of Lake Superior, The J.M. Longyear Research Library has been around since 1926, and now hosts close 1,200 visitors each year.

The public can walk in any time and find a librarian happy to assist you with specialty projects, historic data and even genealogy research.

“A third of the people are the average person looking for information on their home or they might want to know about the ore dock or how Sugar Loaf got its name, anything, it’s a variety of people that use our library,” Marquette Regional History Museum Research Librarian Rosemary Michelin said.

Along with housing history, the library displays a bit of heritage itself with an original Longyear desk, complete with hidden drawers and secret locks, an almost forgotten card catalog system, and a copy of the Longyear marriage license.

“We have one of the actual books from the very first books from the post office and it is actually listed as Wooster Michigan and Amos Harlow was the first postmaster, and so we actually have this document from the 1850’s in our collection and we will help solve that mystery of how the name of Marquette changed from Wooster to Carp River to Marquette eventually,” Michelin said.

An upcoming Longyear Library 101 session will answer that question and many more. The session is Wednesday, April 30 at 6 p.m. at the MRHC.