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Hastings Public Library

Michigan Room


The Michigan Room houses publicly accessible resources for local history and genealogy research, including desktops for accessing online genealogy resources. Patrons are always welcome to use this space for small meetings, to read quietly, or hold tutoring sessions.

A list of resources (PDF) including room layout is available.

Note: the room is not reserveable except for library sponsored events.

Michigan Room with tables, bookshelves and public computers

The Local History Collection

HPL has many historical resources including newspapers, photographs, family histories, birth, death and marriage records, books, platt maps and so much more. All is available for public use, but much of it must be specifically requested from staff.

Collection Statement

To collect, organize, preserve, and provide access to a non-circulating collection of documents and other
materials relating to the history of Barry County, its major villages (Delton, Freeport, Middleville,
Nashville, and Woodland), and the city of Hastings. The collection mainly serves the general public, but
also supports the research activities of scholars and students.

Primary Areas of Collecting

Primary areas of collecting include, but are not necessarily limited to, the following:

  • Materials that record the history, laws, culture, and industry of Barry County and the city of
  • Materials that record the history, experiences, and ancestry of Barry County individuals and
    families. Photographs are an important part of this collection, specifically those relating to local
  • Materials that record the history of Barry County organizations and institutions
  • Materials that record the history of the area’s geography, demographics, and architecture.
  • Materials that assist researchers in tracing their family backgrounds and/or researching
    individual county residents
  • Materials that provide instruction in the practice of genealogy, local history, preservation, oral
    history, and similar topics.
  • Select materials that record the history of the State of Michigan and add depth to the materials
    about Barry County

See the full Local History Collection Development Policy


The Barry County History Portal

In Fall 2022, we launched a new local history website all about Barry County history. It highlights items in our collection and will be added to over time.

A significant collection on the website is digitized newspapers, including The Hastings Banner and Nashville News. Some copies of the Hastings Herald and Maple Valley News are available with the Sun & News coming in 2023.

Barry County History Portal Logo


The Local History Preservation Project

To support ongoing efforts to preserve, document and increase availability of our growing local history collection, we have established a formal project to which patrons may donate. Checks can be made payable to Hastings Public Library or you can donate via PayPal.

Project Update

As of May 2024, all Hastings Banners through 2023, the Nashville News, most Maple Valley News, some copies of the Hastings Herald/Journal and all Sun & News through 2023 are available online.


Donating to the Michigan Room

How can I donate an item(s) to the Library?

Contact us by phone at 269-945-4263, fill out the Contact Us web form to initiate the process, or stop by to discuss. If you plan to come in, please call ahead to ensure someone will be available.

What will the Library accept?

We are interested and able to accept photographs, documents, books, maps, microfilm and newspapers related to local history. If you have a physical item, depending on size, provenance and its connection to local history, we will consider accepting that as well.

Please realize space is limited, so we cannot accept all donations, but greatly appreciate your willingness to contribute.

All donations will become the property of the Hastings Public Library and require a Deed of Gift form be completed by the donor. If you wish to retain ownership and loan an item to the library, we can discuss that as well.

Are donations tax deductible?

We will provide a receipt for donations upon request. You and your tax advisor must determine value and whether it can be deducted.

Go to the Genealogy and History Research page for links and information on available resources.