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Hastings Public Library

Michigan Room - Local History & Genealogy


The Michigan Room houses publicly accessible resources for local history and genealogy research, including desktops for accessing 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

HPL's 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 will be digitized newspapers, including The Hastings Banner and Nashville News. The Banner is being uploaded as of November 2022 and should be complete in early 2023. The Nashville News will go online in early 2023.

Barry County History Portal Logo

HPL's 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

Thanks to many generous donations, including one underwriter of the bulk of the project, all Hastings Banners were sent out to be digitized in March 2022.
When complete, all Banners from 1856 to present day will be available in PDF format, be searchable and, in time, most will be available online.

All Hastings Banners on microfilm, CD and printed copies will be
unavailable until July or later.

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.


Ancestry Library Edition Logo

Note you must be inside the library or on our WiFi outside to use Ancestry Library Edition. It can be accessed with our computers, both in the Michigan Room and downstairs, or on your own device.

myHeritage Logo

MyHeritage Library Edition - Family history resource including more than 6 billion historical records from the United States, Europe, Latin America, and other regions. Includes the full USA federal census (1790-1940); census of England and Wales (1841-1901); U.S. World War II Army Enlistment as well as records of Union and Confederate Civil War soldiers.

Family Search Logo is a non-profit service sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Here anyone can get assistance in finding their ancestors and preserving their family histories. For over 100 years the Church has been actively gathering and preserving genealogical records worldwide thus making it possible to provide this service today. Logo

Genealogy Search Online. Free Family Tree Searches. 26,000 Genealogy Databases. Discover Your Family History and Build Your Family Tree.

Genealogy Research Request

To get assistance with genealogy research, please fill out the Genealogy Research Request.

Local History

The Michigan Room houses many resources for local history research including:

  • Cemetery Records
  • Platt Books
  • High School Yearbooks
  • Newspapers (physical and microfilm back to the mid-1800s)
  • Historical documents and records

All materials must stay in the library but patrons are free to make photocopies or save images to portable USB drives when possible.

To submit a Local History Research Request, please fill out the Local History Research Request Form.


HPL has a large collection of local newspapers dating back to the mid-1800s. Most older newspapers are on microfilm, while some are on CD and newer ones are still available in hard-copy.

Screenshots of microfilm can be saved as PDFs and/or printed with our computer based reading software.

The Hastings Banner is now available online with the Nashville News expected in early 2023.

The newspaper collection currently contains:

  Online Hard Copy Microfilm CD
Hastings Banner 1856-1921 2007-present 1856-2003 4/2006-8/2013
Hastings Herald Journal none 1896, 1904-1905, 1913 none
Lakewood News 1997-present none none
Maple Valley News 1976-1980; 1985-present none none
Middleville Sun & News 1981-present none none
Nashville News none 1873-1969 none
Penasee Globe 1989-2009 none none
Reminder 1981-present none none
Weekenders   none none

In early 2022 the Library kicked off a project to digitize all Hastings Banners and several other local newspapers. Stay tuned for progress updates and availability.

All Hastings Banners on microfilm, CD and printed copies will be
unavailable from March 7, 2022 until July or later.

Online Resources

Barry County



Civil War

General Genealogy

General United States

Filed under: local history, genealogy
Location & Hours

Main Branch
Hastings Public Library
227 E. State St., Hastings, MI 49058

Library image
Phone: 269-945-4263
Fax: 269-948-3874

Library & Drive-thru Hours (effective June 14, 2021):

  • Monday - Thursday: 9am - 8pm
  • Friday: 9am - 6pm
  • Saturday: 9am - 3pm

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