Collection Overview

The Farmington Community Library's Heritage Collection provides access to resources of interest—in both print and digital formats— to individuals who wish to study local, county and state history and genealogy. The development of this Collection is done cooperatively by the Farmington Community Library, Farmington Historical Society, Farmington Genealogical Society, and other interested groups such as the Farmington Historical Commission and the Farmington Hills Historical Commission. These organizations recognize the need to preserve the record of our community's traditions and past.

This Collection is an inclusive resource collection of historical materials regarding Farmington and Farmington Hills. It is available to the public online via this site, and in the Heritage Room of the Main Library during normal library hours. This collection includes items that contribute to an understanding of the immediate geographical area. Photographs, atlases, manuscripts, diaries, biographies and an extensive information file (vertical file cabinet) are just a few of the items that may be useful to patrons doing historical or genealogical research. Additionally, selective resources on Oakland, Wayne, Macomb, Livingston, Washtenaw and other counties, as well as the state of Michigan are available to aid library users desiring to study the history of surrounding areas.

The need for an archival facility was recognized due to the large volume of historically valuable material collected or donated over the past years. And so in June 1999, an archive was established to preserve these important and often fragile items. With the help of many volunteers the material was carefully inventoried and placed in archival quality products suitable for long-term storage, preserved as reminders of earlier times and customs. The commitment to preserve historical material necessitates a non-circulating status for items in the collection. Whenever possible, duplicates of useful material will be obtained for the regular collection and circulated. The researcher will also find many additional resources for studying genealogy, history or heraldry in the Heritage Collection as well as in the general Reference collection of the library. For example, the Passenger and Immigration Lists Index and the Periodical Source Index (PERSI) will be found there.

In 2004, under the sponsorship of the Farmington Friends of the Library, the first phase of an extensive Digitization Project was begun to provide online access to important parts of the collection, including issues of the Farmington Enterprise / Observer-Eccentric / Observer from 1889 through June 19, 2003. We received copyright permission from the newspaper. In addition, approximately twenty monographs were digitized. Most of the monographs were published by the Farmington Hills Historical Commission. Three hundred photographs were selected from the approximate 1,500 photographs and over 7,300 items in subject file folders: commencement mementos, cemetery histories, deeds, military commissions, and tax ledgers. This first phase was completed in January, 2005.

Since 2005, the Heritage Room Volunteers have embarked upon an ongoing project to digitize historical photographs, local histories, local phone directories, and many other resources of interest, making them available on this Web site for the community's use. These resources are accessible from the Digitized Collection Menu selection found at the top and bottom of this page.

A second phase of the Project was undertaken in 2012, again under the sponsorship of the Farmington Friends of the Library, encompassing digitization of the Farmington Observer from the latter half of June, 2003 to the present. These issues are also searchable using the Digitized Collections Menu selection.

The Heritage Room Volunteers— a cadre of knowledgeable, dedicated volunteers—have continued to digitize numerous print resources which are also available under the Digitized Collection Menu selection found at the top and bottom of this page.