Interested in researching Leelanau history or genealogy? You can begin by viewing the LHS Collection. Explore our other online resources below.

LHS Collection – Online

This FREE online resource offers a preview of over 60 years of donated objects, documents and photographs. More than 14,000 items are entered into the PastPerfect museum database. Staff and volunteers have worked for several years to record the museum’s archives and collections in a digital format. Currently, Additions to the database and revisions will continue with uploads to the online catalog each month.

Research Online Catalog

The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation supporting grants, the Viskochil Family and the annual Golfathon donors have made the digital database project and online research tool possible for all to enjoy.

Research Center

Research Center Services:
-Access LHS Collection items in person
-Search databases and digital resources
-Use of the Reference Library
-Research Assistance by Archives staff.

Research Center Hours: Wednesdays-Fridays 11am-4pm.

Located inside the Leelanau Historical Society Museum | 203 E. Cedar St. Leland, MI 49654.

Please contact the archivist to schedule your visit. or (231) 256-7475. Emails are encouraged.

Digital Michigan Newspaper Portal

Keyword search 11 different Leelanau County papers spanning from 1858-1997.

The Newspaper Titles & Dates:

This easy to use resource is free to the public thanks to the generosity of Leelanau Historical Society members and community donors who funded this project. This accomplishment has been the dedicated effort of the Society since 2017.

Research Digital Newspapers

Oral History Collection

The Leelanau Voices Oral History Collection contains over 200 interviews. Thanks to an anonymous donor the collection of cassette tapes were digitized in 2019. To search by a specific name please refer to the full inventory of oral histories by clicking the button below. 

Oral History Inventory

Each file is associated with Name(s) and an Object ID #. Use either to Keyword Search the  LHS’s online archives database  and access the audio files.


A few samples from the oral history collection:

Owen Bahle

Robert White

Rita Hadra Rusco

Add to the Oral History Collection!

Every Story is Important.

Stories are one of the original ways of sharing history of a place or peoples. Shared verbally and passed from one person to the next, stories live on generation after generation. The Leelanau Historical Society is continually seeking out and gathering the stories of the people of the Leelanau Peninsula to add to the Collection.

It’s easier than ever to record and collect oral histories from your family and friends.

Send us your audio files or to set up an Oral History Appointment. Please email:

Links to other Area Museums, Archives, and Resources

Empire Museum

Eyaawing Museum & Cultural Center

Grand Traverse Lighthouse

Great Lakes Children’s Museum

Omena Historical Society and Museum

Sleeping Bear Point and Maritime Museum

Preserve Historic Sleeping Bear

Manitou Islands Archives

Manitou Islands Memorial Society

Traverse Area Historical Society

Traverse Area District Library, Local History Collection

Traverse Area District Library-Grand Traverse Genealogical Society

Michigan Underwater Preserves – Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve

Michigan Mysteries – Ross Richardson – Shipwreck Diver

Chris Roxburgh – Shipwreck Diver & Photographer