Interested in researching Leelanau history or genealogy? You can begin by accessing our database through the button below named “Research Online Catalog.”  Explore our other online resources below

Research Center Hours: Wednesday-Friday 11:00-4:00pm
*In-person research in the archives is by appointment only. Request an appointment at

Leelanau Historical Society Archives

Staff and volunteers have worked for several years to record the museum’s archives and collections in a digital format. Currently, 60 years of donated objects, documents and photographs, more than 14,000 items, are entered into the PastPerfect museum database.  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.

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 250 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. (For further assistance please refer to the instructions at the top of this page for searching the Leelanau Historical Society’s Archives.)


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