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Local History Room

The Buchanan District Library’s Local History Room endeavors to preserve, maintain and make accessible resources for the study of the history of the Buchanan area.

Our holdings include governmental and organizational records, personal manuscript collections, and a variety of books, newspapers, maps, photographs, artifacts, clippings, ephemera, and vertical files.

Visitors can use the LHR finding aids and request to see materials any time the Library is open.  Research questions, however, typically require special assistance and guidance.  Our Archivist is a volunteer and works varied hours. Open hours are usually Thursdays 10:00am to 1:00pm and Saturdays 11:00am to 2:00pm, but please call the library at 269-695-3681 or email to make sure the Archivist will be in before planning a special trip. For assistance or to schedule an appointment please send an email to

We invite you not only to make use of our resources, but also to consider donating your personal and family letters, emails, photographs, artifacts, and ephemera to help build our collections. Please help us preserve our community’s history!


The Preliminary Inventory of Holdings is a list of our collections and details about what is in them. The levels of description vary considerably but will, over time, be expanded so that eventually information about every folder and every volume will be found in either this summary document or in one of the finding aids that follow. Check back periodically for updates.

The library has started digitizing our historical newspaper collection and making it available online. Click here to view uploaded  issues of the Berrien County Record. The Berrien County Record for the years 1869-1935 are already available on three of the library's public computers.


Summary descriptions and inventories of the contents of each collection. Finding aids help researchers understand collections and get an idea of what can be found there.

The 30 Club Records, 1897-2015

Boyce Maternity Home Records

Buchanan College Club Records

General Collection: Newspapers

Redding-Hamilton Civil War Letters Collection, 1855, 1863-1865

Swartz Family Textbook Collection

Wallquist's "Old Photos from the Local Area" Digital Album

Cemetery Index and Guide

In 2005, Friends of Oak Ridge Cemetery published an alphabetic listing of burials in Buchanan’s Oak Ridge Cemetery compiled by Russ and Mary Chadderdon.  Since then periodic updates have been issued and a guide to about 75 burials in small cemeteries in the Buchanan area added.  After compiling the most recent update in 2018, the Friends donated their work to the Buchanan District Library with the intention of seeing it published on the internet.

That 2018 update, OAK RIDGE CEMETERY, Buchanan, Michigan: Readings of Grave Stone Inscriptions Supplemented by the Sexton’s Records for burials made through December 31, 2017, forms the basis of the online guide and index that follows. The Library has modified the arrangement of the previous work and made some formatting changes, but the content remains the same.

Introduction to the 2018 edition of OAK RIDGE CEMETERY…

 Alphabetic List of Burials and Gravestones through December 31, 2017

Section/Lot List of Burials and Gravestones through December 31, 2017

          1990 Plat Map of Oak Ridge Cemetery

          2003 Plat Map of Additions (Sections I-J-K)

          Plat Map of Addition to Section 8 (~2003)

Newspaper Indexes and Guides

Click here for an index to select Buchanan-related content in the Berrien County Record, 1869-1882, with an emphasis on business, industry, infrastructure, homes, schools, and churches but excluding personal (genealogical) articles. A card catalog available in the Library provides an index of births, deaths, weddings and real estate transfers reported in the Berrien County Record for 1870-1883, 1895-1907, 1933-1935, and scattered years in between.

Local history researcher Robert D. Brown has written a guide to The Connector, 1997-2000, which includes a list of articles that relate to local history. It is available here.