To see these items, please come to the library and ask the Adult Department desk on the 2nd floor about the item you'd like to look at.
Local History Publications
Includes titles related to the Ferry-Morse Seed Farm, local cemeteries and churches, the Clinton-Kalamazoo Canal, Downtown Rochester, Leader Dogs for the Blind, and the Van Hoosen Farm.
Historical maps and surveys covering the late 1800s and the mid to late 1900s.
Magazines and journals related to Michigan history, genealogy, and local interest.
Newspapers on Microfilm
Check out our Microfilm machine and find articles about all previous local events.
- Rochester ERA (selected issues, 1873-1949)
- Rochester Clarion (selected issues, 1931-1971)
- Rochester Eccentric (1972-2007)
- Detroit News (1982-2006)
Obituaries and Vertical File
Selected obituaries and clippings from local newspapers.
Digital Collection: Oakland County Historical Resources
Oakland County Historical Resources (OCHR) contains over 100,000 images and audio files from member sites, including RHPL’s historical photograph collection, the Ray Russell postcard collection, the Bob Lytle collection, and the 1979 oral history project, as well as recent images of downtown Rochester sites and events, such as the Ewe Revue and the Big Bright Light Show.
Culled from area schools with an emphasis on Rochester High, Rochester Adams, and Stoney Creek High School. See our digital yearbooks below, or ask about some of our physical only yearbooks at the Adult reference desk.
Find and explore historic and cultural sites around the US, including buildings
and homes in and around Rochester, Rochester Hills, and Oakland Township.
Find more on CLIO
Created by fire insurance companies to document existing structures, Sanborn
maps are a great tool for researchers exploring communities and buildings from the
past. This digital collection is hosted by the Library of Congress and includes
maps covering Rochester from
the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Find more on Sanborn Maps
Historical Topographic Maps
Featuring an interactive tool called topoView, searchable maps showcasing physical
changes to the land of a particular location from 1880-2010, from the National Geologic
Map Database and maintained by the U.S. Geological Survey
See more USGS maps
See also Remembering Rochester, a searchable blog created by the Rochester-Avon Historical society featuring stories and images from the Rochester area’s past.
Information on Cranberry Lake Farm, the Barn Survey Project, and much more.