Local History and Genealogy
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Get to know the Ross Coller Collection
In 2008 the Local History Collection acquired a wonderful resource called the Ross Coller Card File Collection. Ross Coller worked as a journalist for both the Kalamazoo Gazette and Battle Creek Enquirer. He also left us a valuable historical resource as he read historical issues of these papers and made notes on 3x5 cards on people, places, organizations, institutions…you name it…just about anything you would want to know about these communities from the 1830s until the 1940s.
The original cards he did from the Kalamazoo Gazette reside at Western Michigan University’s Archives and Regional History Collections. Now you can view the cards here at the Kalamazoo Public Library which is reproduced on 33 rolls of microfilm. The information is arranged in alphabetical order, with wonderful cross-references.
You never know what you can find in this resource. Once I was researching baseball in Kalamazoo and found a great deal of information in these cards going all the way back to the 1850s when the first hardball games were played in Bronson Park. The village council was concerned most about the damage this sport might do to the trees.
Look at the Coller Collection and see what gems you discover.