Okay, okay I know I said you should not judge a book by its cover but I have to say there is a 36-volume set on the Local History Room shelves that are very unique. Titled, Historical and Biographical Records (H 920 M 481), they are filled with entries on local organizations and individuals collected by Reverend Robert E. Meader, a Methodist minister. He stressed in an information sheet found in Volume One about those individuals included that, “Some of them are considered prominent and some consider themselves humble.” Most of these people lived in the Kalamazoo area during the first half of the Twentieth Century and some of the entries were written by family members themselves. The photographs and typed sheets were bound in “…the most beautiful, full red Russia leather binders with double metal hinges and metal back and gold tracing with lettering,” as Reverend Meader described it.
The volumes are arranged in alphabetical order but you also can access them if you go to www.kpl.gov and click on “Catalog” then click on “Local Information” and then “All Local Databases” which will bring up a search box. To search this way you will have to have a name or organization you want to find. Also, the books are on microfilm if you would like to view them that way.
If you don’t have anyone particular you need to find, just go to the shelf and choose a volume to look at and be introduced to some of the people who lived in Kalamazoo not that long ago.