Research in Special Collections at the Traverse Area District Library

Genealogy, local history, sheet music, microfilm and fiche, rare books... the list goes on! Not all of our materials are in our library catalog, so look to this page for a more complete picture of the wealth of resources available to you.


Visit the Genealogy collection on the second floor of the Woodmere Branch. Whether you are expert level or novice, this collection curated by the Grand Traverse Area Genealogical Society has something for you! In print, we have census indexes from all across the United States, Passenger and Ship Lists and Indexes, a monograph collection strong in the Midwest and Northeastern regions of the United States, and an extensive periodicals collection. For more information on our holdings in the Genealogy collection, search in the library catalog: TADL Catalog.

Local History Vertical Files

The library staff maintains a print vertical file collection of information about towns, cities, counties, events, people, landmarks, and other topics relating to Northwestern Michigan. The files contain pamphlets, newspaper clippings, correspondence with staff, articles, historical sketches, and other informational materials. For more information on our holdings in the collection, please see Local History Vertical Files.


On the second floor of the Woodmere Branch, popular periodicals, local history and genealogy resources and the local newspaper archives are available in mircorform. Readers are available for your convenience, with printing and scanning capabilities. Please visit the microform page for a complete list of our holdings: Microform.

Liz Bannister Sheet Music Collection

This collection of over 2,000 pieces of full-sized sheet music was donated to the library by local music legend Elizabeth Bannister. Featuring popular music and showtunes from the turn of the 20th century to the 1960s, this collection is accessible on the second floor of the Woodmere Branch. As the collection is non-browsing and non-circulating, the librarians on staff will be happy to assist you with access. You can search for music in this collection in our catalog, searching by title, or for a browsing list of items, you can search for "Liz Bannister" by keyword: TADL Catalog.