The Butterfield Memorial Research Library

 The Butterfield Memorial Research Library is a non-circulating reference and research library with topics relating primarily to Bay City/Bay County history.

Library Hours:
Open by appointment only 
Monday - Friday:   10am - 12pm
Public Hours 
Monday - Friday:   12-4pm 
         Sat-Sun :        Closed  
Closed for major holidays
and inclement weather

 The Library is staffed by volunteers and will be closed if one is not on duty.  We make every effort to keep the library open.  It is strongly suggested that anyone with travel or time constraints please call before their intended visit to make sure that there is a librarian on duty.

Some of our holdings include:

 A substantial holding of Bay City Polk Directories dating to 1866; insurance maps of Bay City of various years from 1890s to 1960;  birdseye maps of Bay City from 1879 and 1891;  major histories of Bay County dating back to 1875;  Genealogical materials, including over 100 local family genealogies;  information on local businesses representing all aspects of commerce and industry;  materials on architecture, historic preservation and restoration of historic structures.

Please note that due to many factors, other primary resource items in our collection may not be available for research at the present time.





There are 2 ways to use our resources...

Visit Us to Do Your Own Research:
 Please feel welcome to visit us during our open hours.  A volunteer research librarian will assist you with your efforts at no cost for research time.  Photocopies of some items are available for a fee.

Submit a Written Research Request: 

 If you are unable to visit the Butterfield Memorial Research Library, volunteer research librarians will be happy to perform research for you upon request.  Research requests can be submitted two ways:

·  Online : Email our Research Library Manager:  jkramer@bchsmuseum.org

·  By mail: "Attention: Butterfield Memorial Research Library, Bay County Historical Society, 321 Washington Avenue, Bay City, MI 48708"


  Written or email requests may be sent, but cannot be answered before then. Once we have received your detailed letter we will perform the research to the best of our abilities. In your email or letter please include your research question and any known information that may be relevant. This could possibly include:


·  Your address

·  The address of the home you are searching

·  Ancestor’s name

·  Birthdates and place

·  Ancestor’s spouse’s name (maiden name)

·  Parent’s names

·  Death dates and place

·  Residence of ancestor

·  List any previous sources you have used (if applicable)

·  Any additional relevant information


  Also indicate in your letter or email the maximum amount you would wish to spend on this research.  Some larger requests may require a deposit before we can start.  Please do not send payments before you are billed unless you are asked to place a deposit.  A response to your research will depend on the volume of requests and the detail you include in your initial letter.  Requests will be completed within 3 to 4 weeks in the order in which they are received.    


Research Fees


Per Hour:                                       $5.00

Letter-sized photocopy:              $0.25 each


Postage:  Any additional postage (1 stamp is provided)


**You will be charged the research fee whether or not we are able to find the information you request.  This will help cover our time.  


  Please send your remittance (made payable to the “Bay County Historical Society”) to: Attn: Butterfield Memorial Research Library, Bay County Historical Society, 321 Washington Avenue, Bay City, MI 48708  


WE DO NOT answer requests over the phone.