Links: Getting familiar with MeL, the Michigan eLibrary
Here's a guide to some of the highlights in this collection.
MeLCat - statewide interlibrary loan
The books and reading section of MEL features MeLCat, a statewide inter-library loan system that lets members of participating libraries order books for delivery to their local library if their local library doesn't have the work in its collection. Libraries in the area that are part of MeLCaT include the Ann Arbor District Library, the Canton Public Library, the Dexter District Library, the Milan Public Library, the Plymouth District Library, the Salem-South Lyon District Library, and the Ypsilanti District Library.
MeLCaT is a terrific service, and it gives you access to both a wide range of popular works from public libraries across the state as well as access to the research collections of major universities like Michigan State and Wayne State. The University of Michigan Business School library is part of MeLCaT, but the University of Michigan library system as a whole is not.
The Michigana collection at MEL includes a series of links to resources on Michigan and American history, with a focus on local history collections. An introductory narrative slide show provides details.
Among the collections are a substantial quantity of photos from the archives of the Detroit News. A search in in the "Virtual Motor City" collection for Ann Arbor photos returns more than 250 entries; the same search for Ypsilanti photos has almost 80.
Genealogy and Family History
The Genealogy and family history collection at MEL includes references and records for tracing your family through census records and other family history databases.
Note that you need to log in to use HeritageQuest. Anyone with a Michigan driver's license or state ID card can use that ID number as a login to the site.