Archival Project

The Building Islam in Detroit project is working with the Bentley Historical Library (learn more…) on the campus of the University of Michigan to document and preserve the history of Detroit’s Muslim institutions. The Arab Americans, Chaldeans and Muslims in Michigan Collections now includes a rich and growing array of materials on Detroit’s Muslim populations and institutions.

Arab Americans, Chaldeans, and Muslims in Michigan: Collections at the Bentley Historical Library

Southeastern Michigan is known as a center of Muslim American culture in the United States. The strong concentration of Muslim Americans in Michigan can be partly attributed to the Syrian, Lebanese, Turkish, Albanian, Bangladeshi, and African American workers who came to Detroit to work in Henry Ford’s Highland Park and River Rouge Plants in the early 1900s. Since then, many different Muslim populations have migrated to and flourished in Michigan. While the highest concentration of Muslims in Michigan can be found in the southeast (especially Detroit, Hamtramck, and Dearborn), other Muslim communities have developed around the state, particularly in Lansing.

The Bentley Historical Library has actively collected documentation on the Muslim communities in Michigan, through the great help of community members. The collections are especially deep in relation to the area’s oldest mosques; the Islamic Center of America and the American Moslem Society (Masjid Dearborn).  The collections include film, audio, and video recordings; mosque incorporation papers and historical documents; sermons and lectures; publications, newsletters, and periodicals; posters, photographs and architectural drawings; correspondence; surveys; and more.  This guide lists (present as hot spot to below link) all collections currently held at the Bentley Library. Any interested person may use these collections for research at the library (unless specific restrictions are noted in the collection descriptions). Those with materials of relevance to the collections who are interested in donating them to the University of Michigan are urged to contact acquisitions archivist Len Coombs  (coombs@umich.edu).

Arab Americans, Chaldeans, and Muslims in Michigan: Collections at the Bentley Historical Library
http://bentley.umich.edu/research/guides/arab_americans/