Special Collections

These special collections are in currently are being processed by staff and volunteers.  Full access may not yet be available.  Please contact the Local History Room for more information.

Rice Creek Project

This collection contains maps, documents, photographs, and reports donated by participants in the project. It also contains studies done by Albion College students.

The Rice Creek Watershed Project is a cooperative effort by landowners, residents, conservation groups, and local, state, and federal agencies to protect the quality of water for drinking, wildlife, recreation, and agriculture. The goal of the project is to identify the water quality problems, needs, and solutions within the watershed and then to seek to develop and implement a watershed management plan to improve the watershed.

The Rice Creek Watershed Project area coveres 58,200 acres across Marshall, Marengo, Lee, Sheridan, and Clarence Townships in Calhoun County and Springport and Parma Townships in Jackson County. The main drainage channel is the Rice Creek. In the 1920s much of the Creek was dredged and developed as an agricultural drain. Rice Creek is a tributary to the Kalamazoo River, which flows into Lake Michigan.

Mary Alice Gilbert Collection

Mary Alice Gilbert, 1926-1997, born to Donald and Mary Lyons Gilbert, retired as a public school teacher in Walled Lake in 1982, and returned to Albion to care for her elderly mother. She was a graduate of Albion College and active in many local organizations.

The Gilberts were ardent letter writers. The family’s collection of correspondence is a window into family and social life in Albion over the greater part of the twentieth century. In her will, Mary Alice Gilbert requested the bulk of her state be divided equally between the American Cancer Society and four of her favorite Albion charitable organizations.

The Gilbert Collection, currently being processed by volunteer Marlene Plassman, includes documents belonging to Ms. Gilbert, her parents, and other family members. Correspondence, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, legal documents, financial records, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous manuscript and printed ephemera date from the late nineteenth century to 1997. Of local interest are several boxes of materials relating to Mary Lyons Gilbert’s activities in local women’s organizations.

Glathart Slide Collection

The extensive slide collection of the late Dr. Justin Glathart documents buildings and general scenes of Albion from 1954 through 1991. His collection of over 2100 slides provides a photographic history of Albion area churches, buildings, houses, businesses, parks, cemeteries, neighborhoods, and the Albion College campus. The collection includes slides of buildings that have either been changed dramatically over the years or have been demolished.