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Michigan State University

Michigan State University: History of MSU

A guide to locating information about MSU and its history

General Histories of MSU

On the Banks of the Red Cedar is a web-based guide that provides online access to documents, images, film, and audio materials related to the history of Michigan State University. For more in-depth information consult the Libraries' collection of histories, many of which can be found in the MSU Collection, located in the southwest part of 1 East in the Main Library, along with yearbooks, sports histories, salary lists, etc.

Histories available in the MSU Libraries:

At the campus gate : a history of East Lansing / Justin L. Kestenbaum, editor ; Edna M. Anderson, Cynthia A. McCarty,  editorial associates.
East Lansing, Mich. : East Lansing Bicentennial Committee, 1976.  This book contains a large number of photographs as well as narrative.

A century of service : an historical analysis of the service function of the state university / Lowell R. Eklund.   Thesis (Ph.D.)--Syracuse University, 1956. Eklund's thesis is a case study of MSU leadership in service, especially to agriculture.

College to university : the Hannah years at Michigan State, 1935-1969 / Paul L. Dressel.  East Lansing, Mich. : Michigan State University, University Publications, c1987.

East Lansing : Collegeville revisited /  Whitney Miller.  Chicago : Arcadia, 2002.

From an oak opening : a record of the development of the campus  park of Michigan State University, 1855-1969 / Harold W.  Lautner. [East Lansing] : Michigan State University, 1978.  and Ann Arbor, MI. : Michigan State University 1984.

The great experiment [DVD] : Michigan State University : the pioneer land-grant university / a production of WKAR.  [East Lansing, Mich.] : WKAR : Michigan State University, c2008.

History of the Michigan agricultural college and biographical sketches of trustees and professors, by W. J. Beal. East Lansing, Agricultural college, 1915.

Michigan Agricultural College : the evolution of a land-grant philosophy, 1855-1925 /  Keith R. Widder.  East Lansing, Mich. : Michigan State University Press, c2005.

Michigan State College, 1855-1955 / [Burton Gerber, editor.]  [East Lansing, Mich. : The College, 1955?]

Michigan State College:  John Hannah and the creation of a world university 1926-1969 / David A. Thomas.  East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, 2008.

Michigan State: the first hundred years, 1855-1955 / Madison Kuhn.  [East Lansing] : Michigan State University Press, [1955].

The Michigan State University experience / written and compiled by Robert Bao ; artwork by Carolyn Scott Risk. Indianapolis : College Days Press, c2001.

Michigan State University: on the banks of the Red Cedar / edited by Larry Bielat. Philadelphia : Courage Books, 1998. Chiefly photographs, including aerial shots from near the date of publication.  There are a few historic photos.

Michigan State University : the rise of a research university and the new millennium, 1970-2005 / Douglas A. Noverr. East Lansing, Michigan : Michigan State University Press, [2015].

Michigan State's first one hundred : a series of paintings depicting significant events.  [East Lansing? : s.n., 1955].

The pioneer land-grant college; the formative years of Michigan State University as revealed by excerpts from issues of The Michigan farmer, January 1, 1845-June 1864.    East Lansing, Mich., 1965.

A short history of Michigan State / by Lyle Blair and Madison Kuhn.  East Lansing, Mich. : Michigan State University Press, 1990.
Reprint: Item was originally published: East Lansing : Michigan State College Press, 1955.

The spirit of Michigan State / J. Bruce McCristal.  Bloomfield Hills, Mich. : J. Bruce McCristal, 2004. Written in honor of the sesquicentennial, this a chronological overview with emphasis on people and programs.

Tales from the archives. Volume One : Campus and traditions / edited by Ed Busch, Hillary Gatlin, Megan Badgley Malone, Susan O'Brien, and Jennie Russell.

Specialized Histories

The African-American presence at Michigan State University : pioneers, groundbreakers, and leaders, 1900-1970. East Lansing, MI : Michigan State University University Archives & Historical Collections. Online.

Athletic Traditions  Learn about Spartan nickname, green and white colors, Sparty as both statue and mascot, the Marching Band, the Fight Song and the Alma Mater.

Awe inspiring : the storied history of Spartan hockey / by Mike Prisuta ; foreword by Amo Bessone and Ron Mason.  East Lansing, Mich. : Visions Sports Management Group, c1997.  

The controversy over the location of Michigan Agricultural College / by John P. McGoff.  1956.   

From a single window : Michigan State University and its press, 1947-1997 / Maurice Hungiville. East Lansing : Michigan State University Press, c1998. Also available online.

From seed to fruit : 150 years of horticulture at Michigan State, 1855-2005 / F.G. Dennis, Jr., G.M. Kessler and H. Davidson. E. Lansing, Mich. : Dept. of Horticulture, Michigan State University, c2007.

Fifty years of forestry at Michigan State College. [East Lansing] 1953.  Also available Online.

History and development highlights of the Michigan Cooperative Extension Service.  [East Lansing] 1964. 

History of agricultural economics at Michigan State College, 1910 on / by W.O. Hedrick. 1945.  

The history of the journalism program at Michigan State University / Jerry Lee Morton. 1991.  

A history of the School of Music at Michigan State University / by Jean H. Fickett  2003. 

Home economics to human ecology : 100 years at Michigan State University / by Margaret M. Bubolz ; contributing authors--Dorothy Mitstifer, Stephanie Perentesis. East Lansing, Mich. : College of Human Ecology, Michigan State University, c1996. 

Images from Michigan Agricultural College.

The legacy of the leader : celebrating 75 years of leadership : the School of Hospitality Business, Michigan State University, 1927-2002/ by Dan Hager, editor/writer.  East Lansing, Mich. : School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association, Michigan State University, c2002.

Magic moments : a century of Spartan basketball / by Jack Ebling and John Farina.  Chelsea, MI : Sleeping Bear Press, c1998. 

The Michigan State University Soil Science Department, 1909-1969: a historical narrative / by L.S. Robertson ...etal. [East Lansing, Mich. : s.n.], 1988. 

Michigan State University the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University 1935-1963 / Wilbur Lewis Rykert. 1985. 

MSU Campus Archeology: research publications  Includes site reports; books; theses and dissertations; and presentations and posters.

Nursing at Michigan State University / Isabelle Payne. [East Lansing, Mich.? : Michigan State University College of Nursing?], c1994. "On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the first graduating class from the School of Nursing, Dr. Isabelle Payne, Dean Emeritus, shares some of her memories and insights into the rich history of Nursing at Michigan State University."

100 years of kinesiology : history. research, and reflections / John L. Haubenstricker, Deborah L. Feltz, editors. East Lansing, Mich. : Michigan State University, Dept. of Kinesiology, c1999.

A pictorial rendu of Michigan State, pioneer land grant university founded 1855 at East Lansing / [by] Carl D. Johnson. East Lansing, Mich. : Design Associates, c1955. 

Pursuing what is best for the world : 150 years of teaching, research and extension-- stories of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources / Kenneth VerBurg and Raymond D. Vlasin. 

Recollections of early microbiology at Michigan State University ; by W. L. Mallmann.  East Lansing, Dept. of Microbiology and Public Health, Michigan State University, 1974. 

Spartan football : 100 seasons of gridiron glory / Ken Hoffman with Larry Bielat. Champaign, IL : Sagamore Publishing, c1996. 

The Spartans : a story of Michigan State football / by Fred W. Stabley.  Huntsville, Ala. : Strode Publishers, 1975. 

They came before us : a story of women at Michigan State University 1870-1895 / by Christy A. Weber. 2004 

Years of achievement : a short history of the College of Education at Michigan State University / Victor Inzunza.  [East Lansing, Mich.] : Michigan State University, College of Education, 2002. 

Michigan State University