Portage District Library Quick Links

Online Archives

The Heritage Room’s digital archives have been created with the dual purpose of bringing our unique collection of historic documents and photographs out of the dark file cabinets and dusty back-room storage spaces and giving you, the patron, easy access to these marvelous resources. Be sure to check back often as new items and collections will be added on a regular basis.

Portage District Library’s Digital Archives

Michigan Postcard Collection

The Portage District Library holds an extensive collection of postcards from around the state with the primary focus being Kalamazoo County. Many of these images offer a one-of-a-kind view of our recent past. This collection is currently in the development stage so be sure to check back.

View Michigan Postcard Collection

The John Todd Photographic Collection

The John Todd Photographic Collection consists of over thirteen-thousand negatives of South west Michigan spanning a forty year time period beginning in 1940 and ending in 1981. The primary focus of the collection is the City of Kalamazoo and the surrounding communities of Kalamazoo County.

Mr. John Todd was a commercial photographer who began his livelihood in Kalamazoo, Michigan in 1940, just prior to the outbreak of World War II. Throughout his forty plus year career he documented everything from the mundane to the once-in-a-lifetime with many of his images now being a one-of-a-kind glimpse into mid-twentieth century southwest Michigan. Unfortunately Mr. Todd passed away suddenly in 1981. As Mr. Todd always had a fondness for the City of Portage, the Portage District Library received the donation of his life work from his children.

Currently available in the digital archives are over one-thousand images which represent a cross section of Mr. Todd’s life work. Copies are available by contacting the Portage District Library’s Local Historian at (269) 329-4542 ext. 608 or via e-mail at srossio@portagelibrary.info. Cost for copies is determined on a case by case basis.

View John Todd Photographic Collection