Monday, January 19, 2015

Between the Lines: Exploring Michigan History

by Zinta Aistars

The numbers are impressive: he has 45,000 books in his library and he's written his 21st. Zinta Aistars speaks with Michigan's historian Larry Massie on January 20. Listen to BETWEEN THE LINES on WMUK 102.1 FM every Tuesday at 7:50 a.m., 11:55 a.m., and 4:20 p.m. Tune in or click below to listen online

Larry Massie in his personal library

Larry Massie has earned himself the title of Michigan’s historian, earning the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Historical Society of Michigan. His 21 collections of stories about the ship captains, lumberjacks, poets, politicians, cereal makers, outlaws, and anyone who has had an impact on the state’s history culminate with his newest book, published in August 2014. Blue Water, Red Metal and Green Gold: The Color of Michigan’s Past includes 27 stories, illustrated with photos and drawings. It is the 12th in a series called "Voyages into Michigan’s Past."  

Massie in his library
Massie’s interest in old books began in his boyhood and has grown over a lifetime. He has amassed a personal library of more than 45,000 books, including many first editions. As the library outgrew his home, he moved it to an old government building in Allegan, Michigan.
Credit Priscilla Press
“I do much of my research and writing there,” Massie says, but he also travels across the state and digs into the archives of other libraries and private collections and memories. Massie worked as an archivist at Western Michigan University for eight years. When he left that job in 1983, his aim was to become an independent historian.
“I was told that was impossible to do,” Massie smiles. With his books filling an entire library bookshelf and ....

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