Birds of North America Online

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Clangula hyemalis! Ortalis vetula! No, these aren't Harry Potter spells, they are birds -- the Long-tailed Duck and the Plain Chachalaca, scientifically speaking. For a wealth of information on our local feathered friends, be sure to visit the Birds of North America Online database. Created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the American Ornithologists' Union ("Ornithology" is the scientific study of birds), BNA provides information on EVERY species of bird from North America. Photos, videos, and audio recordings of bird calls accompany text descriptions about characteristics, life cycles, habits, and demographic information for each species. This site, which is updated every month, is fabulous for students, bird watchers, budding ornithologists, and lovers of nature.

Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access the Birds of North America Online database, go to the research page, and select Birds of North America Online from the Science & Technology category.

Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive

In celebration of the Ann Arbor Film Festival's 50th year, AADL has partnered with the AAFF to launch the Ann Arbor Film Festival Archive, an online collection of the Festival's history. Here you can browse through past programs or flyers and posters reaching back to the Festival's origins in 1963. The site also includes photographs, historical newspaper articles from the Ann Arbor News and Ann Arbor Sun, and interviews. (Look for additional interviews with past festival directors and visiting filmmakers to appear leading up to and following the 50th anniversary.)

If you have AAFF documents you would like to share - in particular, any from the few seasons we're currently missing - please contact us!

How To Get The News at AADL!

This may be refresher for some of you, but for many it will be a bit of NEWS! At all of our branches, we get several newspapers every day. Some newspapers, however, only come a few times a week or even just a few times a month.

We also have a steady supply of backdated newspapers available on microfilm at our Downtown branch, on the second floor. By clicking this newspapers link, you can see all of the newspapers that the AADL owns.

To search even more newspapers - including the Ann Arbor News, Detroit News, and New York Times, just to name a few - you can visit our newspaper database collection if you are have an AADL library card. Some of these newspapers go all the way back to 1831! You can always access this collection of databases and many others from the research tab, located at the top of aadl.org.

Ann Arbor Police Department History


This is Ann Arbor District Library's online exhibit of the history of the Ann Arbor Police Department since 1847. This research database includes a searchable picture exhibit of the police department with images dating as far back as 1871. It also includes an interesting True Crimes section as well as the history of police department's pistol range. To access AAPD History, go to the Research page, select Ann Arbor under the Complete subject listing category, and choose Ann Arbor Police Department History.

Biography in Context: Research Someone Famous!

If you are searching for biographical information about important people, click into Biography in Context. This valuable database offers reams of information on notable people from the past and present. Moreover, you will find news articles to help you place an individual life into historical context. Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access Biography in Context, go to the research page, and select Biography in Context from the History and Biography category.

Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now

The Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now is a collection of over 130 local history articles published in the Ann Arbor Observer over the past three decades. This database allows readers to browse articles by topics such as religion, food, architecture, and gardening, as well as browse through the image gallery. The site is also searchable if you’re looking for a particular topic.

The Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now is a great resource for those looking for a daily dose of local history, or for those looking to find out more about Ann Arbor’s recent past. To get you started, check out the images of AADL’s Traverwood branch being built and its grand opening in 2008.

To access the Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, visit the research page, and select Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now from the Ann Arbor category.

The Ann Arbor News

The Ann Arbor News, established in 1835, was Washtenaw County’s leading newspaper for 174 years. Much of its content is available at Ann Arbor District Library in the microfilm collection, or on the Old News section of our website, but did you know that AADL also has an Ann Arbor News database containing all the issues of the newspaper from July, 2003 onward? It’s true! Browse through the issues day by day, look at an exact date, or search for a particular topic. Check the scores on that game you remember. Print off an obituary, graduation announcement or wedding notice. It’s all there. AADL cardholders can even do all this from the comfort of your own home.

Access to this database is available at every branch of the Ann Arbor District Library, as well as off-site provided you have a valid Ann Arbor District Library card. Log in to your aadl.org account to obtain full access to the Ann Arbor News.

Ann Arbor Architecture Archive

Curious about the history of the homes and buildings around us in Ann Arbor? Be sure to visit our beautiful Ann Arbor Architecture Archive. Packed with a gallery of images and text about Ann Arbor's historic structures, this reference resource includes the full text of Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan by Marjorie Reade and Susan Wineberg. Learn about old local breweries that were wiped out by prohibition, the Ann Arborites who had peacocks roaming their lawn in the 1800s, and so much more. For example, every year people from around the globe make pilgrimages to Rocco Desderide's grocery store here in Ann Arbor without even knowing it. If you have visited Zingerman's Deli on Detroit Street, then you've been to Rocco's too. Built back in 1902 by Italian immigrant Rocco Desderide, the iconic brick-veneered building, with bands of corbelled bricks fanning out above arched windows, served as the home of the Desderide grocery and confectionery business until 1921.

To access the Ann Arbor Architecture Archive, you can always go to the research page and select Ann Arbor Architecture Archive from the Ann Arbor category.

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Find a Recipe on Ann Arbor Cooks

Looking for ways to expand your culinary experience? Check out Ann Arbor Cooks, an online collection of heirloom recipes and cookbooks from Ann Arbor area community organizations, churches, and businesses. Browse or search recipes, or view cookbooks in their entirety. The robust database includes access to Repast, the acclaimed culinary history magazine.

This neophyte cook particularly enjoyed Mother's Roast Chicken recipe, a simple yet delightful dish from the fully searchable and browsable cookbook, Like Mama Used to Make. Or, if you want to try something quite out of the ordinary, check out these beverage recipes from the The Every-Day Cook-Book and Encyclopedia of Practical Recipes for Family Use.

To access the Ann Arbor Cooks database, you can always go to the research page and select the Ann Arbor Cooks from the Ann Arbor category.

Biography and Genealogy Master Index: Who Would You Like to Learn About?

The Biography and Genealogy Master Index offers a comprehensive index of current, readily available reference sources, as well as the most important retrospective works that cover individuals, both living and deceased, from every field of activity and from all areas of the world.

This database meets research needs by giving you access to an index of major biographical resources that have been published over the last 40 years as well as newly published biographical works. Source citations are included with each article to make your research projects even easier.

Here is a helpful tip for finding accurate search results in the database: several listings for the same individual, with slight name and date variations, may sometimes be found. In other words, a search for a particular biography may result with a variety of articles to choose from on the same person. Small differences in subject names may result in completely different search results. While searching, it is important to consider all possible forms under which a name may be listed. For example, stop to consider if the middle name, prefix, suffix, or initials of the person should be included. Such small adjustments can widely broaden database results.

Access to this and any of our other reference databases and resources is available at every branch of the AADL, as well as from outside the library with a valid AADL library card. For access from an outside location, please sign in to your library account, visit our reference database page, and navigate to the desired resource. To access the Biography and Genealogy Master Index, go to the research page, and select the Biography and Genealogy Master Index from the History and Biography category.

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