Seeking Michigan!

Seeking Michigan


The Michigan Historical Center provides a unique online collection of Michigan archival material called Seeking Michigan.  Get lost browsing through state census records, death records, civil war documents, photographs, oral histories, sheet music, old maps, and old postcards.   Curious about  how great grandpa Joe died? Was he kicked in the head by his horse? Did he fall into the outhouse? Or was he shot in a shoot out? Put those family rumors to rest and find out in the Michigan Death Records from 1897 -1920.

Civil WarIs the Civil War more your thing? Browse the Civil War battle flag collection.  Check out portraits of Civil War soldiers and even look up volunteer registries and service records of Michigan Infantries.  Maybe your southern relative really fought for the north!

Peruse photographs of Michigan lighthouses and governors and discover idyllic scenes of days gone by in the   Main Streets postcard collection  depicting towns from Ada to Zeeland.

Michigan Postcard1


Step back into Michigan history and have fun exploring its illustrious past!



Sandra Wilson and Julia Eisenstein, Librarian Consultants

MedlinePlus: the go-to website for consumer health information

MedlinePlus logo

Brought to you from the National Library of Medicine, MedlinePlus is a free website that offers “information about diseases, conditions, and wellness issues in” easy-to-understand language. Learn about the latest treatments, look up information on a drug or supplement, find out the meanings of medical words, or get links to the latest medical research on a topic.”

  • What side effects can result from taking Alka-Seltzer? – MedlinePlus has the answer.

MedlinePlus contains animated videos depicting “body parts and organ systems and how diseases affect them.” What happens during heart bypass surgery? Check out the short animated video.

My favorite part of MedlinePlus is the Videos and Cool Tools. In addition to the animated videos mentioned above, MedlinePlus provides interactive health tutorials on topics like tests and diagnostic procedures. Ever wonder how or why an amniocentesis is done? Or how about coronary angiography/angioplasty? The tutorials cover diseases and conditions  (like Crohn’s disease or Malaria) as well as surgical procedures (like tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy) in lay terms.

My favorite section, however, is the webpage of surgery videos. These are video recordings of actual surgeries and diagnostic procedures performed in hospitals around the country. If you do not like the site of blood or are squeamish, these are not for you. The list contains procedures like heart transplant, hip replacement, awake craniotomy, and more. As the surgeons operate, they narrate the procedure as well as provide other background explanations.

If you have a health-related question or just want to surf, check out MedlinePlus.

Jill Turner

Librarian Consultant


Michigan Legal Help

milegal Michigan Legal Help is a user-friendly website designed to help Michigan residents learn about their legal rights and responsibilities and to help them navigate through the legal system to resolve civil legal problems without a lawyer. It includes information, checklists and court forms on common issues such as landlord/tenant issues, divorce, custody and paternity issues, and some income tax and public benefit issues. For example, if you’re having trouble getting your landlord to make repairs to your home, the site will ask you a series of questions and then generate a “Letter Requesting Repair”. You can also find information on what you can do if the landlord fails to comply.

gavelMichigan Legal Help also includes information Michigan courts, including a short video on what to expect and how to prepare to go to court. You will also find explanations of which types of cases go to which courts, and contact information and directions to the different courts in Michigan.

If you need more help, there are links to legal help centers where you can get in-person help, directories of lawyers, and local community organizations that may offer additional assistance.

The website was developed by the Michigan Legal Help Program and is managed by Legal Services of South Central Michigan and the University of Michigan Law School, and its content is regularly reviewed by court officers and attorneys to ensure that it is accurate and up-to-date.

Jill Spreitzer, Librarian Consultant

The Library Catalog: One Stop Nonstop

catalog2Searching the Library Catalog shouldn’t prove to be difficult. Anybody who is used to finding information on any major type of search engine will be able to use it. You’re associated with an institution of higher education that has strong admission standards. You can do this.

A bigger question is, why bother? When any random search on Google retrieves umpty-gazillion responses, why restrict yourself to the few hundred thousand available through the Library collections?

One answer lies in the quality and relevancy of those collections. Materials are selected by Librarians who are professionally trained and experienced in selecting resources and often have additional degrees in the areas where they work. In addition, they work closely with UDM faculty to identify and select materials recommended by the professors who teach your courses.

Besides the brick-and-mortar stuff on the shelves, the Library Catalog is important as a guide to find books and journals available online. Currently, access is provided to over 125,000 electronic books and thousands of electronic journals.

booksIt’s easy enough to find the Library Catalog: just google “UDM Library Catalog”. Or, even better, go to the Library Re:Search page at and click under the tabs for “Books, eBooks + DVDs”.  All electronic books will have a direct link, allowing access regardless of whether the Library building is open or not.

In the interest of full disclosure, the Library Catalog currently provides access to less than half of the available electronic journals. We’re working on it. For now, using the “Articles, Journals +Databases”  tab on the Re:Search page is the most comprehensive way to find these.

Still, enough are available in the Library Catalog to provide one more strength: its ability to provide links between similar materials. Every Catalog entry contains descriptive terms (“Subject Headings“)  which are used consistently. These enable you to quickly link to materials on similar topics, something which can be very handy when you’re just starting your research and have no idea where to go next.

The Library Catalog has been designed to provide one-stop shopping, 24/7, to important materials selected for the Library’s Collections. Whether you are browsing a subject area or searching for a particular known-item, it is designed to make your process as efficient as possible.


David Moody, Librarian

Government Documents and Government Information at UDM

bigger fdlpThe University of Detroit Mercy houses a collection of federal government documents in print, microfiche, and tangible electronic format (CD-ROMs and DVDs). It also provides access to titles available online through the Government Printing Office (GPO). These resources are available not only to students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the University, but also by federal law to anyone else who may wish to consult them.

The University has the distinction of having been a selective depository library since 1884. A selective depository is not required to collect, or provide online access to, every single document published by the federal government, but tailors its collection according to the needs of its users. There are, however, regional depository libraries throughout the United States that are mandated to do just that. Besides maintaining as comprehensive a collection as possible within their own four walls, these regional depositories “oversee” selective depositories in each state to ensure that an adequate number of copies (or adequate online access to) documents and other government information in a given geographic area. The University of Minnesota is currently the regional depository for all selective depository libraries in Michigan as well as those in Minnesota and South Dakota.

Included in the University’s depository print and microfiche collection are Census files from 1960 through 1990; publications from the National Library of Medicine going back several decades; and publications from NASA dating back to the early days of the space program.

The classification system for government documents is known as the Superintendent of Documents Classification Scheme, or SuDoc for short. Whereas book, videos, etc. are usually classified by subject, author, or title in the Dewey and Library of Congress classification systems; SuDoc classifies titles by the issuing body (NASA, for example). Other types of punctuation besides the period (.) are used in this system; capitalization and the use of spaces within a SuDoc number are also very important. Here is a link to the basic SuDoc Classification scheme, and additional information about it:

The print documents that that University has available in tangible format and classified in SuDoc are housed in the electric compact shelving that faces east in the lower level. CD-ROMs and DVDs are in a set of drawers immediately south of that shelving. Microfiche is kept in several filing cabinets along the south and southwest walls, behind the electric compact shelving for books and serials classified under H.

Depository libraries have the flexibility of classifying government documents under a different classification system to allow for greater accessibility. Many of the print documents that are part of the University’s depository collection are classified with Library of Congress numbers and shelved among other titles with those numbers.

Documents available on the Internet will have URLs indicated when found as part of a search via the library online catalog (whether in the building or on a computer at home). Simply clicking on these URLs should bring up the full text of the publication. (Contrary to rumor, Google has NOT cataloged the entire collection of government documents.)

If you have any questions about the University’s government documents collection; or need help locating a government resource; you may contact Kris McLonis by phone (313-578-0457) or email (

MathVids: For College Math


Does math make sense to you? Is math that one class where you struggle? Need a little extra help?

Get math help free. Learn at your own pace. Find the same lesson taught by multiple teachers giving you different explanations. You can even brush up on your high school math. Certified math teachers screen and approve all videos.

MathVids is organized like a math textbook, allowing you to browse by topic and course. College math topics include calculus I, II, III, statistics, linear algebra, discrete math, and more. It even has graphing calculator help videos.

Go to:

Sue Homant
Librarian Consultant

Citation Flavors

The way citations are written often depends on the discipline.  Many use MLA (English), APA (psychology or nursing) or Chicago  style (history), which are found at  These handbooks are also in Reference if one needs a more detailed point explained.

Biology uses Scientific style and format : the CBE manual for authors, editors, and publishers,  available in Reference: T 11 .S386 2006.

Chemistry uses The ACS style guide : effective communication of scientific information.  Located in Reference QD 8.5 .A25 2006.

IEEE has a citation guide at

Others include the AMA Manual of Style,  for medicine, located at the McNichols and Dental Libraries.    R 119 .A533 2007  and the Associated Press Stylebook:    PN 4783 .A83 2002

African American Studies at UDM

AASHave you ever thought about exploring African American Studies? Curious about what that even means? Don’t know where to start looking? Well, one place to begin an exploration would b to take a look at the homepage for the African American Studies Program. Here you’ll find a complete description of the program, the certificate, links to requirements, program history, and events.

Interim Director of AAS Terri Laws, MA, MDiv

Interim Director of AAS Terri Laws, MA, MDiv

“African American Studies at UDM is a multidisciplinary program that promotes the understanding of the African-American experience through scholarship, service learning, and cultural events.”

Another place to look is the AAS research guide created by your friendly UDM Librarian. It’s a great place to get an introduction to the many aspects of African American Studies, both at UDM, in the City of Detroit, and the country at large. As well, you can always contact your librarian to ask questions, schedule one-on-one consultation, offer suggestions and feedback. We’d love to hear from you!


DSMVThe Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5) was published by the American Psychiatric Association in May 2013 and serves as the standard for classifying and diagnosing mental disorders. It supersedes the DSM-IV-TR. The DSM-5 “is intended to be applicable in a wide array of contexts and used by clinicians and researchers of many different orientations (e.g., biological, psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, interpersonal, family/systems). The DSM-5 has been designed for use across clinical settings (inpatient, outpatient, partial hospital, consultation-liaison, clinic, private practice, and primary care), with community populations. It can be used by a wide range of health and mental health professionals, including psychiatrists and other physicians, psychologists, social workers, nurses, occupational and rehabilitation therapists, and counselors.” ( The current edition is the result of over 10 years of work by international experts in all aspects of mental health.

You can find a copy of the DSM-5 at the Library Research and Information Desk.

You can also access the DSM-5 and earlier versions of the DSM online at (Off-campus access may require authentication.)


Finding reliable drug information

It can be difficult to find reliable information in medications on the web.   As with all websites,  you need to ask yourself who created this site and what’s the intent.  Websites about specific drugs are often created by pharmaceutical companies and are for marketing purposes.  Be skeptical of site with a .com address: and  [for Prilosec] are intended to sell the drug. There still could be useful information there, but you’re better off using sites intended to produce factual objective information.  It’s also a good idea to think twice about health related websites that have a lot of advertising.  Ads appear on a site based on the search terms entered, so they may look like factual information.   Although they should be labeled,  sometimes the font size is so tiny it’s not easy to tell what’s actual content and what is an ad trying to sell you something.

DailyMed Logo Header imageDailyMed is a site produced by the National Library of Medicine. It is easy to search and provides extensive, current information about a drug.  There is FDA package inserts,  prescribing info, adverse effects and a link to search the medical literature in PubMed for articles about the medication.  Have some old medicine bottles are house?  The product ID section can help you tell what kind of pill  it is using the color, size and markings.


mplus_sm-724x145_0Another good source of medication information is MedlinePlus. This site also includes reliable information on herbs and supplements in addition to prescription and over the counter drugs.   It’s important to know when a health care website was created or last updated to make sure the info is current.  Each MedlinePlus page lists this at the bottom.    MedlinePlus is also a good source of patient information in several different languages


ToxNet Part of TOXNET is Drugs and Lactation Database [LactMed] “A peer-reviewed and fully referenced database of drugs to which breastfeeding mothers may be exposed. Among the data included are maternal and infant levels of drugs, possible effects on breastfed infants and on lactation, and alternate drugs to consider.”


The FDA has responsibility for approving FDAall drugs that are sold in the United States. There is a search feature on the website where you can search the approval history of a specific medication.

Marilyn Dow

Page 1 of 512345