City Archives and Records Center

The City Archives and Research Center stores all the City's government records. We make sure they’re preserved and accessible to citizens and employees to research.

Visit Us

We are open to the public by appointment only.


Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm

At our records center, we have many topics of research that you can review. Here's a look at some of the popular records we have on file:

  • Would you like to research a property within the City limits?

We have Assessors Department files, building plans, permits, and photographs.

  • Would you like to research the City Commission?

We have City Commission proceedings and contracts. We also have committee and Boards and Commission meeting minutes.

  • Would you like to research a City department?

We have all city department records. This includes reports, special reports and studies, plans and photographs.

  • Would you like to research the Grand Rapids Public Schools?

We store yearbooks, scrapbooks, photographs, and more.


Here's a list of the types of archives and records we have available for research at our center. Please note that certain items may require the completion of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

  • Annual Reports of City Departments, 1895-
  • Assessment Rolls, 1926-
  • Assessors Real Property Appraisal Cards 1936-2009
  • Building Permits, ca. 1978-1998
  • Building Plans, 1982-
  • Citizen Boards and Commissions Minutes
  • City Charters, 1857-
  • City Manager's General Subject File, 1937-
  • City Commission Proceedings, 1917-
  • Common Council Proceedings, 1850-1917
  • Contracts and Agreements, 1874-
  • Court Records (Mayor's Court,
    Justice Court, Police Court, 61st District Court), 1850-
  • Daily Fire Logs (Station Journals), 1891-
  • Deeds (city-owned property), ca. 1852-
  • Downtown Development Authority records
  • Election Documentation File, 1959-
  • Election Results, 1954-
  • Fingerprint Cards, ca. 1913-1973
  • Fire Reports, 1970-
  • Grand Rapids 1859-
  • Mayor's General Subject File, 1934-
  • Model Cities Records, 1968-1975  
  • Ordinances, 1850-
  • Photographs, 1870-
  • Planning Records, 1919-
  • Plat Atlases, 1876-
  • Polk City Directories, 1865-
  • Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps, 1895, 1913, and 1952 editions
  • Tax Rolls, 1860-
  • Village Board of Trustees Proceedings, 1838-1850
  • Zoning Records, 1924-  


Would you like to review our records and archives? All records are available to the public by appointment only.

Request City Archives Services