Cranbrook Archives

Cranbrook Archives is the primary research center for the documentation and study of Cranbrook Educational Community's remarkable history. As Cranbrook's official repository, the Archives is responsible for collecting, preserving, and making available community and divisional records of permanent value. In addition, the Archives collects the papers of members of the Booth, Scripps, and Saarinen families; the records of Christ Church Cranbrook and ancillary organizations affiliated with Cranbrook; as well as the personal papers of faculty, staff, alumni, and other individuals who have been associated with the community since its founding in 1904. 

For an overview of our collections, we invite you to start your search with our four online databases: Cranbrook’s Horizon Library Database (accessed through the Collections tab) is your portal to both the Archives' diverse collections and Cranbrook’s campus-wide library holdings; our detailed Finding Aids (accessed through the Finding Aids tab) provide folder-level descriptions for all of our processed manuscript collections; CONTENTdm (accessed through the Digital Images Database tab) highlights thousands of images of photographic prints, posters, documents, and more; and finally, we also suggest you search the Center's Cranbrook Kitchen Sink Blog (accessed through the blog tab at the top of the page), which now includes hundereds of posts that explore Cranbrook's people, places, and events. While we take pride in our growing online collections, keep in mind that the Archives contains literally hundreds of thousands of documents waiting to be digitized. Serious research must include a conversation with one of our archivists! 

The Archives Reading Room is located in the Collections Wing of Cranbrook Art Museum and is open for research Tuesday through Friday, from 9am to 4:30pm with an hour closure for lunch between 12-1pm, and, by appointment only, the second Saturday of most months. Researchers are encouraged to schedule an appointment with an archivist in advance of their visits. For more information, please consult the Research Services section of the website. Cranbrook Art Museum is located at 39221 Woodward Avenue. Visitors may park in the Art Museum’s main parking lot, on the east side of the building, and access the Archives through the Art Museum’s main entrance, under the Peristyle.

Click here for a printable map of the Cranbrook campus.


Our collections include architectural records, AV materials, ephemera, institutional records, manuscript papers, oral histories, photographs, and more. 

Finding Aids

Our Finding Aids, available in searchable pdfs, describe more than 150 processed collections available for research. 

Digital Image Database

We have over 500,000 photographic images in our collection, with more than 4,500 currently digitized. You can access these via our digital image database. 

Research Services

Cranbrook Archives welcomes the use of our collections by external researchers and scholars, as well as members of the Cranbrook community. 

Digital Collections Database

This eMuseum portal provides access to a growing selection of objects in the Permanent Cultural Properties Collection of Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research.


Collections Highlights

Highlights from the Archives offer a window into the rich and diverse heritage of Cranbrook. 

Cranbrook Archives

In 1942, the Archives unofficially began as a form of records management for the papers of George Booth and the Cranbrook Foundation. 

Banner photo by P.D. Rearick, CAA '10

Box photos courtesy of Cranbrook Archives, Cranbrook Center for Collections and Research, Bloomfield Hills.