Michigan Historical Society receives Cohen Book Collection


Retired US District Judge Avern L. Cohn and his wife, Lois, have donated a personal library of more than 500 books, journals and other articles to the Michigan Historical Society.

The collection focuses on subjects of Michigan history; and will be part of the Lois and Avern Cohn Library and Archives collection, which was named for the couple last year. The library is located in the company’s headquarters building, the Meijer Center for Michigan History, in Lansing.

The society is Michigan’s oldest cultural institution; having been designated as the Official Historical Society of the State of Michigan. Justice Cohn is a life member of the organization.

“Justice Cohn is a passionate historian and longtime friend and fellow of the Michigan Historical Society,” said Larry J. Wagenaar, executive director and CEO of HSM. “We appreciate his involvement and generosity over many decades, which have helped us improve our mission of teaching history in many ways. We are fortunate that he knows how important history is to Michigan’s future and wants future generations to understand how their state came to be. It truly is an amazing story that we can share more with the help of Justice Cohn.

The entire library, focusing on Michigan history, includes more than 3,000 books and volumes collected by the society since its founding in 1828. The Meijer Center for Michigan History and the library are currently not open to the public in reason for the COVID-19 pandemic; but it will reopen “when the state of the pandemic and government security guidelines permit.”

In addition to his books, Justice Cohn made a financial contribution to support a full inventory of his donated books as well as support for the library’s additional cataloging this year. This donation will allow HSM to bring outside professional expertise to begin the work of integrating Cohn’s donation of historical books with the existing volumes in the library. This will also allow HSM to process other uncatalogued books in the collection, which will help those who wish to use the library as a research resource.

For more information about the company, visit hsmichigan.org, email [email protected], or call (800) 692-1828.


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