Lawyer donates history collection to the Archives of Michigan

Lansing lawyer Eugene G. Wanger has given his comprehensive Michigan Constitutional History Collection to the State of Michigan, State Archivist Mark Harvey announced today. Wanger has also written an important book on the subject.

"The Wanger Constitutional History Collection is one of the most valuable and unique collections ever given to the state," Harvey said. "His book, which the state has just published, is an indispensable guide to the collection and a great contribution to Michigan constitutional history," he added. The 233-page book is titled "The Eugene M. & Roka G. Wanger MICHIGAN CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY COLLECTION, A Historical Bibliography."

The Wanger collection contains hundreds of items pertaining to Michigan's constitutional development since 1835, including rare first editions of the state's four constitutions and extensive materials from the Michigan Constitutional Convention of 1961-62, to which Wanger was a delegate. Special features of the collection are copies of the material Wanger used in authoring the state's constitutional prohibition of the death penalty and in helping to create the office of Michigan's Auditor General.

The book, which is heavily annotated, is a historical bibliography of the collection showing where each item in the collection is to be found in the state archives. Numerous historical descriptions and explanations are included. It is illustrated with over 20 Michigan constitutional rarities. Both the book and the collection are named in honor of Wanger's parents, the late Eugene M. Wanger and Roka G. Wanger of Lansing.

Dr. William M. Anderson, retired director of Michigan's Department of History, Arts and Libraries and noted historian, wrote the foreword to the book. In it he said, "This collection represents a priceless constitutional archive. Eugene Wanger has been an outstanding steward of a critical piece of our state's history. I am proud of his stewardship and grateful for his generosity."

Wanger's collection is now housed at the Archives of Michigan within the Michigan Library and Historical Center in Lansing.

The Archives of Michigan is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment. The Archives houses much of Michigan's record heritage. More than 80 million state and government records and private papers, 300,000 photographs and 500,000 maps, plus films and audio tapes are available for public research. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/archivesofmi

Published: Mon, Nov 29, 2010

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