About the Bureau of Government

"SERVE YOURSELF" is the motto of a cafeteria:  "serve everybody else" more appropriately applies to the University of Michigan. One department among many which well illustrates this statement is the Bureau of Government, now housed in the former Law Library in Haven Hall. Its purpose is definitely to serve—first, faculty members and advanced students of municipal government and public finance,  and second, groups of citizens. Such things as the 15-mill tax limitation and the school aid question have made many active, public-spirited citizens in this state acutely conscious of pressing problems to be solved in their own localities and eager for pertinent information and help.   Here is one place where they may get it.

A Library on Governmental Questions

THE Bureau of Government is essentially a library of materials relating to governmental questions, such as public finance, public health, police organization, elections, and city planning. Emphasis is placed upon state and local government, and of course particular attention is given to the State of Michigan. The Bureau began in 1914, as a division of the Department of Political Science, with Professor Robert T. Crane as director. From1922 to 1934 it was directed by Professor Thomas H. Reed. Last year it was reorganized as an independent division, directed by Mr. Harold D. Smith, who is also director of the Michigan Municipal League. An advisory council was appointed, in which the Law School, the School of Education, and the departments of Economics,  Sociology, and Political Science are represented.

One of the Largest in America

SIMILAR organizations exist at a number of other American universities, and it is believed that only those at Harvard and the University of California exceed Michigan’s bureau in size. There are 14,848 catalogued items in its library, and some 40,000 items in the vertical file, uncatalogued but arranged by subjects, for, outside of books on governmental subjects, the largest part of the material collected here consists of pamphlets, reports, and circulars currently issued, chiefly by governmental units, in which the student of government can find invaluable assistance in his investigations.  Last year 6800 books and pamphlets were acquired, and in the past four years the collection has more than doubled in size. Twenty-one years old, it has definitely come of age as an agency in aid of instruction, research, and public interests of many kinds.

Michigan Alumnus

Sept 14, 1935, Page 539

History of the Bureau of Government

A Library of Materials Relating to

Governmental Questions