Friday, October 25, 2013

New WMU Archives Now Open

The new Zhang Legacy Collections Center (ZLCC) is now open for business. Through the end of 2013 the Archives will be open Tues. through Fri. 9 am to 4 pm. 

The new location is just a hop, skip and a jump from the former home in East Hall. The ZLCC is at the end of Calhoun St. on the top of Oakland hill just a few hundred yards from the iconic asylum water tower.

The official dedication ceremony occurred a week ago and though I was unable to attend my mother was. She took some photos during the guided tour of the storage room. Unlike the rabbit warren that previously housed the archives documents (view the short video here if you don't believe me) the new facility is state-of-the-art and is large enough to hold all of the materials under one climate controlled roof. There is even room for 8.5 years of growth.

These impressive shelving units are 30 feet tall. Each individual shelf has an 800 pound capacity.

The lift allows easy access to items housed above eye level.

There are two options for parking at the ZLCC. Lot 108 at the ZLCC has two free visitor parking spots, thanks to donors. If you're not fortunate enough to find one open you can purchase a day pass at the Archives desk for $5. Those with a WMU permit can also park in the lot.

Finally, I would like to personally thank Charles and Lynn Zhang for their substantial contribution to providing a home for the Archives materials. Though they have no ancestral roots in Kalamazoo or even in the United States they recognize the importance of these records to the community. Through their, and other donors', generosity our past has a safe future.

For those unfamiliar with Kalamazoo and the Western Michigan University campus, the ZLCC is located at J9 on this map

You can view photos throughout construction here.  


  1. I was at the dedication ceremony . There was a big crowd, more than 500 people . A lot of Mr. Zhang's clients showed up to provide support and congratulations. He received a standing ovation from the audience before his speech. I'm so grateful that Mr. Zhang call Southwest Michigan his home.

  2. I now work in this beautiful building, and I have to say that while this article is wonderfully detailed, it doesn't describe how lucky we feel at the Archives to have received something so beautiful. We have often described ourselves as the "forgotten orphans" of Western Michigan University, but suddenly we have this glowing, outpouring of people from the community supporting us, even enough to receive a new building. We could not be more grateful and appreciative to all those who helped along the way!

    The Zhangs are wonderful assets to our community and their "Legacy" will be one remembered for many years to come!

  3. Thank you both for your comments! Kalamazoo is fortunate to have both generous donors and helpful, friendly, knowledgeable staff who believe in the importance of preserving our past for future generations.