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Orville Sternburgh Police Journals

Identifier: RH-A-3375

Scope and Contents

The collection amounts to .50 cubic feet and is composed of four handwritten journals, 10 ½”x8”x1”. The notes are handwritten. Some books are fuller than others. The pages in the journals are in good shape, the writing is legible and although some of the ink is faded, that might be the way it was when they were first produced. The journals cover from June 13, 1922 to August 12, 1929. In 2004 a group of students from the Archives Management class did an attempt to index the journals. It is not know how complete this index is but it is a good place to begin. Orville Sternburgh was born on February 26, 1894 in Lawton. He served in the 85th Division during World War I and became a policeman in Kalamazoo in March, 1920. The journals end in 1929. According to newspaper reports, he was indicted in March, 1930 for violating the Volstead Act.


  • Creation: 1922-1929
  • Other: Date acquired: 11/30/2003


Conditions Governing Access

No restrictions


0.50 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials



The collection is composed of four journals compiled by Detective Orville J. Sternburgh of the Kalamazoo Police Department from 1922 until 1929.

Arrangement Note

Chronological arrangement

Source of Acquisition

Starring Endowment

Physical Description

Three of the books have spines either missing or very loose. They are placed in the box in a way that they can be lifted by the folder rather than the covers. Also Archives Management students who worked on this collection removed articles, small notes and other items that were in the journals and put them in file folders arranged according to the journal they were located. Newspaper articles have been photocopied although the original clippings were kept and separated from the copies.

Processing Information

Students from an Archival Management class produced a subject index with dates located with the collection.

Orville Sternburgh Police Journals Finding Aid
Lynn Houghton
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490