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Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce

Identifier: RH-A-738

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of records and other material created by the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce, later renamed the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce in Kalamazoo, Michigan between 1904 and 2012.


  • Creation: 1904-2012


Biographical / Historical

The Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce traces its beginnings to the Press Club which formed to bring a new state normal school to the city. After its success, it became the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce, later known as the Kalamazoo County Chamber of Commerce and eventually the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce. Over the years to fulfill its mission to attract and support businesses and a business agenda, the Chamber spearheaded various programs and other activities which their members participated including the Northside Business Alliance, the Environmental Commission, Leadership Kalamazoo, New Year’s Fest, the Transportation Commission, Poverty Reduction and Public Policy. They also were involved with Kalamazoo Communities in Schools and the Kalamazoo Area Academic Achievement Program. The organization also investigated the idea of a unified government structure which they called Metropolitan Government. They also created the Kalamazoo County Convention and Visitors Bureau which later separated from the Chamber and is now known as Discover Kalamazoo.

In 2013, the Chamber was merged with Southwest Michigan First.


19 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to 19.0 cubic feet and is composed of a variety of materials relating to the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce. The majority are 8 ½” x 11” either single sheets or bound in ledgers, for example the board minutes. There are multiple publications, for the most part, full color printed on coated paper in addition to a number of brochures of varying sizes. The majority of the photographs are black and white. There also are colored slides and a variety of multi-media.

The material is in good condition. The only delicate records are historical publications on the Chamber from the early years that are yellowed and very fragile. Photocopies were made of each issue in this section. Most all the other records are legible and in good condition. Board Minutes, Financial Reports and Publications are arranged first followed by materials relating to programs the Chamber sponsored.

Processing Information

In 2013, Blain Lam who was interim director of the Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce contacted the WMU Archives reporting the merger had taken place and a large amount of records remained in the building. Sharon Carlson and Lynn Houghton brought back a total of sixty-one banker’s boxes which were labeled, barcoded and moved to the Zhang Legacy Collections Center. In 2014, Board minutes, financial statements and publications were organized in a total of 10 boxes. In 2018, Judy Moore who created and headed Leadership

Kalamazoo, a long-time Chamber program reviewed fourteen boxes, eliminating thirteen consolidating the material into 1 box. Between November of 2021 and April of 2022, Lynn Houghton reviewed the 38 remaining boxes, reviewing all material and organizing what should remain to 8 boxes. Total number of boxes in this collection 19.

Kalamazoo Regional Chamber of Commerce finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
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