In 1828, a territorial library was created containing laws and government documents for use by the territorial council, and William B. Hunt is appointed the territorial librarian. Nine years later, the former territorial library became the state library, and Governor [[Stevens T. Mason]] appointed Oren Marsh as the first state librarian.
In 1879, the state library moved to the new [[Michigan Capitol|State Capitol]] in Lansing. It was originally a two-story room on the second and third floor in the west wing. The space is now the Speaker's Library on the second floor and the House Appropriations Committee room on the third floor.
A fire in the State Office Building where the library was housed in 1951 destroyed 20,000 books and damages 30,000 more.