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Ted J. Ligibel papers

Identifier: 010.TJL

Scope and Contents

Dr. Ted Ligibel, a professor in the Historic Preservation department at Eastern Michigan University, served in the department from 1991-2017 and was the program director from 1999-2017. He phased into retirement starting in the 2017-18 academic year with the intent to retire in 2020. The Ted J. Ligibel papers include the following series: Academic Tenure/Promotion, Corrrespondence, Graphic Materials, Historic Preservation Program Development, Research, Scholarship, Service, Teaching, and Travel Guide Books, Brochures, Maps, Postcards.

The Academic Tenure/Promotion series contains annual activity reports from 1991-2015, applications for promotion including 1995-96, and applications for initial tenure in 1992-93. The annual activity reports detail the classes, research, and outside scholarship that Dr. Ligibel participated in for a given year. The promotion and tenure applications detail Dr. Ligibel’s longevity within EMU’s Historic Preservation program. These files also detail the applications for tenure and obtaining higher positions within the department. The majority of files in this series are the annual activity reports.

The Correspondence series details files between Dr. Ligibel and others that did not easily fit within other series listed in the collection. These materials are divided into correspondence files, memos, and miscellaneous documents. The correspondence files are dated from 1996-2011.

The Graphic Materials series includes diskettes, slides, photographs, video cassettes, and realia illustrating Ligibel's travels, research, field school projects, and other interests.

The Historic Preservation Program Development series details the growth of the HP program and highlight Dr. Ligibel’s role as Program Director from 1999-2017. Materials include student outreach, overview of HP courses, and highlights of the HP program under Dr. Ligibel’s tutelage.

The Research Files series contains materials related to traavel and tourism, National Register documentation and forms, heritage conservation, preservation methodologies, files related to EMU's campus, Nprthern Michigan files, and publications arranged by state and then Michigan counties. A large number of these publications are focused on city/town bicentennial celebrations.

The Scholarship series details research and published works from Dr. Ligibel. Materials in this series include finished published materials from Dr. Ligibel and research documents that he used. Examples from this series include Lights Along the River: The Story of the Maumee River Valley in Landmark Architecture by Ted Ligibel. Materials from this series are dated from 1985-2012.

The Service Files series is divided into two subseries; ‘presentations, talks, and workshops,’ and the ‘Fayette worksite field school.’ The presentations, talks, and workshops primarily highlight works that Dr. Ligibel did outside of his primary employment with EMU from 1985-2017. The Fayette field school subseries details documents and research highlighting the project attempting to get Fayette, Michigan onto the National Register of Historic Places. This series is dated from 1985-2017.

The Teaching Files series is divided into numerous subseries, evident of the number of courses that Dr. Ligibel taught over his tenure. These files are organized by course number, then by year. Materials in this series include teaching materials, photographic slides, and student works. The series covers Dr. Ligibel’s teaching career at EMU from 1991-2017.

This collection is a comprehensive collection of a long-standing faculty member at Eastern Michigan University whose involvement made a huge impact on the Historic Preservation Program.


  • Creation: 1985 - 2017


Conditions Governing Access

Researchers are asked to request materials 24 hours prior to visiting the University Archives.


Dr. Ted Ligibel received his Bachelor of Science degree in 1972 from the University of Toledo and began his career in Historic Preservation shortly afterward on the Landmarks Committee of the Maumee Valley Historical Society. In 1976 he became Regional Preservation Officer for the Northwest Ohio Historic Preservation Office under the Historic Preservation Office of the Ohio Historical Society and the Department of the Interior. This program became affiliated with Bowling Green State University in 1978. In 1981, Ligibel continued his education at Bowling Green State University and received his Master of Science degree in American Culture Studeis. He joined the faculty at Eastern Michigan University in 1991 as part of the Historic Preservation Program. Ligibel became the program's director in 1999 and held the position until 2017, as he readied for retirement. He formally finished his education in 1995, receiving his PhD in American Culture Studies from Bowling Green State University.

In addition to overseeing the largest graduate Historic Preservation program in the United States, Dr. Ligibel was also involved in numerous local, state, and national preservation projects. His many works of scholarship include Lights Along the River: Landmark Architecture of the Maumee River Valley (1983); Island Heritage: A Guided Tour to Lake Erie's Bass Islands (1987); Clark Lake: Images of a Michigan Tradition (1991); The Toledo Zoo's First 100 Years: A Century of Adventure (1999), and Historic Preservation: An Introduction to its History, Principles, and Practice (2009, co-authored by Normal and Ilene Tyler).


38.8 Linear Feet (17 archive boxes, 9 record center cartons, 80 slide boxes, 1 LP record box, 1 diskette box, 1 flip top shoe box, 1 flip top photograph box, 5 oversized folders, 7 objects)

Language of Materials



Dr. Ted Ligibel was a professor in the Historic Preservation Program at Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Ligibel began his career at EMU in 1991, rising to director of the Historic Preservation program in 1999. He held this position until 2017 as he transitioned to retirement. In addition to overseeing the largest graduate HP program in the United States, Dr. Ligibel was also involved in numerous local, state, and national preservation projects. His papers are dated from 1985 to 2017 and include Academic Tenure/Promotion, Historic Preservation Program Development, Scholarship, Service, Teaching, and Correspondence Files.

Related Materials

Researchers interested in other Historic Preservation Program records should note the following holdings at the Eastern Michigan University Archives:

Historic Preservation Program Records [05.HP]:

Marshall McLennan papers [018.MM]:

Norman Tyler papers [010.NT]:

Researchers interested in the field of Historic Preservation both Nationally and in Michigan should note the following holdings at the Eastern Michigan University Archives:

Detroit Club Records [018.DC]:

National Council for Preservation Education records [018.NCPE]:

Preservation Eastern collection [04.PE]:

There are also a number of monograph holdings at the Library of Eastern Michigan University related to the field of Planning, Rehabilitation, and Preservation Planning.


Ted Ligibel Papers
Nicholas D. Eisengruber, Brooke Boyst, CA
2018 April 12
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Repository Details

Part of the Eastern Michigan University Archives Repository

Bruce T. Halle Library, Room 310
955 West Circle Drive
Ypsilanti Michigan 48197