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Cultural Services Consolidation Committee records

Identifier: Collection 161

Scope and Contents

The collection provides a detailed look at each aspect of the CSCC as it progressed. Although a few items date back to the 1950s and the 1970s, the bulk of the records cover the years 1982 to 1986. Records are organized alphabetically according to topic.

Topics include the following: information concerning Action Arts Plan 2000 from 1985; the CSCC budget from 1984-1986; the Campaign Coordinating Committee, 1986; the Citizen's Committee on Consolidation of Governmental Services, 1981-1983; clerical support information from 1984-85; the Committee of the Whole, 1983-86; Consultants, 1984-85; Correspondence to and from Kent County Library System, 1984-85; legal correspondence, 1983-86; the CSCC agenda containing approval of minutes, zoo information, Grand Rapids Public Library information and museum information from 1984; CSCC work plan, 1984; CSCC proposal, 1984; expenditures, 1984-88; the final report, 1986; a financial statement, 1986; funding information, 1983-1986; general information concerning the Grand Rapids Public Museum, 1980-82, n.d.; general information concerning the Kent County Library system, 1972, 1977-78, 1983-85; Library Consultant Proposal, 1980-85; the Library Study Committee, 1977-78, 1981-84; millage/voter information, 1982-86; minutes, 1984-86; press coverage, 1971-1978, 1983-86; public notice of meetings, 1985-86; sub-committee information, 1978, 1984-86; John Ball Zoo information and master plan, 1984-85; Metro Zoo information, 1978, 1983-84.


  • 1955-1986


Biographical / Historical

The Cultural Services Consolidation Committee (CSCC) was formed in the spring of 1984 by the Grand Rapids City Commission. The commission hired Bruce Robinson to serve as the CSCC's professional manager, and Charles McCallum was appointed chairman.

The goal of the CSCC was to consolidate the John Ball Zoo, the Grand Rapids Public Museum and the city and county library systems, thereby providing county-wide support for these institutions. Prior to the formation of the CSCC, a Library Study Committee had already begun planning consolidation of the city and county library systems.

The rationale for consolidation was based, in part, on the steadily decreasing population of Grand Rapids, while the population of surrounding communities was rising. As a result, visitors to the zoo and museum were made up largely of non-city residents. The CSCC felt that Grand Rapids residents were paying more than their share of costs and could not meet the demands of improved service. Non-city residents had little or no voice in the governance of these institutions. Further, the city and county library systems duplicated services and it was felt that consolation could avoid some of this duplication.

On May 13, 1986, Kent County residents voted against the proposed $2.1 million millage, ending consolidation plans. CSCC supporters were both stunned and frustrated by the election's outcome. only 15% of the registered voters turned out to participate, of which 72% voted against the CSCC's proposal.


7.8 Linear Feet (17 boxes)

Language of Materials



The Cultural Services Consolidation Committee was organized in 1984 by the Grand Rapids City Commission to plan the consolidation of the Grand Rapids Public Museum, John Ball Zoo and area libraries. The effort ended on May 13, 1986, when Kent County residents voted against the proposed $2.1 million millage necessary to implement the consolidation. The collection contains reports, correspondence, meeting minutes, financial records, and plans of the Cultural Services Consolidation Committee. The material provides a look into each aspect of the Committee, from funding, budget and expenditures to press coverage and millage information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Will Jones, June 2, 1986; accession number 1986.399

Related Materials

Coll. 109, Grand Rapids Public Library Administrative Archives, contains some files on the consolidation initiative from the Library's perspective.

Finding Aid for the Cultural Services Consolidation Committee records
Rick Jenkins
March 1993
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Grand Rapids History Center Repository

Grand Rapids Public Library
111 Library Street NE
Grand Rapids Michigan 49503 USA