Matthew Daley

Professor Matthew Daley

Matthew Lawrence Daley 
Professor of History
Mackinac Hall D-1-238
[email protected]
(616) 331-8701

Fields: I am a historian of the modern United States, with a particular emphasis on the Gilded Age to Great Depression (1865-1941) in the fields of urban, Michigan, Great Lakes, industrial/historical archaeology, and public history. As a teacher I have a particular interest in place and game-based learning to emphasize student research and collaboration with community partners.

Ph.D., History, Bowling Green State University, 2004
M.A., History, Wayne State University, 2000
B.A. History, University of Detroit Mercy, 1997

Courses regularly offered include:  

            Michigan History                                U.S. Urban Society
            The Technological Revolution           Industrial Archaeology 
            Local and Community History           Research Methods in History

Outside of the department I teach within the Archaeology Minor, Digital Studies Minor, the Honors College, and the Semester in Grand Rapids program.

As a public historian my experience includes exhibit design, historic preservation, digital design, and organizational administration. As the former University Archivist for the University of Detroit Mercy, archival administration and methods also form a key component of my work. I am also engaged within community history through service on local, regional, and international boards for historical organizations.  

My research engages public policy and community history in Michigan, the Great Lakes, and the Midwest more generally. Detroit and Grand Rapids, particularly on the subject of housing and infrastructure, are the focus of my work as an urban historian. The impact of industrial firms in the creation of affordable housing, company towns, and role played by race, class, and labor on these areas are of particular interest.

On the Great Lakes my research has concentrated on the operation of a maritime bulk materials handling network, technology, and the sailors within that system during the early twentieth century. The impact of trade groups such as the Lake Carriers’ Association and the Dominion Marine Association on policy and maritime operations is an ongoing project.

For additional information on my research, professional interests, and lecture subjects, please see my curriculum vitae.

My blog can be found at:

Page last modified February 9, 2023