The Historical Society for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan was established in 1992. The purpose of the organization is to promote an awareness of the history and significance of the federal United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The District Court for the Eastern Division of Michigan has been a part of the Eighth Circuit court since 1863. The court is divided into two divisions, the North Division which is centered in Bay City and the South Division which has branch locations in Ann Arbor, Detroit and Flint. It is one of the largest district courts in the United States and has addressed legal cases on pivitol issues including industrialization and urbanization laws, the trade union movement, and civil rights and civil liberties cases.
The Historical Society seeks to preserve the history of the court and the judges who have served on the bench. It publishes a newsletter, "The Court Legacy,", each issue of which focuses on influential individuals and cases in the history of the court. The Historical Society also maintains a museum on the first floor of the Detroit courthouse featuring documents and artifacts donated by judges.
In 1992, the Historical Society partnered with Dr. Philip Mason, a Distinguished Professor of History at Wayne State University, to develop an oral history project for the court. The project conducted oral history interviews with active and retired judges, the wives of former judges and others associated with the court. The oral histories addressed a wide range of topics including early life experiences, education, personal interests, experiences working in the law, and significant cases they addressed while on the court.