Elizabeth Martha Farrand (March 31, 1852 – August 17, 1900) was an author and librarian. She wrote the second book-length history of the University of Michigan and the one that was most frequently cited thereafter, History of The University of Michigan, in 1885. Prior to that she served as Assistant Librarian at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, from 1878 until 1884 at a time when that position and the University Librarian were the only full-time positions in the Library and both were listed among the “faculty” positions in the University’s General Register. In a seemingly surprising career change, she left the Library after being accepted to the University’s Medical School from which she received an M.D. degree in 1887. After a year’s residency training at the Woman’s Hospital in Detroit she spent the rest of her life in private medical practice in Port Huron, Michigan, where she died in 1900.
Farrand’s History of the University of Michigan was the first written by someone who was neither a former student nor a former faculty member and the first written primarily from documents about University history, including newspapers and diaries. Her self-consciousness about sources was evident from her first pages, where she wrote that “the attempt has been made to collect from many documents into one volume the story of the University,” and laments the relative paucity of sources for the story.