Did you know the Clements Library had a radio program in 1949? "Treasures Off the Shelf" was a 13-episode show on the Michigan radio station WUOM that featured dramatizations of materials from the collection. The subjects of the episodes were:
- Columbus returns to Spain & reports to the King and Queen
- Benedict Arnold offers West Point to the British
- Washington plans to trap Cornwallis at Yorktown
- Invasion from the north! General Burgoyne at Saratoga
- Sebastian Cabot in England
- Captain Thomas Morris prevents a second Pontiac War
- The Declaration of Independence is delivered to George III
- The siege of Fort Detroit, 1763
- Valley Forge, winter of 1777-78
- Battle of Quebec & death of General Wolfe
- The preliminaries at Yorktown
- Thomas Paine and the Battle for Trenton
- The surrender at Yorktown
Highlights of the transcripts include this imagined conversation between William L. Clements and a book dealer:
Clements: Is that what I think it is?The transcripts and other materials from this radio show have been archived by the Bentley Historical Library in the records of the WUOM radio station. The collection includes a sound recording of episode 8, "The Long Siege," based on the diary of Jehu Hay.
Quaritch: The “Columbus Letter.” Printed in 1493 by Stevan Plaanck.
Clements: I am definitely interested.
Quaritch: Splendid. I have it right over here.
No recordings of the other episodes are known to have survived. In 1950, tape copies were distributed to schools by the Audio-Visual Education Center at the University of Michigan. If you have any information about their whereabouts, please leave a comment on this post to let us know.
Citation: WUOM Records, 1914-1982, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan.