Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Current Exhibits at UMMA: "Benjamin West" and "Discovering Eighteenth-Century British America," September 22, 2012 - January 13, 2013


At the University of Michigan Museum of Art:

Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire
September 22, 2012 - January 13, 2013

How is it that an American painter came to define the British Empire? Benjamin West's iconic painting The Death of General Wolfe (1776) depicts the death of James Wolfe, the British commander at the 1759 Battle of Quebec, one of Great Britain's most famous military victories, during what in this country is known as the French and Indian War. In conflating a momentous contemporary event with the genre of large-scale history painting, West flouted the conventions of academic painting and the work became one of the most celebrated paintings in Britain. The artist went on to produce six versions of the painting, one of which belongs to the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan. Through approximately 40 works, from Michigan, Canadian, and British collections, this ambitious and thematically focused exhibition will include the Clements canvas as well as other depictions of James Wolfe and his death on the battlefield. A fully illustrated catalogue published by the Museum as part of its UMMA Books series accompanies the exhibition.

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by the Joseph F. McCrindle Foundation, the University of Michigan Health System, the University of Michigan Office of the Provost and Office of the Vice President for Research, the Richard and Rosann Noel Endowment Fund, and THE MOSAIC FOUNDATION (of R. & P. Heydon).


Discovering Eighteenth-Century British America: The William L. Clements Library Collection
September 22, 2012 - January 13, 2013

This significant exhibition provides glimpses of British America in the 1700s and is designed to complement the Museum's concurrent exhibition "Benjamin West: General Wolfe and the Art of Empire," which features the Clements collection's major painting The Death of General Wolfe. William L. Clements assembled an outstanding array of primary sources on North America dating between 1492 and 1800, with a heavy emphasis on early European exploration and discovery and the eighteenth-century wars for control of the continent. The exhibition features a mix of rare items from Mr. Clements’s original donation and pieces the Library has acquired since 1923 to complement and enhance its strength in eighteenth-century American history.

Generous support for this exhibition is provided by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Manuscripts Division Reaches 1,000 Finding Aids

The Clements Library Manuscripts Division reached a milestone in its efforts to create finding aids for the division's uncataloged collections.  Over 1,000 finding aids are now available on the Library's EAD web site, thanks to generous grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).


The NEH grant (2009-2012) supported project archivists Philip Heslip, Shannon Wait, and Patrick Galligan for the processing of 416 manuscript collections.  The recently completed grant was part of the "We the People" project and it allowed the Library to create detailed finding aids for many of the Library's most significant collections.  Among the NEH-funded finding aids are:



The NHPRC grant (2011-2013) currently funds project archivist Megan Hixon, who is writing and encoding over 1,600 finding aids, according to minimal processing techniques.  This broad selection of collections will serve researchers with an interest in gender studies, race and ethnicity, education, law, politics, social reform, military history, public policy, religion, health and medicine, travel, business and commerce, naval and maritime history, theater and the arts, handwriting and grammar, and other topics.  Among the recently available NHPRC-funded finding aids are:


Patrons may view the Clements Library's finding aids associated with the National Endowment for the Humanities or National Historical Publications and Records Commission by searching the Clements Library Manuscripts Division EAD website for "NEH" or "NHPRC" respectively.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Lecture by Steve Hamilton, Author of Die a Stranger, October 2, 2012


Lecture by Steve Hamilton, author of Die a Stranger

Tuesday, October 2, 2012, 4:00 p.m.
Great Hall, Clements Library

Steve Hamilton is a 1983 graduate of the University of Michigan, winner of the Hopwood Award and is delighted to be returning to campus to cover the current state of crime fiction, the process of turning a novel into a movie, and to talk about his recently released book, Die a Stranger.

Free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Library at (734) 764-2347 or visit our website: www.clements.umich.edu.

William L. Clements Library
909 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

In the News: AnnArbor.com Review of 'Murder Most Foul'

John Carlos Cantu of AnnArbor.com reviews our current exhibit in his recent article, "University of Michigan's Clements Library displays bygone representations of 'Murder Most Foul." The exhibit, curated by Clements Library Director J. Kevin Graffagnino, displays a variety of books, pamphlets, broadsides, newspapers and more on the topic of homicide in early America.

For more information about current exhibits, see the Clements Library exhibits page. The Murder Most Foul exhibit will be open until October 1 in the Main Room of the Clements Library.

Related posts:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

War of 1812 Documentary has Clements Connections


Detroit Public Broadcasting will be the first PBS affiliate to air a just-completed documentary about the War of 1812 in Michigan. The one-half-hour film, produced by Christopher Cook, is titled “Michigan at War: The Struggle for the Old Northwest, 1812-1815” and is a legacy project of the Michigan Commission for the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812. Funding was provided by the Michigan Humanities Council, DTE Energy, the Monroe County War of 1812 Bicentennial Committee, and a number of private donors. The Clements Library is also listed among the sponsors.

The Library is further connected to the project by the use of many contemporary graphics from our collection and by the participation of Associate Director Brian Leigh Dunnigan, who co-authored the script with Mr. Cook and appears in the film as an on-screen commentator.

Detroit PBS will air the film on September 10 at 9:00 pm. Other regional PBS stations are expected to show it in the near future, and DVDs should be available later this fall. The one-half hour running time is expected to make the film attractive for classroom use as well.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Kerrytown BookFest, Sunday, September 9, 2012


The 10th annual Kerrytown BookFest will be held at the Kerrytown Farmers' Market this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event celebrates all aspects of books and reading, including authors, booksellers, libraries, publishers, and more. Programs will include panel discussions, workshops, demonstrations, author signings, and children's story time. 

Barbara DeWolfe and Emi Hastings will be staffing the Clements Library table at Booth 30 (see map). Stop by and see us if you're in the area!

Kerrytown BookFest 2011. Clements Library table in the background on the left, next to Chad Pastotnik, Deep Wood Press. (Image courtesy Book Club of Detroit).