Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Online Exhibit: The Geometry of War


The Clements Library is pleased to offer a new online exhibit, The Geometry of War: Fortification Plans from 18th Century America, curated by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director and Curator of Maps. This exhibit was originally on display from October 15, 2012 - February 15, 2013, in the Great Room of the Clements Library.

Fortification is as old as human conflict, and secure defensive positions have played an important part in warfare. Of course, their design and construction have changed steadily, always in response to the weaponry brought against them, whether stones, arrows, cannon, or aircraft.

The 18th century was a time of intensive military activity in Europe and in the Americas. Much of this centered on fortified towns or positions. The period from the 1680s to the French Revolution has been called the “classic century of military engineering,” a time when earlier forms of artillery fortifications were perfected and frequently tested in battle.

Designing, constructing, and recording fortifications was the job of the military engineer. He followed well-tested principles of design, based on geometry, to construct fortified places. These were recorded in detailed plans, many of surprising beauty and complexity. The Clements Library is rich in examples, manuscript and printed, and offers a sample illustrating the science of fortification in 18th-century America.

A list of all the Clements Library's online exhibits may be found on our website.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Founder's Day Lecture by Scott Stevens, "Accessing Indigenous Archives: Language, History, and Law," April 4, 2013


William L. Clements Library Founder's Day Lecture

Dr. Scott Manning Stevens
"Accessing Indigenous Archives: Language, History, and Law"

Thursday, April 4, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Main Room, Clements Library

Sponsored by the American Indian Studies Interdisciplinary Group (AISIG)

In this lecture at the Clements Library, Dr. Scott Manning Stevens will explore the links between archive and communities, especially as related to activism of various types, including federal recognition cases, treaty rights, sovereignty, and linguistic and cultural revival. Drawing from his research in Iroquoia (and relating this to other Great Lakes tribes) Dr. Stevens examines possibilities for archives (and academics) to forge links with indigenous community members and work in partnership with one another on a range of issues in which the archive can play a key role.

Scott Manning Stevens is the director of the D'Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library, Chicago. He is the author of the forthcoming Indian Collectibles: Encounters, Appropriations, and Resistance in Native North America.

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, March 19, 2013

Recent Acquisition: Rare 17th Century Account of New France


In 2012, the Clements Library received a generous gift from Charles and Julia Eisendrath, with an appraised total value of $150,000. The gift includes a page from the Gutenberg Bible and a first edition set of Premier Établissement de la Foy dans la Nouvelle-France, written by Chrétien Le Clercq and published in Paris in 1691. 

Le Clercq was a 17th century Catholic missionary to the Micmacs of the Gaspé Peninsula. His two-volume work documents the establishment of Roman Catholicism in the French colonies of North America. This set is exceptionally rare, with only one copy having come to auction in the last 30 years. The newly acquired copy is particularly noteworthy, as it includes the original folding map found in few copies. The map, "Carte Generalle de la Nouvelle France ou est compris La Louisiane Gaspesie et le nouveau Mexique avec les Isles Antilles," has been called "fundamental to North American cartography." The Library's other Le Clercq volumes, from the personal collection of William L. Clements, have the map only in facsimile. 

The Clements has an outstanding selection of books describing the early histories of European colonies in the Americas. Many of these discuss religious matters and missionary activities among the native peoples of America. The LeClerq set is an excellent addition to the Clements book collection, and will be helpful for instruction sessions with University classes on topics such as the history of exploration in North America, the history of missionaries and religion in the Americas, France in the New World, and early North American cartography.

The Eisendraths' gift is featured in the Clements Library's current exhibit, Recent Acquisitions: Building on the Clements Collections.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Lecture by Don Faber, "Stevens T. Mason: The Boy Governor Remembered," March 14, 2013


Lecture by Don Faber
"Stevens T. Mason: The Boy Governor Remembered"

Thursday, March 14, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Main Room, Clements Library

Don Faber, Ann Arbor historian and journalist, will discuss his recent book, "The Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics," and the historic accomplishments of Michigan's first and youngest governor.

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

Monday, March 4, 2013

Current Exhibit: "Recent Acquisitions," March 4 - July 12, 2013



Recent Acquisitions: Building on the Clements Collections

March 4 - July 12, 2013

Curated by Brian Leigh Dunnigan
Associate Director and Curator of Maps

The William L. Clements Library is one of the University of Michigan’s “collecting units”—libraries, museums, and other departments that acquire and hold primary source materials that support the educational goals of this great institution. The Library opened its doors to scholars in 1923, and since that time it has followed in the footsteps of its founder by building and ever improving its collections. These focus on primary sources on paper—books, maps, manuscripts, and graphics—that document the history and culture of the Americas from 1492 to 1900. Americanist scholars and students from the campus and from around the world use the Library’s resources in the pursuit of their research.

The Clements continues to build and strengthen its holdings through gifts and purchases. Potential acquisitions are selected to improve areas of strength in the collections or to venture into new areas of scholarship on American history and culture before 1901. This exhibit introduces some of the acquisitions made since 2007 and illustrates the diversity of media and subject matter that researchers can draw on from the Clements collections.

Open to the public in the Main Room of the Clements Library, Monday through Friday from 1:00 pm to 4:45 pm. The Clements Library is located on the campus of the University of Michigan at 909 South University Avenue, Ann Arbor. For further information, visit our website or call 734-764-2347.