Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Current Exhibit: "The Languages of Early American History"

The College of Literature, Science, and the Arts has designated language as the theme of its Winter 2012 semester. Language plays a central role in virtually all human activity, and it was a critical element in the encounters of peoples that characterize the history of the Americas. While linguistics is not a collecting area for the Clements, the primary source material held by the Library - books, manuscripts, maps, and graphics - were produced in a wide variety of languages representative of the people of the Americas. This exhibit provides a modest but eclectic sampling of the languages represented in the Library's holdings.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy Holidays from the Clements Library!

The Clements Library often sends holiday cards to members of the Clements Library Associates. Below is a selection of our earliest cards, featuring illustrations from library materials.

The Clements Library Associates, founded in 1947, has purchased an estimated $5,000,000 worth of historical material for Clements Library. Members of the Associates receive invitations to library events, discounts on publications, and semi-annual mailings of The Quarto, an award-winning magazine with illustrated articles by curators and staff about Clements Library collections. See our website for more information about becoming a member of the Associates.

Clements card, 1947. Illustration from Sebastian
Brant's Stultifera Nauis (1570).
Clements card, 1948. Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe,
patron saint of all the Americas, from an original engraving.
Clements card, 1949.
Clements card, 1952. Exterior of Library at night.

Monday, December 12, 2011

In the News: "Exhibit Examines Death Customs of Early America"

University Record article by Kevin Brown, December 12, 2011.
This week's University Record issue includes a front-page article by Kevin Brown about the current Clements Library exhibit, "So Once Were We": Death in Early America. Focusing on the 19th century, the exhibit includes many photographs, manuscripts, books, and artifacts concerning death and mourning in early America. Exceptional rarities include handwritten eyewitness accounts of the deaths of the deaths of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Ghosts in the Library? Spirit Photography at the Clements

Mrs. H.F. Stuart, ca. 1865
One of the tools of the ghost-hunting trade is spirit photography, the attempt to capture images of ghosts. Early spirit photographs were usually portraits of living people with faint, ghostly images floating behind them. These figures, supposedly the impressions of departed loved ones, were actually produced by photographic editing methods such as double exposures.

William H. Mumler made the first known spirit photograph in 1862, a self-portrait which purportedly revealed the ghost of his cousin. Realizing the potential of this method, he went into business as a spirit medium, taking people's photographs and doctoring them to add images of the deceased.
The Personal Experiences of William H. Mumler (1875).
In 1869, Mumler was charged with fraud after he accidentally put identifiable living people into his photographs as supposed spirits. The famous showman P.T. Barnum testified against him, as well as several reputable photographers who showed how the same "spirit" effects could be produced by darkroom tricks. Although Mumler's reputation suffered, he continued to produce spirit photographs and even wrote a pamphlet about his work in 1875.

Interest in spirit photography continued into the early twentieth century. Its advocates included the author Arthur Conan Doyle, best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories. Doyle became a fervent believer in spiritualism after the deaths of several family members. In 1923, he published The Case for Spirit Photography to argue that spirit photographs provided insurmountable technological evidence of the spirit world.
Arthur Conan Doyle, The Case for Spirit Photography (1923).
Further reading:
"Do You Believe? The Mumler Mystery," online exhibit from The American Museum of Photography. 
Louis, Kaplan. The Strange Case of William Mumler, Spirit Photographer. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving: Postcards from the Clements Ephemera Collections

These Thanksgiving-themed postcards provide illustrations of early 20th century celebrations of this American holiday. The Clements Library ephemera collection contains many examples of printed materials like these, including programs, tickets, brochures, handbills, trade cards, political fliers, postcards, and billheads. Culinary, travel, and theater-related materials are a particular strength. To learn more about the collection, see the Graphics Division page on our website. 

Related posts:
2010: Today in History: Thanksgiving
2009: Thanksgiving During the Civil War

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Upcoming Event: Janice Longone to Speak at New York Public Library, November 10, 2011

Culinary Historians of New York and the New York Public Library 

The Old Girl Network: Charity Cookbooks and the Empowerment of Women
Janice Bluestein Longone
Presentation of 2011 Amelia Award to Janice Bluestein Longone

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Before mass media, communication and transit, the first wave of the women’s movement was already active via the most ordinary of objects – the lowly cookbook. “Charity cookbooks,” a legacy of the Civil War, championed many causes: suffrage, education, temperance, prohibition, equal rights, working conditions, welfare, immigration, and legal rights and responsibilities, while benefiting churches, schools, sororities, the homeless, and others in need. The effort required to create, publish and distribute the books created networks of communication, which nurtured fledgling political movements that transformed American culture.  The books demonstrate how women worked together to help themselves, other women, and the outside world, while, along the way, the recipes and how-to advice in the books offer a compelling glimpse into America’s cooking habits and its region-by-region culinary heritage.

Jan Longone is Curator of American Culinary History at the University of Michigan’s Clements Library.  She is proprietor of The Wine and Food Library, America’s oldest antiquarian culinary bookshop and founder and honorary chair of the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor.  Among her many other activities was helping to develop MSU’s “Feeding America” website. In addition to speaking, she will receive the 2011 Amelia Award for Lifetime Achievement in Culinary History. Join us in celebrating her accomplishments. Refreshments will be served.

This program is free and open to the public, but you must RSVP. Please send an email to with “Longone” in the subject line or return the form below.

New York Public Library
Fifth Avenue at 42nd Street
Berger Forum, room 227, on the second floor
Enter at 5th Avenue or 42nd Street; 42nd Street is a shorter walk to the Berger Forum
Time: 6:00 pm Check-in and reception | 6:30 pm Amelia Award Presentation and Lecture

For further information, see

View the online exhibit of The Old Girl Network: Charity Cookbooks and the Empowerment of Women.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lecture by Art Cohn: "What Should We Do With Benedict Arnold's Gunboat?," November 3, 2011

Art Cohn
"What Should We Do with Benedict Arnold's Gunboat?"

Thursday, November 3, 2011
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

In 1997 the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Lake Survey team discovered Benedict Arnold's 1776 gondola, intact and upright, on the bottom of Lake Champlain. Spitfire was the last unaccounted-for vessel of the Battle of Valcour Island. Art Cohn, co-founder and Senior Advisor and Special Projects Director for the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, will discuss the preservation challenges of this remarkable discovery.
Free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Library at (734) 764-2347 or visit our website:

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

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Current Exhibit: "So Once Were We": Death in Early America, October 17, 2011 - February 17, 2012

"So Once Were We": Death in Early America
October 17, 2011 - February 17, 2012
Main Room, Clements Library
909 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

Curated by Cheney J. Schopieray
Assistant Curator of Manuscripts

Mortality is a useful lens through which we may view many aspects of early American society. So Once Were We explores American practices and traditions for coping with death, from the early years of European exploration and discovery to the early 20th century and the burgeoning modern funeral industry. 

"So Once Were We" is a partial line from a once-common verse, which has many variations.  One, from a Civil War-era tombstone in St. Clair County, Alabama, is "Remember us, as you pass by / as you are now, so once were we." The title embodies several themes in the exhibit: the transatlantic movement of ideas and traditions, the universal experience of death, and personal and collective remembrance.

The exhibit is organized topically and holds primary resources related to changing religious and social practices; illness, disease, and medicine; practical aspects of post-mortem care; etiquette and fashion; funerals and cemeteries; memory and commemoration; and the professionalization of death industries.

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.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Strange Curation," LSA Magazine Feature on Clements Library Collections

The Fall 2011 LSA Magazine features a Weekly Web Exclusive on unusual items at the Clements Library. From a forged logbook of Christopher Columbus to George Washington's letter about his false teeth, the Clements Library holds a number of unexpected historical artifacts and documents. View the slideshow to see twelve of these items and learn more about the Clements collections. You never know what you'll find in the library.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Clements Library Hosts American Historical Print Collectors Society Regional Meeting

American Historical Print Collectors Society
Regional Meeting
October 22, 2011
William L. Clements Library,
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

On October 22, 2011, the Clements will be hosting members of the American Historical Print Collectors Society for a one-day regional meeting and tour of the Clements. If you are a member that is interested in attending, please contact Clayton Lewis for information. Space will be limited to 25 individuals.

Clayton Lewis
William L. Clements Library
909 S. University Ave.
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Voice: (734) 764-2347
Fax: (734) 647-0716

Monday, October 3, 2011

New Fellowship Offered in the Print Culture of the Americas

Reese Fellowship in the Print Culture of the Americas

Funded by the William Reese Company, this fellowship encourages research in the history of the book and other print formats, bibliography, and other aspects of print culture in America including publishing and marketing from the sixteenth century to 1900.  Projects may investigate any printed genre (e.g. books, prints, newspapers, magazines, pamphlets, published photographs, broadsides, maps, etc.).  Support for work in manuscript collections will be limited to projects related to printed materials (e.g. annotations in books, publishers’ business archives, etc.).

The Reese Fellowship provides $5,000 to support one month of in-residence study in the Clements Library collections.  This is a post-doctoral fellowship requiring a completed Ph.D. or equivalent qualifications.  Applications for residence in calendar year 2012 must be received by December 1, 2011.

See the Clements Library Research Fellowships page on our website for a full list of the fellowships offered and instructions for applications.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Culinary Cataloging Project Completed

Pictured here is Your Favorite Recipes by the Women’s Council of the Country Club Christian Church from Kansas City, Missouri in 1937.
The Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive has just completed a yearlong cataloging project in which we added more than a thousand titles to our catalog, making them accessible to researchers.

This includes 773 cookbooks published for charitable purposes. These cookbooks, created by church groups, aid societies, fraternal organizations, and other civic and social groups, show us not only what Americans cooked and ate at home, but also what they cared about and raised funds for. The books are also a source of local history, since most of them contain ads from local merchants.

This addition increases our collection of charity cookbooks to more than 1600, beginning with the first one ever, A Poetical Cook-Book by Maria J. Moss, published in 1864 for a US Sanitary Commission fair, and continuing to the present day.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Online Exhibit: The Barbary Wars at the Clements

A new online exhibit is now available on our website: The Barbary Wars at the Clements. It was created by Philip Heslip, Project Archivist in the Manuscripts Division of the Clements Library from 2009 to 2011.

This online exhibit highlights the Clements Library’s best holdings related to the Barbary Wars.  Featured items include manuscripts, books, maps, and engravings documenting the United States' first interactions with the Arab world and the early development of the U.S. Navy.  The heart of this material comes from three manuscript collections: The Tobias Lear papers, the John Rodgers papers, and the Isaac Chauncey papers. Together, these collections document the highest level of naval and diplomatic decision-making during and after the wars.  Additionally, the exhibit relies on several other manuscript collections that contain discussions of and references to early American activities in the Mediterranean. Also showcased is the Clements' collection of 19th-century Barbary captivity narratives, books that informed and inflamed the American public on the home front, as well as images of the naval conflict and maps of the region.  We hope that the exhibit will draw attention to an often-neglected episode in American history, and inspire researchers and enthusiasts to pursue new discoveries at the Clements Library.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

WOLV-TV Coverage of John J. Miller Lecture

On September 14th, John J. Miller spoke at the Clements Library about his recent book, The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football. WOLV-TV, the University of Michigan's student-run television station, filmed a story about the lecture and an interview with John Miller. Watch the clips below from Youtube:

WOLV-TV John J. Miller Lecture Story:

WOLV-TV Interview with John J. Miller:

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lecture by Gregory J.W. Urwin: "When Freedom Wore a Red Coat," October 20, 2011

Gregory J.W. Urwin
"When Freedom Wore A Red Coat: A Social History of Cornwallis' 1781 Virginia Campaign"

Thursday, October 20, 2011
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Gregory J. W. Urwin, Clements Library Fellow and Professor of History, Temple University , will discuss Cornwallis' evolving strategy in the British campaign to secure Virginia.

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

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

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Today in History: The Star-Spangled Banner

The Star Spangled Banner: A Pariotic Song.
Baltimore: Printed and sold at Carrs Music Store, 36 Baltimore Street, [1814].

The lyrics of "The Star Spangled Banner" come from "Defence of Fort McHenry," a poem written by Francis Scott Key after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British during the War of 1812. Upon seeing the fort's flag still flying on the morning of September 14, 1814 after the attack ceased, he began jotting down the lines of a poem on the back of a letter that was in his pocket. Renamed "The Star Spangled Banner" and set to the tune of "To Anacreon in Heaven," a popular British song, it eventually became the official national anthem of the United States.

This rare first edition of "The Star Spangled Banner" is one of eleven known copies. It was purchased for the Library in 1966 by the Clements Library Associates and friends of the library in Flint. Howard H. Peckham, Director of the Library, wrote, "It is the single most important piece of music in our history. To bring it to Michigan will provide the state with its only copy, and one of only two copies not confined to the East Coast."

Of the eleven first edition copies, ten are in institutions or public libraries.On December 3, 2010, Christie's sold the recently discovered eleventh copy, the only one in private hands, for $506,500.

Further Reading:
  1. Oh! Say Can You See… Rare First Edition of The Star Spangled Banner to be Sold at Christie’s in December 2010
  2. Auction of first edition of 'Star Spangled Banner' tops $500,000

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Online Exhibit: Native American History at the Clements Library

A new online exhibit is now available on our website: Native American History at the Clements Library, an expanded version of the physical exhibit American Encounters, formerly on display at the William L. Clements Library, March 4, 2010 – June 10, 2010.

Native American History at the Clements Library highlights the great range and depth of the Clements Library’s collections related to Native American history. The exhibit features items drawn from many areas of the collection, including books, maps, manuscripts, prints, and photographs, which document over four centuries of history. These artifacts illustrate different types of cultural encounters over the course of American history and feature some of the library’s greatest strengths. Included are printed accounts of early encounters between indigenous peoples and European explorers, manuscripts and maps that record a long history of warfare and diplomacy, wampum and trade silver, peace medals, portraits of native leaders, and photographs of Indian schools.

This exhibit is intended to highlight sources for further study, which we hope will enhance inquiry and scholarship on the University of Michigan campus and elsewhere. Much research is still to be done with these materials. The Native American experience is central to an understanding of American history as a whole. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

From the Stacks: Back to School

With classes starting at the University of Michigan today, and the football season already begun on Saturday, we offer this selection from the Clements Library in keeping with the theme. Nathan Hayward's College Scenes, a collection of satirical drawings of Harvard student life, was published in Massachusetts in 1850. According to the Harvard Alumni Bulletin, Hayward graduated in the class of 1850 and served as a surgeon with the 20th Massachusetts Volunteers during the Civil War.

"The vaccillating student finding himself unable to choose one book for his reading
from that universe of books The College Library, devours with his eyes all the covers."

"In the annual football contest, the Sophomores kick the Freshmen
and the Freshmen vainly strive to kick the ball."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Staff Favorite: Map of Ticonderoga

Michel Chartier de Lotbinière’s “Plan du Fort de Carillon . . . .” (1758)
Brian Leigh Dunnigan has served as Curator of Maps since 1996 and Clements Library Associate Director from 2010.  Having come from a history and historic site museum background, he has a particular fondness for eighteenth-century manuscript maps or plans that include architecture or events.  The Clements collection is rich in such documents, many from major manuscript collections such as the Clinton and Gage papers.

One particular favorite dates to a bit earlier—the Seven Years' War (usually known in the U.S. as the French & Indian War).  French colonial engineer Michel Chartier de Lotbinière’s “Plan du Fort de Carillon . . . .” records the spectacular victory in July 1758 of a greatly outnumbered French army over their British opponents at the place usually known as Ticonderoga.  The map includes several appealing elements: topography, detailed military architecture, and historical action in its rendering of the defending French troops and the British units that bravely but futilely threw themselves against the fortifications.

The map also has interesting context and provenance.  This is not Lotbinière’s original drawing but a copy of his composition probably made by a British draftsman or engineer.  A note at the bottom of the title block states, in English, that the original was captured at Québec in 1759 with Lotbinière’s papers.  This copy was apparently made for British General Jeffery Amherst for it was once a part of his map collection and was passed down through his family.  The Clements purchased the map in 1967.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

In the News: U-M in History

This week the University Record highlighted the Clements Library in its regular "U-M in History" feature. The William L. Clements Library, designed by noted Detroit architect Albert Kahn, opened its doors in 1923. The photograph at right shows the library under construction in 1922.

See a higher-resolution scan of the construction photograph in the Bentley Historical Library's Image Bank.

To read more about the library's history, visit the History of the William L. Clements Library on our website.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Lecture by John J. Miller: "The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football," September 14, 2011

John J. Miller
"The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

John J. Miller, U-M graduate and author of The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, will lecture on his new book and the history of college football and the social changes in America that made college football popular.

John is a graduate of the University of Michigan and this fall will become director of the Herbert H. Dow II Journalism Program at Hillsdale College.  His lecture is in conjunction with the Library's current exhibit, The Games We Played: Sports in 19th Century America.

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

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

Monday, August 1, 2011

In the News: "Games Exhibit Explores Birth of Organized Sports"

The University Record for the week of July 25, 2011, included an article by Kevin Brown, "'Games' Exhibit Explores Birth of Organized Sports," on the current Clements Library exhibit, The Games We Played: Sports in Nineteenth Century America.

This exhibit is open to the public in the Main Room of the Clements Library, Monday through Thursday, 1-4:45 pm. It will be on display until October 7.

John J. Miller, a University of Michigan alumnus and author of The Big Scrum: How Teddy Roosevelt Saved Football, will deliver a lecture to accompany the exhibit at the library on September 14.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Clements Library Open During Art Fair, July 20-21

Clements Library Art Fair Hours:
Informational Tent and Main Room
Wednesday and Thursday, July 20-21
10:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

If you're in Ann Arbor for the Art Fair this week, consider stopping by the Clements Library as you walk along South University Ave.

The Clements Library Main Room will be open for exhibit viewing on Wednesday and Thursday of this week and an informational tent will be set up on the front grounds.

We extend an invitation to all to view the current exhibits and take respite from the heat in the Main Room or stop by the tent to inquire about upcoming Clements events & lectures.  Hours of operation will be from 10:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m.

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

Monday, July 11, 2011

In the News: Clements Library Conservator Julie Fremuth

The University Record Online for the week of July 11, 2011, includes an article by Kevin Brown on Clements Library Conservator Julie Fremuth. Julie is the featured artist in this year's Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, and her work will appear on the fair's official t-shirts and posters.

At the Clements Library, Julie's preservation skills and artistic sensibility are on display in the two current exhibits, The Games We Played and Mapping the Revolution. Julie creates custom mounts for every item on display and works with the curators to develop aesthetically pleasing layouts for each case. 

You can read more about Julie Fremuth's work at the Clements Library in her article, "Conserving Our Collections," in the latest issue of The Quarto (Spring-Summer 2011). Her work as a book artist has recently been featured in the book Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists.

Related posts:
The Latest Quarto is Here: Spring-Summer 2011 (June 8, 2011)
Recently Published: Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists (April 15, 2011)
Staff Favorite: Tapa Cloth from Captain Cook's Voyages (April 28, 2010)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Current Exhibit: "Mapping the Revolution"

Mapping the Revolution

Curated by Brian Leigh Dunnigan
Associate Director and Curator of Maps

The Clements Library is home to one of the world’s finest collections of manuscript maps and plans documenting the places and events of the American Revolution.  These run the gamut from beautifully finished and colored creations to the pencil or pen and ink scrawls of scouts, informants, and spies.  The sampling presented in this exhibition suggests the variety of types, styles, and functions of maps as represented in the collection as a whole and illustrates the planning and execution of military operations as seen by eyewitnesses to the war.

Selections from the Revolutionary War map collection are now on display in the center cases of the Main Room. See the Clements Library website for more information about our current exhibits.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Current Exhibit: "The Games We Played: Sports in Nineteenth Century America," June 13 - October 7, 2011

The Games We Played: Sports in Nineteenth Century America
June 13 - October 7, 2011
Main Room, Clements Library
909 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

Curated by Emiko Hastings

This exhibition offers a sampling of books, manuscripts, prints, photographs and other materials to illustrate the many sports played in 19th century America. Broadly defined, the theme of sports includes team sports, leisure activities, and other outdoor amusements like hunting and camping. In the 19th century, as life became increasingly urban and industrialized, activities like hunting, fishing, and running went from essential subsistence skills to entertainments reserved for leisure time. Some of the most popular sports today, including baseball, basketball, and football, were first developed in the 19th century. By the end of the 19th century, many sports had become formalized with the establishment of clubs, governing bodies, and official rulebooks.

Open to the public in the Main Room of the Clements Library Monday through Thursday 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 please call 734-764-2347.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Latest Quarto is Here: Spring-Summer 2011

The Spring-Summer Quarto is now available. The Quarto is a semi-annual magazine published by the William L. Clements Library and sent to members of the Clements Library Associates. This issue of The Quarto focuses on the architecture and three-dimensional collections at the Library.

  1. "From the Director," by J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Library.
  2. "Architecture and Artifacts," by Clayton Lewis, Curator of Graphic Materials.
  3. "A Gallery of Realia," highlighting some of the interesting three-dimensional objects in the collections.
  4. "To Beautify the Library: Globes at the Clements," by Mary Sponberg Pedley, Assistant Curator of Maps.
  5. "Conserving Our Collections," by Julie Fremuth, Conservator.
  6. "Developments," by Ann Rock, Director of Development.
  7. Announcements: First post-doctoral fellowships awarded, 2011 Jacob M. Price visiting research fellows, and new publication. 
  8. Calendar of Events

Read past issues of The Quarto online. Members of the Clements Library Associates will receive the current copy in the mail. If you would like more information about membership, please contact Ann Rock at or 734-358-9770.

Monday, May 30, 2011

From the Stacks: 1870 Memorial Day Oration

Memorial Day began after the American Civil War as a commemoration to honor fallen Union and Confederate soldiers. In 1868, General John A. Logan, commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued a proclamation to observe it nationwide on the last Monday in May.

In the Book Division of the Clements Library, a Memorial Day oration by General I.F. Shepard from 1870 provides an example of the type of commemorative speech often delivered on this national holiday. General Shepard reflected on the recent Civil War and soldiers' sacrifices for the nation, providing a narrative of nobility and ultimate victory that gave meaning to the painful memories of his listeners. He closed with a poem, "Memorial Day" by Judge R.E. Rombauer. Excerpts from the text below:

Memorial Day, May 30, 1870 : Oration by Gen. I.F. Shepard, Adjutant-General of Missouri, at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, Mo. St. Louis : Missouri Democrat Book and Job Printing House, 1870.

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow-Citizens and Surviving Comrades: Another year has brought us to these consecrated grounds, again to pay our tributes of love and reverence to departed heroes who sleep peacefully about us beneath these mounds and monuments.
. . .
It is fitting, then, that we make our annual pilgrimage to their graves to recall the teachings of the grand drama, to rehearse their deeds and their virtues, and to embalm their memories with all the tender rites of affection and of honor."

"Spirits of the noble dead! Ethereal host of undying heroes! Bend above us in fraternal greetings, and accept our tokens of love! Help us to bear our part in all duties, till, once again united, we stand in serried ranks of most glorious victory, where flowers spring eternal beside the still waters of life in the better land!"

Memorial Day
By Judge R.E. Rombauer

When freedom once from East to West,
Sent forth her battle-cry,
Nine hundred thousand warriors rose,
To conquer or to die.

Nine hundred thousand warriors armed,
And marched to martial strains;
But ah! full many thousand went
That never came again.

On Souther plains--on Southern hills--
In brake and mountain dell,
They fought that freedom still might live--
That she might live, they fell.

And when her bright day dawned again--
Dawned after years of dread--
A thankful nation mournful went
To seek its hero dead!

It sought for them, in places all
Swept by the battle tide;
It built for them a garden home,
And laid them side by side.

* * * * * * * *
And years of war brought years of peace;
Then came another day;
When, after winter storms and frowns,
The roses blushed in May.

And lo! men, women, children come
From places near and far--
An army grand, yet unadorned
By panoplies of war.

They come adorned with flowery wreaths
Through the quiet shades to roam.
Where their brave brothers sleeping lie,
In their still garden home.

To deck their couch with fragrant leaves,
To pray with fervent mien
Their fame might be forever bright,
Their memory ever green.

* * * * * * * *
Oh! brothers all! and sisters all,
Of every race and age;
Who from all places near and far
Join in this pilgrimage;

Whose steps by powers of love are led
And guided all above,
Let us forget the days of hate
On this great day of love.

Let us forget the slaying hand,
Forgive the erring will;
Thanks to our fallen brothers brave,
We are one nation still.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Reminder: Clements Library Summer Hours Begin May 31

On May 31, the Clements Library starts the summer schedule. Note that the library will be open for research on weekdays until 5:45 pm, except for Fridays. (Thursday evening research hours will resume in the fall.) Public exhibits will be open in the afternoons, Monday through Thursday.

Monday: 9:00 am – 5:45 pm
Tuesday: 9:00 am – 5:45 pm
Wednesday: 9:00 am – 5:45 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am – 5:45 pm
Friday: 9:00 am – 11:45 am

Great Hall exhibits:
Monday – Thursday: 1:00 pm – 4:45 pm

You can always find complete information about the Library's hours on our website under Hours & Directions. If you have any questions, please call the Library at (734) 764-2347.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

In the News: Interactive Tour of "Opening Guns"

The LSA Wire, the online complement to U-M's LSAmagazine, has recently published an interactive online tour of the Clements Library's current exhibit, "Opening Guns: The First Year of the Civil War." The online version includes items featured in the exhibit as well as additional Civil War materials from the Library's collections.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Reception for New Publication: An Americana Sampler

Essays on Selections from
 the William L. Clements Library
Thursday, June 2, 2011
4:00—6:00 p.m. 

Please join us to celebrate our newest publication and hear our curators talk about a few of the articles from An Americana Sampler: Essays on Selections from the William L. Clements Library. Eighteen contributions by Library staff and University of Michigan historians are highlighted in this most recent publication from the Library.  This important book, with more than 190 illustrations from the building and the collections, highlights the scope of the Library’s materials and looks at  topics dating from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century. 

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

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Recently Published: An Americana Sampler: Essays on Selections from the William L. Clements Library

New Publication Highlights Scope of Library’s Collection

The Clements Library is proud to introduce its latest publication. An Americana Sampler: Essays on Selections from the William L. Clements Library includes eighteen contributions by Library staff and University of Michigan historians.

The 185-page, cloth-bound book presents examples of collections and topics dating from the sixteenth to the early twentieth century. The essays suggest the wealth and variety of the Clements holdings and the opportunities for research they provide. Beautifully designed by Kathy Horn, the volume includes more than 190 full-color photographs of the Library and its collections.

Publication of this book was made possible by the generous support of the McGregor Fund of Detroit. Copies are available from the Clements for $40.00 (ISBN 978-0-615-46683-5). See the Clements Library Book Store for ordering information or call 734-764-2347 for further details.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair, Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thirty Third Annual
Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair
 Sunday, May 22, 11am to 5pm
Admission: $5.00

Michigan Union Ballroom, 2nd Floor
530 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI

For more information call:
West Side Book Shop (734) 995-1891

Sponsored by the Ann Arbor Antiquarian Booksellers Association
A benefit for the William L. Clements Library

Monday, April 18, 2011

Lecture by Kelly Sisson Lessens: "King Corn in the Kitchen, 1877-1918," April 28, 2011

Kelly Sisson Lessens
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Michigan

“'To gladden and bless the nations of the earth':
King Corn in the Kitchen, 1877-1918”

Thursday, April 28, 2011
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Co-sponsored by the Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor

Between the late 1870s and the first World War, a series of bumper corn crops prompted leaders in politics, industry, and branches of the federal government to market corn as a desirable "human food" in the United States and Europe. In this lecture, Kelly Sisson Lessens reviews the actions of the era’s American corn boosters to place the rise of King Corn into the context of industrialization, cultural change and agricultural market development in the United States.

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

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

Friday, April 15, 2011

Recently Published: Masters: Book Arts: Major Works by Leading Artists

Publication date: April 2011

Description from publisher's website:
"This collection in the popular Masters series, chosen and introduced by one of the world's top curators, offers field-defining work from 43 master book artists. The selections demonstrate conceptual, aesthetic, and technical excellence, as well as incredible beauty. Brief comments from the artists about their work, careers, and philosophies accompany the stunning images of their most innovative and technically accomplished book art achievements."

This beautifully-illustrated book includes 8 pages devoted to the work of Clements Library Conservator Julie Fremuth. Julie Fremuth is an accomplished book artist who regularly participates in the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair and will be its featured artist for 2011. In 2009, she was invited to show her work in the Yokohama International Open-Air Art Fair, the first art fair of its kind in Japan (see article on

Related posts:
Staff Favorite: Tapa Cloth from Captain Cook's Voyages (April 28, 2010)

Friday, April 8, 2011

Afternoon with the Curators, April 14, 2011

Afternoon with the Curators
Thursday, April 14, 2011
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Join us to talk with the curators as they discuss our current exhibit, Opening Guns:  The First Year of Civil War. (Exhibit runs until June 3, 2011.)

Free and open to the public. For more information, visit our website at or call the Clements Library at 734-764-2347.

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

Friday, April 1, 2011

Founder's Day at the Clements

On this date in 1861, William L. Clements was born to James and Agnes Clements of Ann Arbor, Michigan. Less than two weeks later, Fort Sumter fell to the Confederates and the Civil War began (Visit the Library's current exhibit, Opening Guns: The First Year of the Civil War, to learn more about this time in our nation's history.)

Sixty-two years later, on June 15, 1923, Mr. Clements presided over the dedication of the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan.

Founder's Day was first held at the Library in 1938, and has been re-instituted as an annual Library tradition beginning in 2009. Yesterday, the Clements Library celebrated with a public lecture by Dr. Peter H. Wood, "Near Andersonville": Winslow Homer's Civil War.

See last year's post for more on the history of Founder's Day celebrations:
April 1, 2010: Founder's Day Celebration: Happy Birthday, Mr. Clements!

Further reading:
History of the William L. Clements Library
Margaret Maxwell, Shaping a Library: William L. Clements as Collector (1973).

Friday, March 25, 2011

Staff Favorite: William T. Washington Letter

Today in History: Greek Independence Day

Cheney J. Schopieray, Assistant Curator of Manuscripts, has worked at the Clements Library since 2002. His list of favorite manuscripts grows longer on a daily basis, but in honor of the 190th anniversary celebration of the outbreak of the Greek War of Independence (1821-1829), today his favorite manuscript is a public letter written by William Townshend Washington, August 27, 1825. Cheney found (and continues to find) the complexity of William Washington's character, his at times egregious behavior, and his questionable motives to be intriguing and worthy of a biography, or perhaps an adventure novel.

The letter has relevance to American service in the Greek rebellion against Turkish Ottoman rule and it is an unusual piece of Washingtoniana. William T. Washington was a Virginian, who claimed distant familial ties to George Washington. He attended West Point and received a Lieutenant's commission in 1823.

Washington, like Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe, was an American Philhellene who traveled to Greece in the 1820s to support the Revolution. However, unlike Howe, his services in Greece are remembered with mixed feelings. Contemporary accounts of Washington variously referred to him as strange, "brave but unprincipled," and possessed of "unbounded vanity." [1] Commodore John Rodgers, commander of the U.S. Mediterranean squadron during the Greek Revolution, had occasion to meet Washington under less than favorable circumstances. He described him as "inconsistent, unless he is insane."[2]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Current Exhibit: The Acquisition of the Henry Strachey Papers

Image courtesy of Sotheby's.
The Acquisition of the Henry Strachey Papers

In October 2010 the Clements Library purchased the Henry Strachey Papers at Sotheby's, ending a paper chase that began in the 1920s. The acquisition complements a Strachey archive the Library bought in 1982 and reunites an impressive array of important primary sources for historians of the American Revolution. Strachey's letters and other manuscripts tell the British side of the story, offering scholars valuable new information on Anglo-American relations, English investments in North America, the events of the war, the Treaty of Paris, and late 18th- century social history.

Selections from both parts of the Strachey collection are now on display in the center cases of the Main Room. See the Clements Library website for more information about our current exhibits.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Clements Library Fellowships Announced

First Post-Doctoral Fellowships Awarded

Five post-doctoral fellows will be in residence at the Clements Library during 2011 thanks to awards made from our four new fellowships.  These are designed to fund extended research in the Library’s outstanding collections.  This is the first class of post-doctoral fellows in a continuing program to support advanced scholarship, and we look forward to the books that will result from their visits.  Many thanks to the foundations and individual donors who have made these fellowships possible.

Prof. William A. Hay of Mississippi State University is the recipient of the Howard H. Peckham Fellowship on Revolutionary America for his book topic, “King George’s Generals: How the British Army Lost America.”

Prof. Michael J. Bennett of High Point University has been selected for an Earhart Foundation Fellowship on Civil War America for his book topic, “The Soul in Battle: Restraint and Retaliation in the Civil War.”

Dr. John Casey of the University of Illinois at Chicago will receive an Upton Foundation Fellowship on Civil War America for his book topic, “The Vanishing Civil War Veteran in Late-Nineteenth-Century American Literature and Culture.”

Dr. Amy Lippert of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is the recipient of an Upton Foundation Fellowship on Civil War America for her book topic, “Consuming Identities: Visual Culture and Celebrity in Nineteenth-Century San Francisco.”

Prof. Gregory J.W. Urwin of Temple University has been awarded an Earhart Foundation Fellowship on American History for his book topic, “When Freedom Wore a Red Coat: A Social History of Cornwallis’ 1781 Virginia Campaign.”

2011 Jacob M. Price Visiting Research Fellowships

The Library did not offer the popular Price Fellowships in 2010, so it is a particular pleasure to report that we have made awards to ten promising young scholars for 2011.  All will visit to consult our collections in support of their research.

Prof. Christian A. Crouch, Bard College, for her book topic, “The Savage Nobles: New France and Martial Practice in the French Atlantic Empire, 1748-1768.”

Huw Thomas David, University of Oxford, for his dissertation, “Trade, Politics, and the Unfinished Business of American Independence, 1783-1795.”

David T. Flaherty, University of Virginia, for his dissertation, “British Visions of Empire and the Aggressive Imperial Project for the North American Frontier, 1713-1783.”

M. Scott Heerman, University of Maryland, College Park, for his dissertation, “’The Nations of This Continent’: Slavery and Making the American Republic in the Mississippi Valley, 1750-1840.”

Trenton Cole Jones, Johns Hopkins University, for his dissertation, “Deprived of Their Liberty: Prisoners of War and American Military Culture, 1775-1783.”

Andrew F. Lang, Rice University, for his dissertation, “Liberators, Occupiers, and Protectors: The Culture of Soldiering Behind the Lines During the American Civil War.”

Christopher F. Minty, University of Stirling, for his dissertation, “Popular Loyalism and Counter-Revolution in the British Atlantic World, c. 1776-1800.”

Jennifer K. Snyder, University of Florida, for her dissertation, “Black Flight: Tracing the Loyalist Slave Diaspora Throughout the Revolutionary Atlantic World.”

Matthew P. Spooner, Columbia University, for his dissertation, “Origins of the Old South: The reconstruction of Southern Slavery, 1778-1808,”

Aaron Sullivan, Temple University, for his dissertation, “In the Jaws of the Lion: The British Occupation of Philadelphia and the Disaffected Center of Revolution.”

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Founder's Day Lecture by Dr. Peter Wood, March 31, 2011

Dr. Peter H. Wood
Emeritus Professor of History, Duke University

Founder’s Day Lecture
“Near Andersonville”:  Winslow Homer’s Civil War

Thursday, March 31, 2011
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Main Room, Clements Library
909 S. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190

American painter Winslow Homer rose to national attention during the Civil War, but one of his most important early paintings, “Near Andersonville,” remained unknown for a century. In this illustrated lecture, historian Peter Wood reveals the long-hidden story of this remarkable Civil War painting. Wood examines the interplay of symbolic elements and links the painting to Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign of 1864. Wood’s provocative study offers a fresh vantage point on Homer’s early career, the struggle to end slavery, and the dramatic closing years of the Civil War.

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

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lecture by Emiko Hastings: "Mighty Women Book Hunters: Women Bibliophiles and Librarians," March 17, 2011

"Mighty Women Book Hunters": Women Bibliophiles and Librarians
4:00 pm, Thursday, March 17, 2011
Main Room, Clements Library
909 S. University Ave.

Emi Hastings, Book Curator for the Clements Library, will provide a brief history of women in the rare book field as collectors, librarians, and dealers. What were the barriers to women's participation, and why did so many writers refer to women as "the enemies of books"? This talk will explore the literature of book collecting and some of the notable women bibliophiles through the ages.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Current Exhibit: "Opening Guns: The First Year of Civil War," February 28, 2011 - June 3, 2010

Opening Guns:  The First Year of Civil War
February 28 - June 3, 2011
Main Room, Clements Library
909 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor, MI

Curated by Barbara DeWolfe

This exhibit presents the year 1861 through the written word of the soldiers and civilians who experienced the war between the Union and Confederate states, whether as soldier, commanding officer, Sanitary Commission worker, politician, or family member at home.  Entitled "Opening Guns," it could as well be called "Opening Pens," reflecting the huge outpouring of letters and personal accounts written during the entire four years of the war.  These are especially valuable to historians because they were not censored as they were in later wars fought by United States troops.  These letters, found in numerous repositories in the United States, provide a remarkable record of just about every aspect of the war.  This exhibit for the year 1861 was put together with materials from all five divisions of the William L. Clements Library.

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 please call 734-764-2347.