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.