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."