Monday, December 23, 2013

Happy Holidays from the Clements Library!

For this year's festivities, we offer a selection of cat-themed holiday cards from the ephemera collections of the Clements Library. May you have a purr-fect holiday season!

"Though a Kitten, quite able I ought to be, To carry a Christmas wish to thee." 

"A Merry Christmas To You."

"Wishing You a Merry Christmas. 
Side by side the cold and warm, 
Side by side the shine and storm, 
Blending in communion gay 
Neath the glow of Christmas day."

[Photograph of kitten with book.]

 "To Wish you a happy New Year."

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving from the Clements Library

For this week, we offer a selection of Thanksgiving postcards from the Graphics Division. All three of these postcards depict the iconic Thanksgiving turkey. Two contrast the turkey with our other national bird, the bald eagle. Founding Father Benjamin Franklin famously preferred the turkey to the eagle, writing in a letter to his daughter, "For in Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America."

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

In the News: Clements Library on C-SPAN

C-SPAN Book TV visited the Clements Library on October 22nd as part of the national network's 2013 "Cities Tour," a production featuring the history and literary life of selected cities across the country. C-SPAN spent a week in Ann Arbor, interviewing area professors, authors, curators, and the Literati bookstore owners. The Clements Library segment aired on C-SPAN2 on November 16 at 12:00noon and November 17 at 10:30am (ET).

Items shown in the segment:
  • Columbus, Christopher, and Gabriel Sánchez. Epistola Christofori Colom… [Rome: Stephen Plannck, after 29 April 1493]. 
  • Thomas Gage draft of an order to Lt. Col. Francis Smith; April 18, 1775. Order for the Concord Expedition. Thomas Gage Papers
  • Henry Clinton letter to John Burgoyne; August 10, 1777. Secret "mask letter" regarding Clinton's limited ability to provide support for Burgoyne. Henry Clinton Papers
  • "Moore" [Benedict Arnold] letter to John André; July 15, 1780. Coded letter specifying Arnold's terms for the surrender of West Point. Henry Clinton Papers
  • Charles Cornwallis official letter to Henry Clinton; October 20, 1781. Announcement of the British surrender at Yorktown. Henry Clinton Papers
  • Tobias Lear's manuscript account of the final sickness and death of George Washington; December 15, 1799. Tobias Lear Papers
Clements Library segment hosted by C-SPAN:
Clements C-SPAN Cities Tour "Ann Arbor" website:

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Lecture by Mary Pedley, "Mapping Fear: Stoking the Fires of the French and Indian War," November 21, 2013

"Mapping Fear: Stoking the Fires of the French and Indian War"
Mary Sponberg Pedley, Adjunct Assistant Curator of Maps, Clements Library

Thursday, November 21, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room 100 

Because maps are often, though mistakenly, perceived to be objective and neutral, they make effective tools for creating the conditions for war. An example from the Clements Library collection, A New and Accurate Map of the English Empire in North America by a Society of Anti-Gallicans, published in London in 1755, demonstrates how jealousy, greed, and commercial rivalry can drive foreign affairs. This illustrated talk looks carefully at the map’s sources, publishers, and historical context of intense commercial and political rivalry between France and Great Britain both in Europe and in North America.

Please note: due to the renovation, the Clements Library 2013 Events and Lecture series will be held at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room 100. Directions here:

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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Today in History: Halloween

“This is holy eve,” Richard Coulter wrote in his journal on October 31st, 1847. He was serving in the American Army that Halloween due to the Mexican War, and he noted the differences between how the day was observed in Mexico and back home in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. “There have been some religious ceremonies in churches today; no other celebrations of holy eve; no demolishing of cabbage as in our country.” While we at the Clements Library will not be participating in any destruction of cabbages, a tradition harkening back to Ireland and Scotland, we can note the day by highlighting some items in our collections instead, including the transcript of Coulter’s journal found in our Manuscripts Division.

We also have a nice selection of items relating to the growing interest in spirits during the 1860s. The traumatic losses suffered during the Civil War heightened the emotional resonance of connecting to the realm of the dead. With the rise of new technologies, photographers proclaimed themselves able to capture images of ghosts that accompanied their customers into the studio. We have a smattering of such spirit photographs in our Cartes de Visite collection.

Mrs. H.F. Stuart. “Woman at table with male spirit.” Carte de visite photograph, ca. 1865.

Along with the full-hearted belief in ghosts, however, also came a pretty healthy skepticism. The wonderful holdings in our Book Division help us see both sides of this nineteenth-century cultural debate. Spectropia; or, Surprising Spectral Illusions showing Ghosts Everywhere, and of any Colour tried to explain that “no so-called ghost has ever appeared, without its being referable either to mental or physiological deception.” To illustrate this, the book provided eerie pictures, which, if stared at long enough, would leave ghostly images in your vision when you looked away.

Spectropia; or, Surprising Spectral Illusion showing Ghosts Everywhere, and of any Colour. With Sixteen Illustrations, (New York: James G. Gregory, 1864)

The William L. Clements Library’s collections also yield up gems more in line with Halloween’s lighter side. We have some friendly skeletons in our Graphics Division’s photo album collections.

Image from Eastern Shore Photo Album, ca. 1900

And while not as exciting as the “demolishing of cabbage[s],” we do have a jack-o-lantern or two… with or without Theodore Roosevelt’s likeness.

Image from West Michigan Family Album, David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan PhotographyJames M. Reilly. “Halloween Card from Grandpa T.R.” Ink drawing with watercolor, ca. 1909, Prints-- American Satire.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Lecture by Michael Nassaney, "Michigan Before Statehood as Revealed through the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project," October 29, 2013

"Michigan Before Statehood as Revealed through the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project"
Michael S. Nassaney, Professor of Anthropology at Western Michigan University

Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room 100

Nassaney will discuss his archaeological findings at the excavation site of Fort St. Joseph and the information it’s providing on daily life at a mission, garrison, and trading post complex at one of the oldest European settlements in the western Great Lakes Region.

Please note: due to the renovation, the Clements Library 2013 Events and Lecture series will be held at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room 100. Directions here:

Hatcher Gallery, photo courtesy of MLibrary on Flickr.
Free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Clements Library at (734) 764-2347 or visit our website:

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Recent Acquisition: 19th Century Children's School Books

The Book Division recently received a gift from James E. Laramy of twelve late 19th century children's books. The collection previously belonged to his grandmother's family of Grand Rapids, Michigan. These books, which include readers, arithmetic books, geographies, and other children's books, are an excellent addition to our collection of 18th and 19th century American juvenile literature.

Stories for Mary, Tom, Dick and Harry. Philadelphia, 1892. This book of children's stories has a chromolithographed cover illustration.  
Several of the books include insertions such as handwritten notes, schoolwork, and small advertising ephemera. These items give a glimpse into the lives of the children who owned the books. The Harper's School Geography for 1882, which belonged to Henry DeBlond, contains twenty-three manuscript maps he made, possibly for a school assignment.

Map of Michigan, signed by Henry DeBlond (1872-1886). Inserted in Harper's School Geography (New York, 1882). 
Many of the books contain the inscriptions of previous owners, including Jane (Luten) DeBlonde and her children, Henry DeBlonde, Ada M. DeBlonde, Henrietta (DeBlonde) Laramy, and Genevieve DeBlonde. In some cases, the owners have recorded the date and location where they purchased the book. Several books also have a rhyme to ward off book thieves:

"Steal not this book, for fear of life, For the owner carries a two cent knife." 
Variations on this rhyme include: "Steal not this book, for fear of life, for the owner carries a two cent knife," "Steal not this book, for fear of shame, for here you see the owner's name," and "Steal not this book, for fear of shame, for fear the Lord will know your name."

All of the books from the Laramy gift are now cataloged in Mirlyn and available for research. Maps found in books, including the manuscript maps by Henry DeBlond, will be catalogued separately for the Map Division.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Lecture by Keith R. Widder, "Beyond Pontiac's Shadow: Michilimackinac and the Anglo-Indian War of 1763," October 8, 2013

"Beyond Pontiac's Shadow: Michilimackinac and the Anglo-Indian War of 1763"
Keith R. Widder, author and former Curator of History for Mackinac State Historic Parks

Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room 100

Widder will explore how early alliances among the British and Indians in the Michilimackinac borderland prevented the Ojibwe attack at Michilimackinac on June 1763 from igniting more violence against the British. Widder’s recently published book of the same name will be on sale.

Please note: due to the renovation, the Clements Library 2013 Events and Lecture series will be held at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room 100. Directions here:

Hatcher Gallery, photo courtesy of MLibrary on Flickr.
Free and open to the public. For more information, contact the Clements Library at (734) 764-2347 or visit our website:

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From the Stacks: Elaborate Mother-of-Pearl Bindings

During our recent collections move, we had a chance to discover forgotten treasures hidden in the stacks. While re-shelving the book collection, we came across not one, but two rare examples of papier-mâché bindings. These lovely items have book covers made of layered paper, coated in black varnish and decorated with paint and inlaid mother-of-pearl. Papier-mâché bindings were popular for a brief time in the 1850s, often on gift books, portfolios, and albums.

The first book is Our Saviour with Prophets and Apostles (New York, 1851). This cover features a landscape scene with a ship, framed in gold. Three of the four mother-of-pearl cover bosses are still intact on the upper cover. The upper cover has some cracking and loss of painted details.

The second book is The Iris: An Illuminated Souvenir for MDCCCLII (Philadelphia, 1852). This cover design includes a bouquet of flowers in the center of a black background. The flowers are made of mother-of-pearl, embellished with tinted varnish and gold leaf.

An excellent source on the history and construction of these bindings is Jennifer W. Rosner's essay, "Papier-Mâché Bindings: 'Shining in Black and Gorgeous with Pearl and Gold'" in Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding (Legacy Press, 2013). The Library Company of Philadelphia has perhaps the best collection of papier-mâché bindings, including 49 books and 8 portfolio covers. The collection can be viewed online on Flickr.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Today in History: World Beard Day

Post by Jayne Ptolemy, Reading Room Supervisor

In honor of the upcoming celebration of World Beard Day on Saturday, September 7, Clements Library offers up this small sampling of the luxuriant beards found in our extensive Graphics Division. For example, amidst the thousands of photographs in the David V. Tinder Cabinet Card Photograph Collection, one can find beards of every type.

We have pious beards and devilish beards.

We have fancy beards and full beards.

We have partial beards and people who wish they had any beard at all.

We have beards to make a barber quiver and quake!

While exploring our Graphics Division’s collection of photographs and prints, you’ll see these beards and many more, all bearing witness to the glorious history of facial hair in America and giving you a glimpse into changing fashions and definitions of gender. And don’t even get us started on the mustaches …

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Today in History: the Perseid Meteor Shower

Post by Jayne Ptolemy, Reading Room Supervisor

In the early morning hours of August 12th, the Perseid Meteor Shower will be at its peak for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere. As we pass through the trailing dust left by the Swift-Tuttle comet, we should witness a beautiful demonstration—if the weather permits. In 1866 James Edwards Oliver watched a similar meteor shower in Lynn, Massachusetts. He did not have the benefit of a modern alarm clock, but he assured his correspondent, “We shan’t miss the meteors; neither shall we sit up beforehand to see them: for our night-watchmen are to ring the bells when they come.” After six pages of emotive ruminations on gravitation, motion, and meteor showers, he described the cause of the lightshow as “aerolites… arrested suddenly by our stronger atmosphere, they flash into unexpected splendor, burst into hot vapor, cool into the finest dust of iron-oxide, sift down slowly & unseen through the air, become part of the lovely & ever-changing earth, live in the red blood-disks of man...” James Edwards Oliver’s letter is among many beautiful and descriptive accounts to be found in the Clements’s American Science and Medicine Collection.

With items ranging from 1702 to 1913, and respecting astronomy, botany, epidemics, medicine, quackery, mental health, and many other topics, this diverse group of individual manuscripts is an especially compelling one. Contributors include laymen, experts, businessmen, women, and others, giving a broad overview of American perspectives on medical and scientific matters. Among these is an August 1832 letter, where student William H. Butler described his astronomical studies to a family member. He illustrated his correspondence with a pen and ink drawing of the solar system, using stamps to place the planets. Butler identified Uranus as "Herschel," after astronomer and composer William Herschel, its recognized discoverer.

Butler’s manuscript map is complemented by holdings in our book and map divisions. For example, this printed map of the solar system appears in Uzziah Burnap’s 1822 edition of The Youth’s Ethereal Director, or, A Concise and Familiar Explanation of the Elements of Astronomy.

Uzziah Burnap, The Youth’s Ethereal Director (Middlebury: J.W. Copeland, 1822). Uranus is again identified with a capital ‘H,’ reflecting the planet’s early name. The Clements’s books, maps, and atlases give many beautiful and detailed depictions of astronomical bodies and systems, while a number of our manuscript collections provide nuanced first-person perspectives on celestial events.

An unidentified writer from the American Science and Medicine Collection gives us one last glimpse into how people enjoyed stargazing. Describing bright flashing lights in an early-morning sky, the observer noted, with a degree of awe, that “It appeared as if all the stars were falling to the earth” (September 1833). If we are fortunate, maybe it will appear so to us this August 12, 2013.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Latest Quarto: Renovation

The Spring-Summer 2013 Quarto is out! 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 current Clements Library move and renovation.
  1. "Interesting Times," by J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Library. 
  2. "A Makeover for the Clements," by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director & Curator of Maps. A brief history of our renovation plans, with details of the changes to be made. 
  3. "Reader Services in Transition," by Clayton Lewis, Curator of Graphic Materials & Head of Reader Services. Continuing reference services at our temporary location. 
  4. "The Moveable Feast," by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director & Curator of Maps. The Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive has a new home in the University Library's Special Collections Library. 
  5. "Celebrating the Avenir Foundation Room," by Patrick J. Galligan, Curatorial Assistant, Manuscripts Division. The Norton Strange Townshend papers at the Clements Library and the naming of the new reading room. 
  6. "1813-2013: A Bicentennial Marches On," by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director & Curator of Maps." Commemoration of the War of 1812. 
  7. "Developments," by Ann Rock. Digital initiatives at the Clements. 
  8. Announcements. 
  9. 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.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Afternoon with the Curators, June 27, 2013

Afternoon with the Curators

Thursday, June 27, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Main Room, Clements Library

Please join the Clements Library staff for a lecture on the current exhibit, Recent Acquisitions: Building on the Clements Collection and an update on the Library's renovation. Highlighting acquisitions to the collections since 2007, curators from the map, manuscript, books and graphics divisions will discuss the diversity of media and subject matter that researchers can draw on from the Clements collection.

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, June 11, 2013

From the Stacks: Rachel and Andrew Jackson in the Lamb-Sykes Family Papers

Guest post by Katelyn Jedro

Katelyn Jedro, former graduate student at Wayne State University's School of Library and Information Science (grad. Spring 2013), completed her 2013 winter semester practicum at the William L. Clements Library. She confronted the challenging task of arranging and describing the papers of the prominent Lamb and Sykes families of Philadelphia.  The collection revolves around the 19th century financial and business activities of Margaretta Lamb née Carswell, her husband Lemuel Lamb, and their son-in-law Robert Wharton Sykes.  In addition to extensive financial records, the collection includes approximately 245 letters to and from family members.   One of the many small groups of notable correspondence is six letters between Margaret Carswell, Margaretta Carswell, Rachel Jackson, and General Andrew Jackson.  The Jacksons were personal friends of Margaretta's parents, Samuel and Margaret Carswell.

Rachel Jackson ALS to Margaretta Carswell; October 20, 1820. Hermitage.
On October 20, 1820, Rachel Jackson wrote to the young Margaretta that her husband "The Genl is now in the Indian Nation agreeable to the orders of his government treating with the Choctaws for an Exchaing of Lands so betwene war & treaties I am Deprived almost indeed of the comfort and consolation of that Dear friend."  Later in the same letter, she wrote "I have this moment receid Letters from my Dear absent friend he has made a good treaty with that nation of Indians he has obtained six millions of Land for the government thus says He Ends my Diplomacy, but I am bereaved of almost Every Earthly comfort Its nearly Eight weeks since he Left home."  With the Treaty of Doak's Stand, signed October 18, 1820, the Choctaw tribe signed over a significant portion of their land holdings in central and western Mississippi.[1]

Another prominent historical event mentioned in these letters is the fall of the Second Bank of the United States, which was liquidated in 1841.[2] Margaretta's father served on the board of directors for the bank, and she inherited stock upon his death.  In a letter dated in 1843 she wrote to Andrew Jackson:
"It has been our misfortune to live in the atmosphere of the United States Bank & you are probably aware that this institution was a pet of my Fathers but not under the administration of Nicholas Biddle & Co. know the paralyzing effect it has had throughout our country & sad very sad have they been our Bank & our city. We like others out of business & living on income have met with very heavy losses & although we have a good deal of real estate yet it does not yield an income sufficient for our family to live on neither can we sell it with a sacrifice of from one half to two thirds and having a family of nine children seven daughters & two sons I do not feel it right to make any such sacrifices."
To help offset the family's losses, she proposed to establish a boarding school for girls at the Lamb home on Chestnut Street.  The former President responded to her letter on August 7, 1843, commended her for her intent to start the school, and promised to spread the word amongst his female relations.  Margaretta's letter to Jackson seems ironic in that her recipient was instrumental in preventing the re-chartering of the bank in 1836.
Andrew Jackson ALS to Margaretta Lamb; August 7, 1843. Hermitage.
Many additional subjects of interest are contained in these letters, including Rachel Jackson's references to the construction of the Hermitage mansion and to religious revivals in Tennessee (letters dated in 1820).

The finding aid for the Lamb-Sykes Family Papers may be found here: Lamb-Sykes Family Papers Finding Aid.

1. Everett, C.S., "Doak's Stand, Mississippi," in Treaties with American Indians: An Encyclopedia of Rights, Conflicts, and Sovereignty (ABC-CLIO, 2007), 416-417.
2. Hammond, Bray, "Jackson, Biddle, and the Bank of the United States," The Journal of Economic History, 7, no.1 (May 1947): 15.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair, May 19, 2013

Thirty Fifth Annual 
Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair
Sunday, May 19, 11:00 - 5:00
Admission: $5.00

Michigan Union Ballroom, 2nd Floor
530 S. State (S. State & S. University), Ann Arbor, MI

Come see some 40 booksellers, map and print dealers gathered in one location. You will find first editions, old and collectible books, literature, children’s books, Americana, prints and more. Your $5 admission fee benefits the William L. Clements Library at the University of Michigan.

For more information, contact the book fair director Jay Platt at the West Side Book Shop in Ann Arbor (113 W. Liberty, Ann Arbor MI 48104), ph. (734) 995-1891, or via email.

For more updates about the Ann Arbor Antiquarian Book Fair, follow on Twitter @ASquareBookFair or like the Facebook page.

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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Congratulations to Naomi Herman-Aplet for Best Graduate Student Poster at MAC

Naomi Herman-Aplet, a School of Information work-study student in the Manuscripts Division, won the best graduate student poster at the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) last weekend.

She says, "My MAC poster was entitled, "Constructing K-12 Learning Activities in Archives," and focused on the Family Day I planned for the Proclaiming Emancipation Exhibit."

"The core of my presentation focused on the new National Common Core Standards, which call for the use of primary documents in the classroom. The new standards emphasize skill-building over fact learning, so students will have the opportunity to interpret documents and make new arguments, in effect to learn history by learning how to be a historian. As a former social studies teacher, it's something I'm very excited about."

"In Proclaiming Emancipation, I created five learning stations based around the five stages of historical inquiry: connecting to background knowledge, seeking new information, interpreting documents, evaluating sources, and creating new content. Students (roughly age 5-12) showed a tremendous amount of interest and enthusiasm for the activities."

Monday, April 22, 2013

Current Exhibit: From My Collection to Yours: Provenance of Treasures in the Clements Library

Now on display in the center cases of the Main Room:

From My Collection to Yours: Provenance of Treasures in the Clements Library

Many of the rare books and pamphlets in the Clements Library have provenance trails to great collectors, dealers, bibliographers, and auctioneers. Bookplates, ownership signatures, dealer and auction invoices, and other evidence tie individual titles here to a long list of noteworthy Americanists -- White Kennett, Isaiah Thomas, John Carter Brown, James Lenox, William Menzies, George Brinley, Brayton Ives, Wilberforce Eames, Edward E. Ayer, Lathrop C. Harper, Thomas W. Streeter, and dozens more.

Since the Grolier Club's founding in 1884, the Grolier roster has included most of the leading Americana collectors, curators, and connoisseurs of each generation. William L. Clements was a Grolier member from 1920 to his death in 1934. In honor of the Club's April 2013 visit to the Clements, this exhibit features a range of Clements rarities once owned by Grolier members.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

In the News: "Clements Library to Receive $17M Interior Renovation"

Last week, the Michigan Daily featured an article by Stephanie Shenouda on the Clements Library renovation, including quotes from library director Kevin Graffagnino. "Clements Library to receive $17M interior renovation" describes the library's plans to move the reading room and add an underground addition for collections storage.

This summer, the library will move staff and collections to a temporary location on Ellsworth Road, where reader services will resume in the fall. Please check our renovations update page for the latest information.

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:

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:

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.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive to Move to the University Library

The Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive (JBLCA) will be moving from the Clements Library to the University Library, where it will make its new home in Special Collections. Shaped by the donation of a rich assemblage of cookbooks, menus, and other material collected over many years by Janice and Daniel Longone, the JBLCA is recognized around the campus and across the country as a premier collection of books, ephemera, and other material that both documents and defines the American culinary experience. The transfer to Special Collections is intended to fully realize the potential of the JBLCA for teaching, learning, and research at the University of Michigan and beyond. The Special Collections Library is enthusiastic about acquiring, expanding, caring for, and promoting the use of the JBLCA.

JJ Jacobson, as curator of the collection, will join the staff of the Special Collections Library. Jan Longone, in her role as “ambassador” for the JBLCA, will be appointed as adjunct curator. Over the course of the coming months, Clements and Special Collections staff will work together to ensure a smooth transfer of the collection itself, which will be available for research at the Clements until sometime this spring, when it will be available in the Special Collections Library.

The Clements will continue to hold a fine collection of materials for research in early American culinary history. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Special Collections Library to ensure that researchers have access to the full range of resources for the study of culinary history and related topics.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Latest Quarto: Maritime History

The Fall-Winter 2012 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 Clements Library collections related to maritime history.
  1. "A Sailor's Life for Me," by J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Library.
  2. "Profiling the Coasts," by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director & Curator of Maps. Coastal profiles in the Clements Library map collections. 
  3. "Coloring the Winds," by Mary Sponberg Pedley, Assistant Curator of Maps. Use of color printing for rhumb lines on maps. 
  4. "Buccaneers and Buried Gold," by Emiko Hastings, Curator of Books. Depictions of buccaneers of the West Indies in early books. 
  5. "Give Jack His Grog," by JJ Jacobson, Curator for American Culinary History. History of the spirit ration in the U.S. Navy. 
  6. "Black and White Ships," by Clayton Lewis, Curator of Graphic Materials. Visual depictions of Commodore Perry and his "Black Ships." 
  7. "Sick at Sea," by Barbara DeWolfe, Curator of Manuscripts. A manuscript prescription book maintained by the ship's surgeon aboard the USS Constitution in 1812.  
  8. "Developments," by Ann Rock, Director of Development. Renovation of the Library. 
  9. Announcements.  
  10. 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.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lecture by Sakina Hughes, "Celebrating African American Authors in the Culinary World," February 21, 2013

Lecture by Sakina Hughes, 
Du Bois-Mandela-Rodney Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Afroamerican and African Studies

"Celebrating African American Authors in the Culinary World"

Thursday, February 21, 2013, 4:00 p.m.
Main Room, Clements Library

Sakina Hughes will talk about how the Janice B. Longone Culinary Archive (JBLCA) allows users to explore the relationship between food and African American history and culture.

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

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Brown Bag Lecture by Patricia Majher, "Getting Published in Michigan History Magazine," February 11, 2013

The William L. Clements Library
Brown Bag Lecture Series

Lecture by Patricia Majher, Editor of Michigan History magazine
"Getting Published in Michigan History Magazine" 

Monday, February 11, 2013, 12:00 p.m.
Main Room, Clements Library

Michigan History is the most-read state history magazine in the country, with a circulation of 25,000. Please join Patricia as she discusses what it takes to get an article published in Michigan History.

Please bring lunch. Beverages will be served.