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: