Friday, August 23, 2019

Latest Quarto: Our Favorites

The Summer-Fall 2019 Quarto is now available. The Quarto is a semi-annual magazine published by the William L. Clements Library and sent to the Clements Library Associates. Terese Austin, Head of Reader Services, has taken the helm as editor with support from outgoing editor Brian Dunnigan. Dunnigan, who retired from the Clements Library this summer, has been named curator emeritus of maps by the Regents of the University of Michigan.

This issue of The Quarto is titled "Our Favorites." Clements curators, catalogers, and other staff were tasked to write about a favorite item, collection, or particular aspect of collecting that stirs their interest and affection.
  1. "A Commonwealth of Beavers," by Mary Pedley, Assistant Curator of Maps. Explores the symbolism of the beaver, used as a cartographic design element, in thinking about early American communities and frontier boundaries. 
  2. "Historical Anomaly: An Elizabethan Ruffian in the American Archive," by Louis Miller, Curatorial Assistant. Places into context a surprising piece of 16th-century correspondence with connections to settlement in New Florida and famous English diarist Samuel Pepys.
  3. "A Russian on the American Front," by Oksana Linda, Rare Book Cataloger. Illuminates the life and military career of Russian immigrant and Civil War hero General John B. Turchin.
  4. "Yeoman Farmers and Princes of Land Jobbers," by J. Kevin Graffagnino, Randolph G. Adams Director of the Clements Library. Explains the significance of a colorful 1780 map in the boundary feud between New York and a group of independent-minded colonials who would eventually form the state of Vermont. 
  5. "Fairy Flowers from Childhood's Garden," by Jayne Ptolemy, Assistant Curator of Manuscripts. Notes the delicate footprints left by children in the historical record, both through the written observations of attentive parents, and the words of the children themselves.
  6. "'Hur Book': Artifacts of Ownership," by Emiko Hastings, Curator of Books. Reveals the quiet but certain presence of women as readers and book owners demonstrated by evidence left in volumes in the Clements collection.
  7. "Sweet Tooth," by Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Associate Director & Curator of Maps. Explains the elements of a remarkably detailed map of a sugar plantation in Haiti, including depictions of slave quarters, processing equipment, and various plantation outbuildings.
  8. "'Temperance, Exercise, & Cheerfulness': The Letter Book of John Hughes," by Cheney J. Schopieray, Curator of Manuscripts. Focuses on the ill effects of mental illness and alcohol abuse experienced by John Hughes and his family in a rare first-hand account of an early nineteenth-century life in turmoil.
  9. "Go and Live Among Them," by Jakob Dopp, Graphics Cataloger. Follows artist and explorer George Catlin as he creates his vibrant and evocative depictions of Native American life on the Great Plains in the mid-1800s.
  10. "Developments," by Angela Oonk, Director of Development.
  11. 2019 Fellowships Awarded. Welcomes the twenty-three Clements Library fellows who will visit and research the collections this year.
  12. Celebrating Brian Dunnigan. Honors the life and career of Brian Leigh Dunnigan, Clements Library map curator and valued colleague, with details of his June 11, 2019 farewell event.
  13. Announcements. Clements Library receives $10M gift, Directorship and Rare Book Room Named; Exhibitions, "Things I Like Most About the Clements Library: Brian Leigh Dunnigan Retrospective," May 3 - October 25, 2019; What's in Your Attic?, September 15, 2019.
This issue of The Quarto can now be accessed and read online. Our donors, the Clements Library Associates, receive a high-quality print of the publication by mail. You can support the Clements by making a gift online or by contacting Anne Bennington-Helber at or 734-764-5864.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The Clements Library Travels to Philadelphia & Delaware in September!

Courtesy, Winterthur Museum, Print:  AUTUMN by B. Plen, 1790-1810, Philadelphia, PA, Ink, Watercolor, Laid paper, Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont, 1957-0590-003
Mr. Clements began his Americana collection focused on exploration and he enjoyed the camaraderie and knowledge of other collectors and libraries around the country.  Clements Library staff continue to forge such alliances and to offer opportunities for continued learning.  Curator of Graphics Clayton Lewis is a member of the American Historical Print Collectors Society (AHPCS) and is currently serving as the Regional Activities Chair.

Out of this collaboration, we developed  “A Day at Winterthur - Friday, September 27, 2019.”  Participants will be hosted by Clements Library Associates Board of Governors member Catharine Dann Roeber who is the Brock W. Jobe Associate Professor of Decorative Arts and Material Culture and AHPCS member Stephanie Delamaire who is the Associate Curator of Fine Arts.  They have helped us plan an exclusive program at Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library in Delaware featuring a behind-the-scenes look at Winterthur's renowned collections with curators and expert staff, print-focused museum tours, and customized experiences in the conservation labs, library, and gardens. After a group lunch, guests can browse in the gift shops or choose to explore the gardens and galleries exhibitions including a special print display and Costuming THE CROWN, featuring 40 iconic costumes from the beloved Netflix show.  Tickets are $65 and you can register online here.

Guests are responsible for booking their own travel to Winterthur and overnight lodging.  A block of rooms at a rate of $199 per night is available at Hotel Du Pont until Aug. 29. Book online or by calling 800-441-9019 and refer to CLEMENTS group. The Hotel Du Pont can provide transportation to and from the train station with advance notice. Long-time Associates might be interested to know that former director John Dann worked at the Hotel Du Pont as a young man.  He has some delightful stories about his time there including meeting Vincent Price who was selling art!  Apparently Price worked as an art consultant for Sears-Roebuck from 1962 to 1971 offering the "Vincent Price Collection of Fine Art", selling about 50,000 fine art prints to the general public.

Additional opportunities to gather

  • We will be flying in to Philadelphia on Wednesday, September 25 and at 5:30pm Clements Director Kevin Graffagnino will present “The Pioneer Americanists: Early Collectors, Dealers, and Bibliographers” at the The Library Company of Philadelphia, 1314 Locust Street.  If you are in Philadelphia on Wednesday and want to join a group for a meal, you can indicate your interest in lunch at the City Tavern, 138 South 2nd St at Walnut St, or dinner after Kevin’s talk at a location to be determined.
  • On Thursday, September 26 Clements Library Associate Board of Governors member Clarence Wolf invites guests to visit the rare bookstore George S. MacManus Company, at 12 Water Street in nearby Bryn Mawr, PA.  Come to learn more about rare book collecting or add to your own collection.
  • Our friends at the U-M Club of Philadelphia invite all to stay on Saturday, September 28 to join them for a football watch party at Fox & Hound, 1501 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, to cheer on the Michigan Wolverines as we take on Rutgers in football. 

We look forward to meeting many old and new friends at Winterthur and enjoying the early autumn season on the east coast. Please feel free to spread the invitation to anyone who may like to join us!

Monday, August 5, 2019

New Graphics Finding Aids: March - June 2019

The Clements Library is pleased to announce that the following graphics collections are now described online and may be requested for use in the reading room.

Andrews' Raid scrapbook and telegraph ledger, 1885-1888 - Processed by Louie Miller
The Andrews' Raid scrapbook and telegraph ledger contains newspaper clippings dating from 1887 that recount the story of Andrews' Raid written by William Pittenger. Other clippings, almost all of which focus on the United States Army, are also included in the scrapbook. The majority of these clippings are glued onto the page, but some are loose. This scrapbook, whose compiler is unknown, was originally used as a telegraph ledger book for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and more than half of the volume still has these records visible.

New York State oil paintings album, ca. 1850 - Processed by Erin Berger
This collection of small paintings is housed in an embossed leather carte-de-visite album with a single metal clasp. Within are 12 landscape oil paintings of Lake Champlain, Lake George, and the Glens Falls area. Each image includes a caption denoting location.

From the Howard F. Barnum WWI photograph album

Howard F. Barnum World War I photograph album, 1905-1919 - Processed by Erin Berger
The Howard F. Barnum World War I photograph album contains 216 items relating to Barnum's service during the war. A majority of the collection are personal photo-postcards of his time overseas and postcards from his travels with the Army of Occupation in France, Germany, and Luxembourg. Also included are photographs, letters, a print, and ephemera.

Pennsylvania National Guard album, ca. 1916-1918 - Processed by Erin Berger
The Pennsylvania National Guard album contains approximately 250 images pertaining to an unidentified man’s service with the Pennsylvania National Guard Cavalry and his civilian life from circa 1916 to 1918. The vast majority of the photographs are snapshots primarily taken in Pennsylvania, Texas, and New Mexico.

United States Signal Corps photographic collection, 1918-1919 - Processed by Erin Berger
The United States Signal Corps Photographic Collection contains approximately 1,630 photographs of the American Expeditionary Forces taken by the Signal Corps during WWI throughout the Western Front. The collection is divided into three volumes and one box, all loosely arranged by topic. General topics include destruction, battlefields and trenches, artillery, monuments, and postwar celebrations.

Missouri and Ohio River sketches, ca. 1870s - Processed by Erin Berger
This collection contains 11 pencil sketches of the Missouri and Ohio Rivers and their surrounding cities. The sketches depict cityscapes, scenic and street views.

Harry Peter Boot photograph album, ca. 1903-1907 - Processed by Erin Berger
The Harry Peter Boot photograph album contains 16 photographs from Harry Boot's time as a missionary with the Reformed Church in Xiamen, China from ca. 1903 to 1907.

Edward H. Suydam Detroit drawings, ca. 1940 - Processed by Erin Berger
This collection comprises of two volumes of original graphite pencil on paper illustrations by Edward H. Suydam for Arthur Pound's Detroit: Dynamic City. The 35 illustrations (37 x 29.5 cm) detail various monuments, parks, streets, and squares throughout Detroit circa 1940.

John Sunnocks account book and Newbold Hough Trotter sketches, 1792-1801, ca. 1880 - Processed by Erin Berger
This collection consists one bound volume including both financial receipts and sketches. The first part the volume contains 38 pages of receipts of payments from John Sunnocks to various people he had transacted business with in the late 18th century. The rest of the volume contains sketches circa 1880, attributed to Newbold Hough Trotter, an American artist known for his work illustrating natural landscapes and animals.

J.M.S. Civil War sketches, ca. 1861-1863 - Processed by Erin Berger
This collection consists of six pages of pencil and ink sketches dated from 1861 to 1863 and signed J.M.S. The sketches depict various scenes of the American Civil War from the Union perspective including barracks, soldiers, and steamships related to the blockade of the Confederacy.