In honor of William L. Clements's birthday a Founder's Day Lecture is given every April. This year Director J. Kevin Graffagnino will discuss the "Pioneer Americanists" who inspired and shaped Mr. Clements's own collecting.
Join Dr. Graffagnino as he examines early book collecting practices of the 16 noteworthy specialists who created and nurtured the Americana field from the late seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Clements Library Associate Board Member and owner of the George S. MacManus Company, Clarence Wolf, will then provide remarks on how these Americanists continue to influence collecting today.
The lecture will take place at 4:00 p.m. at the Gallery at Hatcher Graduate Library. Register for the event here.
The Clements Library will close to researchers between April 16 and April 27 while staff members consolidate offsite storage.
The library will remain open for public exhibit viewing from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.
Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour of our award winning library. Please register by selecting the link below.
In 1808, Scottish-born poet and amateur naturalist Alexander Wilson (1766-1813) began publishing American Ornithology; or The Natural History of
the Birds of the United States. Wilson's impressive achievement inspired John James Audubon to publish his much better-known Birds of America (1827-38).
The Clements Library loaned several Wilson prints to the Toledo Museum of Art for their upcoming exhibition, "Before Audubon: Alexander Wilson's Birds of America." The prints will be on display beginning April 21. Learn more about the exhibition here.
Clements Library Associates will be receiving an invitation for a special tour and reception. Support the Clements Library by making a gift to become an Associate today!
Map Drawing and Graphic Literacy in the Early Republic with Susan Schulten
On Tuesday, March 20, University of Denver Professor of History Susan Schulten gave the annual Michigan Map Society Lecture. Clements Library Associates and map enthusiasts gathered at Robertson Auditorium at the Ross School of Business for the lecture and reception.
Several maps from the Clements Library and Clark Library collections were on display at the reception. These items demonstrated the meticulous map drawing practices executed by schoolchildren after the American Revolution. Learning to draw maps was not only an exercise in geography, but in penmanship and art as well.
We were so inspired by Susan's lecture that we added another educational map to our collections! Please consider a gift to our acquisitions fund to help us continue preserving artifacts like this one. Watch for a future blog post about this map.
Speaker Susan Schulten with Assistant Curator of Maps Mary Pedley
Close up of a newly acquired educational map
Reception attendees view examples of early American educational maps
The Clements Library map collection comprises some 30,000 examples of cartography with American subject matter drawn or printed between the years 1492 and 1900. This body of material represents a variety of plans and maps ranging from the most detailed small-scale plan (of a formal garden or a town, for example) to dramatic large-scale wall maps representing the entire Western Hemisphere. These maps have all been drawn, carved, or printed on some form of surface-paper, vellum, glass, wood, fabric, and more. The nature of the material has something to say about what sort of use was anticipated for the map. Read more
The Emancipation of Abraham Lincoln
"Abraham Lincoln is the most iconic figure in American history. He exerts a unique hold on our historical imagination, as an embodiment of core American ideals and myths -- the self-made man, the frontier hero, the liberator of the slaves... Lincoln is important to us not because of his melancholia or how he chose his cabinet, but because of his role in the vast human drama of emancipation and what his life tells us about slavery's enduring legacy."
On October 26, 2012, Columbia University Professor of History Eric Foner gave a keynote address as part of the
"Proclaiming Emancipation" conference and exhibit. The Clements Library published his eloquent address, and the pamphlet is available for request at the link below.
You can request a copy of Eric Foner's keynote
This exhibit continues through May 18. From White Kennett, the first great collector of Americana, to Hubert Howe Bancroft, who broke new ground in concentrating on the American West, this exhibit tells the stories of sixteen noteworthy specialists who created and nurtured the Americana field from the late seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.
The companion book will be available in April 2018.