William L. Clements Library Newsletter
No. 8, Fall 2016
We are home! The Clements Library held its Grand Reopening on April 11, 2016, with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting on the south steps of the Library. Mark Dimunation, head of the Special Collections unit of the Library of Congress, gave a heartfelt speech in praise of libraries that evening. 

"The Gems of Lake Superior: Brainard Freemont 
Childs' 3D Voyage in 1870"
Hatcher Graduate Library
Tuesday, October 11
4:00 p.m.
Join collector and photographer Jack Deo as he takes us on a trip back in time to view a historic 3D slide show of the scenery and people of the Lake Superior region. 3D glasses provided.

Art Cohn: Brown Bag Lecture
Clements Library (north entrance)
Wednesday, October 26
12:00 p.m.

Learn about the adventures that co-founder and director emeritus of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, Art Cohn, experienced on his six week journey on the Erie Canal.

Clements Library
Friday, October 21, 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Tours at 11:00, 2:00, 4:00, and 6:00 - please email clementsevents@umich.edu to register.

Will you be in town for the homecoming game? Stop by the newly renovated Clements Library during our special extended exhibit hours on Friday.

All lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is requested. Email  clementsevents@umich.edu or phone 734-764-2347.

A Night of Living History: 
Stories from Plymouth Colony
Rackham Graduate School, Amphitheatre
Monday, November 14
6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Join us as a Plimoth Plantation Living History Museum Educator portrays actual Plymouth Colony residents from the 1620s during an evening of historical storytelling that sparks the imagination and brings the past to life.

Reservations Requested

Map curator Brian Dunnigan received an email from an old friend and colleague, Canadian military historian Donald Graves. Don forwarded rough images with his message. It took just a moment to realize that these depicted a plan of Detroit in 1790 that was entirely unknown, drawn from an unknown survey, and thus not included in Dunnigan's 2001 book Frontier Metropolis: Picturing Early Detroit, 1701-1838

The current owner was seeking information about the map, and historian Graves passed the question on to curator Dunnigan. It was soon apparent that the map was for sale, and after some negotiation the parties came to an agreement. The 1790 Detroit map arrived at the Library in August.  Read More

In 2012, the William L. Clements Library received a wooden crate from descendants of Angelina Grimké and Theodore Dwight Weld, containing bundles of folded letters, most of them still in envelopes.  A cursory review of these bundles suggested a wealth of hitherto unexplored primary sources related to the family of social and political activists Sarah Moore Grimké, Angelina Grimké and her husband Theodore D. Weld, and the Weld children and grandchildren.
After documenting the contents of each bundle, processing archivist Tessa Wakefield incorporated the Clements Library's existing Weld-Grimké Family Papers with the new addition of 961 letters.  These hitherto unresearched letters include a wealth of information about the family's activities, women's suffrage and equality, mental and physical health, the legacy of abolitionists, post-Civil War race relations, and other subject matter.
An updated finding aid may be found at:  Weld-Grimké Family Papers Finding Aid.
A comprehensive writer index to the collection's correspondence may be found at: 

As our nation cycles through a particularly contentious political year, the collections of the Clements Library remind us that this is not the first time. Evidence of political pyrotechnics from past elections can be found across all divisions of the Clements Library. Smoldering in the print collection are examples of the political broadsides that were popular in the 19th century. These entertaining lithographs and engravings were sold mostly in urban areas at booksellers, stationery stores, and directly from the publishers. They would circulate in parlors, taverns, coffee shops -- anywhere that people gathered and met to discuss the events of the day.

The Clements collection of political prints and social satires can be explored online in the Library's  Digital Image Bank Additional images are continually being added from the larger selection found in the  Mirlyn catalog. 

HathiTrust, a digital library created by a partnership of academic and research institutions, now includes a selection of books digitized at the Clements Library. We will continue to add books to this collection as they are scanned and uploaded. Support for this project comes from the Joyce Bonk Assistantship at the School of Information, which provides funding for a part-time graduate student to work on digitization at the Clements Library. Thanks also go to our colleagues at Digital Library Platform & Services (DLPS), who have provided substantial technical support.

Topics covered in the collection so far include photographically illustrated books, Shakers, color-plate books, and African American history. See all Clements Library digital initiatives listed on our website under  WLCL Online

Lewis, Henry. Das Illustrirte Mississippithal. Düsseldorf : Arnz & Comp., 1854.

Mortality is a useful lens through which we may view many aspects of early American society. 
"So Once Were We": Death in Early America  explores American practices and traditions for coping with death, from the early years of European exploration and discovery to the early 20th century and the burgeoning modern funeral industry.

The online exhibit "So Once Were We": Death in Early America is an expanded version of a physical exhibit, which was on display at the William L. Clements Library from October 17, 2011, to February 27, 2012.

As an institution specializing in Early American History and Culture from 1492 to 1900, the William L. Clements Library is committed to actively recognizing and supporting underrepresented voices from the past and in the present - throughout the Library's collections, community, and operations. This commitment has a significant bearing on our collections policy, access systems, staffing, outreach, public exhibits, programs, and collaborations with the University's faculty and students.

The Clements Library has committed to an ongoing assessment and response as part of the University of Michigan's five-year initiative to increase diversity, equity and inclusion on campus. We have developed a specific plan for moving ahead in this critical area. Read more on our website, including the full plan in PDF format: Diversity, Equity & Inclusion.  

Visit the Clements Library

Research Hours
Monday - Wednesday: 9:00 am - 4:45 pm
Thursday: 9:00 am - 7:45 pm 

Exhibit Hours
Friday: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Research: The Clements is open to all researchers who have a need to consult its collections, including students. Please contact us at clements-reference@umich.edu to confirm your visit in advance. Readers must complete an online registration process, which may be done in advance, and present photo i.d. at the reception desk.  Curators are available for consultation and are happy to assist readers with initiating their research.
Class sessions: The Library welcomes and encourages class visits for undergraduate and graduate courses that relate to the Library's collections. To request a visit, please contact us at  clementsclassrequest@umich.edu a minimum of three weeks prior to the date you wish to request.