William L. Clements Library

Past Exhibit

Exhibit in the Great Hall of the William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan.

St. Paul Map

RECENT ACQUISITIONS: Building on the Clements Collections
March 4 - July 12, 2013

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.

Also on display in the Great Hall:

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.