William L. Clements Library

J. Kevin Graffagnino


Email: jkgraff@umich.edu
Direct Phone: 734-647-0704


I became Director of the Clements Library in November 2008. My three predecessors (Randolph G. Adams, Howard H. Peckham, John C. Dann) averaged 28 years as Director, so if I stay until I am 82 I will match them for longevity here. For a historical bibliofool like me it’s a wonderful honor to be head of the Clements, one of the world’s greatest research collections of early Americana. If I were not working here, I’d be starting at shooting guard for the Los Angeles Lakers.


As a high school senior I started a book business specializing in antiquarian Vermontiana to help pay my way through college. My undergraduate and graduate degrees are in American History. In a 40-year professional career, I’ve held curatorial and administrative positions at the University of Vermont, the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, the Kentucky Historical Society, and the Vermont Historical Society. I’ve published a good deal and spoken widely on various aspects of American history, libraries, historical cartography, and bibliomania.


I work with Business Manager Shneen Coldiron, Associate Director Brian Dunnigan and the Library’s Senior Managers to administer the Clements. We manage the collections and their enhancement, user services, electronic and other outreach, a growing range of public programming, and integrating the Clements into the life of the mind at the University of Michigan. With WLCL Director of Development Angela Oonk and the Board of Governors of the Clements Library Associates, I devote a good deal of time to increasing the resource base of the Library.