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Empire and Encounter at Detroit: “Habitants,” Hired Labor, and the Enslaved

Empire and Encounter at Detroit: “Habitants,” Hired Labor, and the Enslaved

Guest post by Jonathan Quint, University of Michigan Department of History PhD candidate and Clements Library Intern. This second blog post in a three-part series titled “Empire and Encounter at Detroit” (read part 1) uses James Sterling’s letter book to enter the world of early 1760s Detroit, as the British Empire sought to exert power and influence in territories newly won from New France in the Seven Years War. From mundane packing of fur bales to a dramatic narration of...

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Virtual discussion: histories of race, gender, and the practice of citizenship

Virtual discussion: histories of race, gender, and the practice of citizenship

What makes someone a citizen of the United States? The Fourteenth Amendment appears to provide a clear answer: “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside.” But until the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment in 1868, the Constitution said very little about citizenship, aside from Article 1, Section 8, Clause 4, which reserves to Congress the right to establish a “Rule of...

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A picture is worth a thousand words: Illustrations from the Clements in “The History of Cartography Volume 4”

A picture is worth a thousand words: Illustrations from the Clements in “The History of Cartography Volume 4”

Mary Pedley, Assistant Map Curator at the Clements Library, is co-editor with Matthew H. Edney of The History of Cartography Volume 4: Cartography in the European Enlightenment (University of Chicago Press 2019). * * * The old adage about pictures and words has provided the editors of the History of Cartography Project with the formula for book design ever since the reference series, The History of Cartography, first appeared in 1984. A reference work on mapmaking must have maps...

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Empire and Encounter at Detroit

Empire and Encounter at Detroit

Guest post by Jonathan Quint, University of Michigan Department of History PhD candidate and Clements Library Intern * * * In the wake of British military forces who took formal possession of Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit (Detroit) on November 11, 1760, came peddlers, merchants, and would-be fur traders from all corners of the Thirteen Colonies, Great Britain, and the wider British Atlantic world. Drawn westward by the allure of fur trade profits, these men entered as newcomers a...

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Jonathan Chase Papers Transcriptions and New Volunteer Opportunity

Jonathan Chase Papers Transcriptions and New Volunteer Opportunity

The William L. Clements Library would like to extend its sincere thanks to the Sarah Caswell Angell Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) for volunteering to transcribe the Revolutionary War papers of Col. Jonathan Chase, of the 13th and 15th Regiments of the New Hampshire Militia. The letters and documents that make up Col. Chase's papers provide a vivid picture of military supplies, expenses, and recruitment, with regimental...

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Clements Library staff adapts to the remote workplace

Clements Library staff adapts to the remote workplace

Working from home during a global pandemic poses many challenges, and adapting to remote work environments calls for flexibility and creativity. This is especially true for places like the Clements Library, where our security measures and workflows require our materials to stay safely on-site. While we have been separated from the collections that drive our work, our staff has pivoted in many ways to remain productive—underscoring how much behind-the-scenes work is ongoing to...

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Digitization supported by Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps

Digitization supported by Barry Lawrence Ruderman Antique Maps

To create a digital archive is an expensive endeavor. The Clements Library is deeply committed to sharing its rich collections with an ever-wider audience, but the queue of material is long and resources limited. Pockets of the collection would not see cyber-light were it not for the helpful boost that a donor can provide. We are particularly grateful for support from California map dealer Barry Ruderman, who has provided the funds for the continued digitizing of manuscript maps in...

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New and Improved Finding Aids: Spring 2020

New and Improved Finding Aids: Spring 2020

The Clements Library is pleased to announce that the following collections are now described online. These materials may be requested for use in the reading room when we are able to resume library services. Before planning your research visit, please contact us to verify in advance if our normal open hours for researchers have resumed. * * * Henry Murfey letter book (1855-1856) - Processed by Cari Griffin The Henry Murfey letter book contains copies of 12 letters addressed to Henry, of...

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Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society Papers Transcriptions

Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society Papers Transcriptions

The William L. Clements Library is pleased to announce that the digitized Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society Papers are now fully text searchable. Each digitized page is accompanied by a complete transcription, which will transform the way researchers interact with the collection, streamline research, and assist scholars who have difficulties reading the at-times challenging handwriting. When library staff started working from home in mid-March, we quickly upgraded our demo...

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Conservation Close-up Part 2: Sea Charts used in Whaling

Conservation Close-up Part 2: Sea Charts used in Whaling

Clements Library Conservator Julie Fremuth provides a follow-up to our recent post about the arrival of 14 tightly-rolled sea charts and early conservation steps. The initial post Conservation Close-up: Sea Charts used in Whaling discusses Fremuth's months-long process to safely and gradually flatten the maps. Generously donated to the Clements Library by Frederick and Janet Stingel, these charts were once used for navigation aboard whaling vessels. *** This is a...

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