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Applications welcomed for 2020 William L. Clements Library Research Fellowships

Applications welcomed for 2020 William L. Clements Library Research Fellowships

Scholars from across the globe visit the William L. Clements Library to work on books, articles, dissertations, creative projects, and more. In 2019 we welcomed 23 fellows. Fellows are encouraged to present a brown bag talk or write a guest blog post related to their research. After visiting the Clements Library one of our fellows had this to say about the experience: The Clements Library not only has an amazing variety of rich collections but also an incredibly helpful, professional staff....

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Imperial Spanish Symbolism: The Pillars of Hercules

Imperial Spanish Symbolism: The Pillars of Hercules

This essay by volunteer Derek Brereton examines three examples of the same Spanish cultural symbolism found in some of the oldest collection items at the Clements Library.  The Clements Library is fortunate to possess at least three fine examples of illustrations exploiting the Spanish imperial theme of the Pillars of Hercules. The most ornate of these appears in a publication by the Spanish explorer Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca, dedicated to King Carlos V. Cabeza de Vaca’s prose is spare and...

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Underground Railroad Documentation and Other Valuable Resources: More Digitized Manuscripts Collections from the William L. Clements Library

Underground Railroad Documentation and Other Valuable Resources: More Digitized Manuscripts Collections from the William L. Clements Library

The Clements Library is pleased to announce that an additional five manuscript collections are digitized and freely accessible online. The digital versions are complete and presented in a manner that reflects the collections' physical/intellectual arrangements. This selection includes one example from the Library's Civil War collections and an unpublished English-Odawa dictionary (in the Fort Wayne Indian Agency Collection). We would like to express our appreciation for the University of...

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Gifts in Kind – Betty Bishop

Gifts in Kind – Betty Bishop

Betty Bishop’s history with the Clements Library actually started before she was born. My grandfather was recruited to Michigan by Mr. Clements, who was on the Board of Regents at the time. Clements arranged to go down to the Library of Congress where my grandfather was a librarian of the reading room, and asked for a private tour with him being a fellow University of Michigan alum. It turned out, not that my grandfather knew it at the time, but he was being looked over as a possible candidate...

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William L. Clements and “The Death of General Wolfe”

William L. Clements and “The Death of General Wolfe”

The Death of General Wolfe was reinstalled for permanent public display at the William L. Clements Library last month. Over 240 years old and 8 1/2 feet in width, the epic Benjamin West painting once again graces its longtime home after nearly seven years offsite. In this essay, Graphics Curator Clayton Lewis describes how William Clements acquired the painting in 1928. All collectors know the feeling of being haunted by the one that got away. “Buyer’s remorse” from an expensive impulse...

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Latest Quarto: Our Favorites

Latest Quarto: Our Favorites

The Summer-Fall 2019 Quarto is now available. The Quarto is a semi-annual magazine published by the William L. Clements Library and sent to the Clements Library Associates. Terese Austin, Head of Reader Services, has taken the helm as editor with support from outgoing editor Brian Dunnigan. Dunnigan, who retired from the Clements Library this summer, has been named curator emeritus of maps by the Regents of the University of Michigan. This issue of The Quarto is titled "Our Favorites."...

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The Clements Library Travels to Philadelphia & Delaware in September!

The Clements Library Travels to Philadelphia & Delaware in September!

Mr. Clements began his Americana collection focused on exploration and he enjoyed the camaraderie and knowledge of other collectors and libraries around the country.  Clements Library staff continue to forge such alliances and to offer opportunities for continued learning.  Curator of Graphics Clayton Lewis is a member of the American Historical Print Collectors Society (AHPCS) and is currently serving as the Regional Activities Chair. Out of this collaboration, we developed  “A Day at...

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New Graphics Finding Aids: March – June 2019

New Graphics Finding Aids: March – June 2019

The Clements Library is pleased to announce that the following graphics collections are now described online and may be requested for use in the reading room. Andrews' Raid scrapbook and telegraph ledger, 1885-1888 - Processed by Louiegrf Miller The Andrews' Raid scrapbook and telegraph ledger contains newspaper clippings dating from 1887 that recount the story of Andrews' Raid written by William Pittenger. Other clippings, almost all of which focus on the United States Army, are also included...

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An Empire of Free Ports

An Empire of Free Ports

Guest post by Grant Kleiser, Clements Library 2019 Marsh Fellow Almost immediately after English men and women began to inhabit pockets of the Americas in the early seventeenth century, Parliament debated how best to control the trade that would flow from England to these newly-established colonies. Beginning with the stipulations of the first “Navigation Act” of 1651, English overseas commerce was to be tightly-regulated to benefit the “metropole’s” (England) interests over colonial concerns....

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Recent Acquisition: The Wilson Globes, ca. 1811

Recent Acquisition: The Wilson Globes, ca. 1811

That look of surprise and joy on a map curator’s face can only mean one thing: something fine has just landed in his division. And what better acquisition for the Clements Library than a pair–and not just any pair–of Wilson globes. And what, we hear you ask, are Wilson globes? These two globes–terrestrial and celestial–were produced by Vermont farmer and blacksmith turned globemaker, James Wilson (1763-1855) in the first half of the nineteenth century, giving him the (exaggerated) moniker of...

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