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A Q&A with Clements Library Director Paul Erickson

A Q&A with Clements Library Director Paul Erickson

In January 2020, Paul Erickson joined the University of Michigan community as Randolph G. Adams Director of the Clements Library. Erickson’s five-year appointment was announced last September by the U-M Board of Regents. Following an undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago, Paul received Master of Arts and Ph.D. degrees in American studies from the University of Texas at Austin. For more than a dozen years he was a program director for the American Antiquarian Society and the...

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New Finding Aids: June – December 2019

New Finding Aids: June – December 2019

The Clements Library is pleased to announce that the following collections are now described online and may be requested for use in the reading room. Moses Brown Diary in Memoirs of Major-General Heath, 1776-1777, 1798 - Processed by Theresa Dowker This volume is a manuscript copy of Captain Moses Brown's diary, August 9, 1776 to January 22, 1777, bound into the end of a copy of Major-General William Heath's published memoirs [Memoirs of Major-General Heath (Boston: I. Thomas and E. C....

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Looks Can Be Deceiving: Issues Regarding 19th-Century Native American Photographs

Looks Can Be Deceiving: Issues Regarding 19th-Century Native American Photographs

Graphics Cataloger Jakob Dopp outlines his observations from researching and cataloging hundreds of photos from a collection recently acquired by the Clements Library. Learn more about this collection from the University of Michigan’s Press Release and Video. Some might say “the camera never lies.” However, when it comes to many 19th-century photographs of Native Americans, this statement can prove to be extremely problematic. The Richard Pohrt Jr. Collection of Native American Photography is...

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Giving Blueday 2019

Giving Blueday 2019

Support What You Love On December 3, 2019 the Clements Library joins the University of Michigan community in the annual Giving Blueday campaign, reminding everyone to "support what you love about U-M." If you are not sure where to begin, perhaps exploring the dynamic new Clements Library website will ignite your passion! You can also hear from the curators as they each explore a favorite item from the collection in this video. We hope that you agree that there is a lot...

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Recap: Dental Health Contemporary Issues Discussion

Recap: Dental Health Contemporary Issues Discussion

Louis Miller, Curatorial Assistant at the Clements Library, summarizes our recent collaborative discussion program. The Clements Library hosted its second ever Contemporary Issues Discussion event on October 30, 2019, in collaboration with the Eisenberg Institute for Historical Studies and the Sindecuse Museum of Dentistry, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Frank and Judy Wilhelme. The purpose of these Contemporary Issues Discussions is to consider how an issue relevant to us in today's...

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Why History Matters

Why History Matters

Randolph G. Adams Director of the Clements Library, J. Kevin Graffagnino, comments on the importance of history in our society. I speak at a lot of historical events, where I’m preaching to the choir. However, I also speak to civic and business groups like Rotary, Kiwanis, and the Chamber of Commerce. There I face audiences that include “temporal provincials” as described in Michael Crichton’s 1999 novel Timeline. “Temporal provincials,” Crichton wrote, “were convinced that the present was the...

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Susy’s Breast and Material History

Susy’s Breast and Material History

Guest post by Morgan McCullough, Clements Library 2019 Price Fellow In the American Science and Medicine Collection a small slip of paper lies safely nestled in a folder, a recipe “for Susy’s Breast.”[1] Undated, with author, recipient, and Susy the patient unidentified, this recipe holds many secrets. Despite these mysteries this recipe also reveals much about breastfeeding, a physical and often painful moment in many women’s lives. Details of early American women’s bodies and body care, like...

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Announcing the Redesigned Clements Library Website

Announcing the Redesigned Clements Library Website

The Clements Library is pleased to announce the launch of our new website. The redesign includes a fresh look and feel with a more modern, mobile-responsive design. All text has been revised to be more readable and concise, accompanied by larger, compelling images that better represent the library and its collections. Based on feedback from library researchers and staff, our website has been reorganized to be more user-friendly and easier to navigate. The entire site was rebuilt to be more...

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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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