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History of the William L. Clements Library

Introduction: William L. Clements

A native of Ann Arbor, William L. Clements graduated from the University of Michigan in 1882 with a degree in engineering, and joined his father’s firm, the Bay City Industrial Works, manufacturers of steam shovels and cranes. Clements’ fortune was made supplying equipment for the construction of the Panama Canal and other major engineering projects at the turn of the century. In 1909, he was elected to the University of Michigan Board of Regents, where his knowledge of engineering and business made him a leader in rebuilding the central campus.

Seated: William L. Clements, Clarence Cook Little.
George Parker Winship, Junius E. Beal, Walter M. Sawyer.

“Let the earnest investigators, and particularly those at the University of Michigan . . . come and drink of all the knowledge stored upon the shelves of this Library.” 

William L. Clements