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Clements Library Acquires Rare American Edition of Phillis Wheatley Peters Poems, Pursues Crowdfunding

Clements Library Acquires Rare American Edition of Phillis Wheatley Peters Poems, Pursues Crowdfunding

The University of Michigan William L. Clements Library has acquired one of the most important American books of the late eighteenth century–the first American edition of the earliest book of poetry published by an African American author. Phillis Wheatley Peters’ publication, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral is currently on display at the Clements Library as part of the exhibit “The Art of Resistance in Early America.” Paul J. Erickson, the Randolph G. Adams Director of the Clements Library, was excited when the Clements Library was offered the opportunity to purchase the first American edition. Before making the decision to proceed, he reached out to Wendy Raphael Roberts, Associate Professor of English at The University at Albany, SUNY. Roberts is a current NEH Fellow working on the manuscript presence of Wheatley Peters and her research has led to the discovery of two previously unknown poems. Poems on Various Subjects: Religious and Moral by Phillis Wheatley...

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Donor Stories

The Clements Library is fortunate to have a community of historians, bibliophiles, collectors, researchers, teachers, and students who are willing to come together around this library to support the exploration and examination of history and help make it as accessible as possible. I had the privilege of talking to some of our donors who have set up recurring monthly gifts for the Clements Library. I love hearing about how folks become involved in the library and what prompts them to give.Lisa Pappas has worked at the University of Michigan for seventeen years. Today, she is not only a recurring contributor to the Clements Library, but she is a regular researcher as well. “I’m just a community member with an innate sense of curiosity,” Lisa said during our phone conversation. Her curiosity first brought her to the Clements when the University was celebrating its bicentennial anniversary. Interested in looking at the Treaty of Fort Meigs–in which the Anishinaabeg ceded land that would...

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A Few Collectors who shaped our Collections

Brief Biography: James Stanley Schoff
In 1974, James S. Schoff (1900-1984) donated his substantial collection of unit and campaign histories on the Civil War, as well as funds to purchase additional material, establishing the James S. Schoff Civil War Collection.

Brief Biography: David V. Tinder
U-M graduate, collector, and researcher David V. Tinder (1926-2016) was recognized as an authority on the subject of early Michigan photography. Clements Library Associates Board Member David B. Walters purchased Tinder’s photo collection in 2006 and has been incrementally donating it in honor of Harold L. Walters (U-M Engineering ’47) and Marilyn S. Walters (U-M LSA ’50), establishing the David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography.

One Hundred Selections from the Duane Norman Diedrich Collection of Manuscript Americana, 17th-20th Century 
Over a 40 year period, Dr. D. N. Diedrich (1935-2018) provided generous gifts in-kind, funding, and counsel to the Clements Library to form an eponymous collection of over 1,100 individual letters, documents, and other manuscripts, plus nearly 110 bound volumes and archival collections.