William L. Clements Library Newsletter
No. 4, Fall 2013


 
 

 
 
 
 
RENOVATION UPDATE
 
We are pleased to announce that the temporary relocation of the Clements Library's collection has been successfully completed. Our new location is: 1580 E. Ellsworth Road
 
Reading Room hours
Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Thursday evenings during the semester, 9:00 a.m. -7:45 p.m.

The facility offers plenty of free parking and is also accessible via Ann Arbor buses on routes 5 and 6. We will do our best to
1580 E. Ellsworth map
accommodate readers who cannot get to Ellsworth Road. Please call the Library (734-764-2347) for further information. 
 
During our time on Ellsworth Road, the Clements staff intend to continue our engagement with the campus community. Class visits to the Library will not be possible, of course, but individual curators will be happy to make presentations to your class.  The Library's Fall-Winter lecture series will also continue but at another venue.   

UPCOMING EVENTS
 
Due to the renovation, the Clements Library 2013 Events and Lecture series will be held at the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library, Gallery Room 100
Hatcher Library Gallery
Hatcher Gallery, photo courtesy of MLibrary on Flickr.
Tuesday, October 8, 4:00 p.m. 
Beyond Pontiac's Shadow: Michilimackinac and the Anglo-Indian War of 1763
Keith R. Widder, author and former Curator of History for Mackinac State Historic Parks

Tuesday, October 29, 4:00 p.m.
Michigan Before Statehood as Revealed through the Fort S. Joseph Archaeological Project
Michael S. Nassaney, Professor of Anthropology at Western Michigan University

Thursday, November 21, 4:00 p.m.
Mapping Fear: Stoking the Fires of the French and Indian War
Mary Sponberg Pedley, Adjunct Assistant Curator of Maps, Clements Library

See the Clements Library Events page for details. 
REDISCOVERED TREASURES: ELABORATE MOTHER-OF-PEARL BOOK BINDINGS
 
During our recent collections move, we had a chance to discover forgotten treasures hidden in the stacks. While re-shelving the book collection, we came across not one, but two rare examples of papier-mâché bindings. These lovely items have book covers made of layered paper, coated in black varnish and decorated with paint and inlaid mother-of-pearl. Papier-mâché bindings were popular for a brief time in the 1850s, often on gift books, portfolios, and albums.

 
 
The first book is Our Saviour with Prophets and Apostles (New York, 1851). This cover features a landscape scene with a ship, framed in gold. Three of the four mother-of-pearl cover bosses are still intact on the upper cover. The upper cover has some cracking and loss of painted details.

The second book is The Iris: An Illuminated Souvenir for MDCCCLII (Philadelphia, 1852). This cover design includes a bouquet of flowers in the center of a black background. The flowers are made of mother-of-pearl, embellished with tinted varnish and gold leaf.

An excellent source on the history and construction of these bindings is Jennifer W. Rosner's essay, "Papier-Mâché Bindings: 'Shining in Black and Gorgeous with Pearl and Gold'" in Suave Mechanicals: Essays on the History of Bookbinding (Legacy Press, 2013). The Library Company of Philadelphia has perhaps the best collection of papier-mâché bindings, including 49 books and 8 portfolio covers. The collection can be viewed online on Flickr.
ELECTRIFYING NEWS: ARTIST IDENTIFIED
 

Americans as described by visitors from other lands can be entertaining and revealing for historians. A particularly eloquent if somewhat sardonic point of view comes from the eye and hand of accomplished French artist Auguste Jean Jacques Hervieu (1794-1858?). Hervieu is best known to Americana collectors and scholars as the travelling companion of Francis Trollope and illustrator of her 1832 book The Domestic Manners of The Americans.  Trollope's acerbic commentary on traveling the United States in the 1820s became a best-seller on both sides of the Atlantic. She called us out on our acceptance of slavery and mistreatment of Native Americans: "you will see them with one hand hoisting the cap of liberty, and with the other flogging their slaves. You will see them one hour lecturing their mob on the indefeasible rights of man, and the next driving from their homes the children of the soil." She summarized her feelings about Americans: "I do not like them. I do not like their principles; I do not like their manners, I do not like their opinions."  

 

"Love Among the Negroes." 

 

As illustrator, Hervieu is perhaps a more tolerant recorder of American society, but not without distain for what he sees. His depictions of an older slave being examined for auction and of young, affluent, freedmen on the street show a compassion lacking from comparable images by the better-known contemporary satirists Edward W. Clay (1799-1857) and David Claypoole Johnston (1798-1865).

"A Philadelphia Exquisite."

 

Included in the Clements' recent exhibit of new acquisitions were two beautiful unsigned watercolors from a small set of travel related scenes. They are titled " A Philadelphia Exquisite" and "Love among the Negroes."  The latter is a match for a print of the same name in the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia, credited to Hervieu. This link (thank you Phil Lapsansky), along with the content and confident style of the work, allows us to attribute this set to our French visitor Auguste Hervieu. This addition expands the dimensions of our visual holdings related to early African American culture. 
FROM THE MAP DIVISION: URBAN CARTOGRAPHY
 

Cartographic sources for the study of American urban history and development are only as far away on the University of Michigan campus as the William L. Clements Library. The rich collections of the Map Division contain both printed and manuscript plans of cities from across the Americas, although the collection is strongest for those in the United States and Canada. These city plans can show details of planning, property distribution, infrastructure, architecture, local political organization, commerce and industry, and even ethnicity. When used in concert with published, manuscript, or graphic sources, they suggest and support many potential topics for research in history, urban planning, and sociology. 

 

Philu Judd's plan of Detroit was published in 1825 and is the earliest printed map to depict the famous Woodward design for the city.

 

The Clements's holdings of city plans begin very early. The Library has two copies of the earliest city plan from the Americas, Hernan Cortes's depiction of the Aztec metropolis of Tenochtitlan, published in 1524 to accompany his account of the conquest of Mexico. The Aztec capital is presented in partially pictorial style in stark contrast to the business-like and much plainer plans of late-nineteenth century American cities at the other end of the Library's collecting spectrum. Many of the latter are found in the Clements's excellent collection of nineteenth-century city directories. One copy of the Cortes plan and many of the directory maps remain in their original books. Fortunately, the Library's bound maps and plans were added to the catalog in the 1960s, so they are as accessible as the larger maps stored in drawers.

The cities of late-seventeenth and eighteenth-century colonial America are particularly well represented. Large population centers such as Philadelphia, New York, and Boston are precisely mapped for this period but so are smaller towns such as Edenton, North Carolina, Albany, New York, and places in the Indian country such as Cahokia, Detroit, and Michilimackinac. Fortifications enclosed some of these towns, including Montreal and Quebec, and the influence of military defenses can be seen on their plans. 

 

A finely colored example of Bernard Ratzer's 1767 survey of New York City.  Published in 1769, it depicts the place just before the War of Independence.

 

Urban growth in nineteenth-century America is also well documented. The steady march of New York City up the island of Manhattan can be followed in detail. Many city plans label or distinguish voting wards, shedding some light on political districting and even ethnic enclaves. The development and change of infrastructure-rail lines, wharves, roads, and water and waste systems-appears on many plans. Maps also have the practical benefit for the researcher of providing orientation for locations under study. A few show signs of how they were used. One of our two copies of Bernard Ratzer's 1767 plan of New York City, for example, was altered in the aftermath of the 1776 fire that destroyed a significant portion of the city. Someone applied a gray wash to the blocks that had been consumed and added marginal comments addressing the rumor that the conflagration had been ignited by retreating Americans as the British were about to occupy the city.

The Clements Library collections continue to grow, and this is certainly the case with the Map Division. One of our most recent acquisitions is a ca. 1836 lithographed plan of part of Detroit, Michigan. Previously unrecorded, it may be the only surviving example of a plan that illustrates an important change in the city's layout.


The campus is rich in historical maps. In addition to the Clements, researchers are fortunate that the University has other cartographic resources, notably the Clark Map Library on the second floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library. That collection has many strengths, but its holdings of non-American city plans is outstanding and nicely complements the Clements maps.

FROM THE MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION: REDISCOVERING HENRY VIGNAUD

 

In 1922 representatives of the University of Michigan traveled to Bagneux, a suburb of Paris, in order to arrange the acquisition of Henry Vignaud's personal library from his widow, Louise Compte. Upon its arrival, his extensive collection was divided between the general collection and the William L. Clements Library. 

 

Henry Vignaud, born on November 27, 1830, in New Orleans, was a soldier, diplomat, scholar, amateur historian and collector who lived in Paris during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. After serving as a captain in the 6th Louisiana Regiment during the Civil War and being captured in the fall of New Orleans in 1862, Vignaud fled to Paris and never returned to the United States. He worked as a diplomat and ultimately served the American legation in Paris until he left public life in 1909. After his retirement, he spent his time collecting American history and cartography materials while also curating his library and publishing articles. Vignaud's personal library of maps, atlases, books, pamphlets and manuscripts make up a significant portion of the Clements' holdings. 

Henry Vignaud

Thanks to a 2011 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC)  the Manuscript Division has been able to process his manuscripts, making them available to researchers. 

 

Vignaud's joie de vivre came from his study of early American history and world cartography, earning himself and his friends, Pierre Margry and Henry Harrisse, the moniker "Americanistes." In 1908 he was named President of the Société des Americanistes de Paris. Vignaud was fascinated with the discovery of the new world and Christopher Columbus, writing several publications about him and ultimately proving the Toscanelli letter a fake. The Henry Vignaud manuscript collection at the Clements includes numerous letters between Margry, Harrisse and Vignaud regarding the publication of articles and desired cartographic materials, as well as manuscript copies of Vignaud's publications regarding the Toscanelli letter. His correspondence with others often related to his service of the American legation in Paris.

 

Over the last 90 years his library has been further divided between the Special Collections, the Stephen S. Clark Library and the general collection. During the summer of 2012, graduate student Erin Platte interned at the Stephen S. Clark Library, working with approximately two hundred rare maps from the Vignaud map collection, seeking to discover their provenance. They were single maps, extracted from broken atlases and sold individually, but with distinctive physical characteristics. At the end of her internship, her work revealed the combined collections of the Clements and the Clark contain half of a 1630 atlas, Atlantis Maioris Appendix, by Jan Jansson, of which only 5 other known copies exist. Erin's work at both the Clements and the Clark has begun to reassemble the vast Henry Vignaud collection, re-establishing connections between materials from his extensive personal library and highlighting the work of one American who found his home overseas.
HUNDREDS OF MAPS AND PHOTOGRAPHS ADDED TO ONLINE CATALOG
 

Through a project grant from the Earhart Foundation, hundreds of additional Clements maps and photographs have been cataloged in the UM online catalog Mirlyn. These include rare maps from the Atlas Room and many of our great Civil War photographs. 

 

Cataloger Terese Austin will be continuing to add Mirlyn records for maps and photographs through spring of 2014, possibly into 2015, depending upon grant renewal. 

RECENT ACQUISITION: 19th CENTURY CHILDREN'S BOOKS
 

The Book Division recently received a gift from James E. Laramy of twelve late 19th century children's books. The collection previously belonged to his grandmother's family of Grand Rapids, Michigan. These books, which include readers, arithmetic books, geographies, and other children's books, are an excellent addition to our collection of 18th and 19th century American juvenile literature. 

 

 Stories for Mary, Tom, Dick and Harry. Philadelphia, 1892. This book of children's stories has a chromolithographed cover illustration.

 

Several of the books include insertions such as handwritten notes, schoolwork, and small advertising ephemera. These items give a glimpse into the lives of the children who owned the books. The Harper's School Geography for 1882, which belonged to Henry DeBlond, contains twenty-three manuscript maps he made, possibly for a school assignment. 

 

Map of Michigan, signed by Henry DeBlond (1872-1886). Inserted in  Harper's School Geography (New York, 1882). 

 

Many of the books contain the inscriptions of previous owners, including Jane (Luten) DeBlonde and her children, Henry DeBlonde, Ada M. DeBlonde, Henrietta (DeBlonde) Laramy, and Genevieve DeBlonde. In some cases, the owners have recorded the date and location where they purchased the book. Several books also have a rhyme to ward off book thieves:

 

"Steal not this book, for fear of life, For the owner carries a two cent knife."

 

Variations on this rhyme include: "Steal not this book, for fear of life, for the owner carries a two cent knife," "Steal not this book, for fear of shame, for here you see the owner's name," and "Steal not this book, for fear of shame, for fear the Lord will know your name." 

 

All of the books from the Laramy gift are now cataloged in Mirlyn and available for research. Maps found in books, including the manuscript maps by Henry DeBlond, will be cataloged separately for the Map Division. 

JANICE BLUESTEIN LONGONE CULINARY ARCHIVE HAS MOVED

 

The Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive (JBLCA) has been transferred from the Clements to its new home in the University Library's Special Collections Library. Shaped by the donation of a rich assemblage of cookbooks, menus, and other material collected over many years by Janice and Daniel Longone, the JBLCA is recognized around the campus and across the country as a premier collection of books, ephemera, and other material that both documents and defines the American culinary experience. The transfer to Special Collections is intended to fully realize the potential of the JBLCA for teaching, learning, and research at the University of Michigan and beyond. The Special Collections Library is enthusiastic about acquiring, expanding, caring for, and promoting the use of the JBLCA.


JJ Jacobson, as curator of the collection, has joined the staff of the Special Collections Library. Jan Longone, in her role as ambassador for the JBLCA, has been appointed as adjunct curator. The JBLCA is available for use at the Special Collections Library, which is located on the eighth floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library.

The Clements will continue to hold a fine collection of materials for research in early American culinary history. We look forward to working with our colleagues in the Special Collections Library to ensure that researchers have access to the full range of resources for the study of culinary history and related topics.

VISIT THE LIBRARY
 
The Clements is open to all serious researchers who have a need to consult its collections, including students. No appointment is necessary, but the staff always appreciates advance notification of an intended visit. New readers must complete a registration process and present two pieces of appropriate personal identification, including at least one with a photograph. Curators are available for consultation and are happy to assist readers with initiating their research.

 

The Clements Library welcomes and encourages class visits for undergraduate and graduate courses that relate to the Library's collections. During our renovation, classes may be arranged in the Hatcher Graduate Library or other location with advance notice. To request a visit, please contact us at clementsclassrequest@umich.edu or call 734-764-2347 a minimum of three weeks prior to the date you wish to request.
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