William L. Clements Library Newsletter
No. 5, Winter 2014
The Great Snow Storm of Jan. 1857. Philadelphia: L.L. Magee, ca. 1857. Graphics Division, Clements Library.


 
 

 
 
 
 
RENOVATION UPDATE
1580 E. Ellsworth Rd.
  
The Clements Library renovation project is underway. All staff and collections have been moved out of our original building at 909 S. University Ave. for the duration of the project. 
 
Our staff and collections are currently located at: 
 
Reading Room hours:  
Monday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Tuesday: 
9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Wednesday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Thursday: 10:00 a.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.

The facility offers plenty of free parking and is also accessible via Ann Arbor buses on routes 5 and 6. U-M students, faculty, and staff are welcome to visit us and access the collections at our offsite location. 

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, March 18, 4:00 p.m. 
The Blanket Truth: Stories of Smallpox in Early American Indian History
Greg Dowd, Professor of History and American Culture, University of Michigan

Founder's Day Lecture
Wednesday, April 2, 4:00 p.m.
The Men Who Lost America: British Leadership, the American Revolution and the Fate of the Empire
Andrew O'Shaughnessy, Author and Saunders Director of the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello

See the Clements Library Events page for details. 
RECORDINGS OF PAST LECTURES NOW AVAILABLE
 
Thanks to the staff of the Hatcher Graduate Library, we are now able to offer recordings of last term's lecture series, hosted at the Hatcher Gallery Room 100. If you missed a chance to hear any of our distinguished speakers in person, please visit our website to find links to the videos online. We will update as new videos become available. 
 
NEWSPAPERS: A HIDDEN COLLECTION
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the hidden treasures of the Clements Library is our collection of historical American newspapers, spanning from colonial times to the end of the 19th century. Unlike the rest of the printed materials in the Book Division, these volumes are largely uncatalogued in Mirlyn. For now, the best way to search them is through the good old-fashioned card catalog, which lists them by title. 


Among our colonial American newspapers can be found many interesting traces of life in the colonies, from news articles to advertisements for goods and services. Some of the papers even contain early printings of the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, two important documents to be shared with the American public.  

Cherokee Phoenix
Cherokee Phoenix (1828).

The Clements holds a run of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper, with articles printed in both Cherokee and English. It was published in New Echota, Georgia, from 1828 to 1834. Many of the issues are inscribed "Miss Sarah Kimball, Concord, N.H." in the upper
left corner, offering a clue to a former owner, perhaps the subscriber who first collected the papers. The Library purchased the collection in 1997. 

Among our Civil War newspapers, a noteworthy curiosity is the small sampling of Confederate wallpaper newspapers. These unusual items were the result of a paper shortage in the Confederacy, which forced several Confederate papers to print on sheets of wallpaper instead. Perhaps the most famous of these is the Daily Citizen of Vicksburg, Miss., dated July 2, 1863. On July 4, when Vicksburg surrendered to Union forces, the publisher fled and Union soldiers found the type standing on the press. They added a note and printed a new edition, using the remaining stock of wallpaper. The note concludes, "This is the last wall-paper edition, and is, excepting this note, from the types as we found them. It will be valuable hereafter as a curiosity." As the note predicted, original copies of this wallpaper issue became a valuable souvenir item, with as many as 30 later reproductions made. The Clements holds several of the original copies, as well as a number of the reproductions for comparison.  

 

wallpaper newspaper1wallpaper newspaper2
Front and back of a copy of the Daily Citizen of Vicksburg, Miss., printed on wallpaper. 

  

The Library holds several other Civil War-era newspapers, including the Southern Illustrated News. This newspaper, published in Richmond, Virginia, ran from 1862 to 1864. It was the first pictorial news weekly of the Confederacy, similar in format to popular Northern illustrated newspapers such as Harper's and Frank Leslie's. Most illustrations were portraits of Southern generals rather than the vivid scenes of war printed in other papers. 
The Southern Illustrated News (1863). 

The newspaper collection at the Clements Library offers many rich possibilities for research into topics of early American history. Curator of Books Emiko Hastings would be pleased to answer queries by email if you have any questions about the library's newspaper holdings or would like to visit the collection. 

 

FROM THE MAP DIVISION: DECORATIVE DOCUMENTATION
 


The Clements Library's outstanding collection of pre-1900 cartography is most often consulted by our readers for its depictions of geography, topography, and urban and military architecture.  Many researchers use our maps in conjunction with the written and printed source material they have come to study at the Library.  Many use our maps as illustrations for the books that result from their research.  The breadth and depth of the cartographic collection ensures that there is something for almost any line of research dealing with the Americas. 

 

Cartographic compositions have another element that can have applications for both research and illustration.  Often overlooked, border illustrations and cartouches adorn many maps, particularly those of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.  Cartouches are decorative enclosures on maps containing title blocks, scale bars, publishing information, and dedications.  Many are fine examples of the engraver's art.  Indeed, some engravers specialized in cartouches and frequently signed their work.  The beginning of the nineteenth century marked the end of the particularly decorative cartouche as maps became increasingly "scientific" and less ornate in appearance.

 
Thomas Hutchins's cartouche scene of an Indian encampment depicts hunting, cooking, and child-rearing.  It was probably based on observations by Hutchinson himself.
 
Cartouches from the century prior to 1800 are most often allegorical, incorporating human figures, animals, or plants symbolic of the subject of the map-distinctive female figures for America or Britannia; an alligator for South Carolina or Jamaica; examples of crops such as corn or sugar cane.  Others are more realistically illustrative of life in the time and place being depicted.  The title cartouche of Guillaume de Lisle's 1703 Carte du Canada, for example, incorporates two scenes of missionaries ministering to the Indians and two representing fur trading and wilderness warfare.  John Gerar William De Brahm's South Carolina and a Part of Georgia (London, 1757) encloses its title amidst a particularly realistic depiction of slaves processing and packing indigo, an important crop in both provinces.  Thomas Hutchins's 1764 map of the Ohio Indian country includes a pair of cartouche scenes, one giving a look into an Indian encampment and the other showing a council between Colonel Henry Bouquet and the Indians.
Turtle spearing is shown on Nicolos de Fer's 1723 map of St. Domingue (Haiti).

Such "realistic" scenes in map cartouches vary wildly from accurate, first-hand views to compositions of the engraver's imagination or interpretation of others' descriptions.  Many contain useful visual information, however, revealing what European observers saw or expected to see.  A considerable number of the more realistic cartouches have been identified and described in Mirlyn records for the maps.  Searching the Clements Mirlyn setting for the subject heading "cartouches" will reveal a wealth of graphic information well beyond the subject of the map.

 
The title cartouche of John Wallis's map of the brand-new United States combines allegorical elements with realistic portraits of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin, the two best-known Americans of the time.  It also includes a fine, early rendering of the U.S. flag.

 

MANUSCRIPTS DIVISION REACHES 2,000 FINDING AIDS

 

The Clements Library's Manuscripts Division reached another milestone in its efforts to create finding aids for the division's uncataloged collections.  Over 2,000 finding aids are now available on the Library's EAD web site, thanks to a generous grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

 

NHPRC-funded Project Archivist Megan Hixon is nearing the completion of her monumental task of writing and encoding over 1,600 finding aids, according to minimal processing techniques.  Her descriptions will help bring researchers together with primary source materials on a wide variety of subjects, including gender studies, race and ethnicity, education, law, politics, social reform, military history, public policy, religion, health and medicine, travel, business and commerce, naval and maritime history, theater and the arts, handwriting and grammar, and other topics.  Among the recently available NHPRC-funded finding aids are:

 

Fisher Ames Collection, in the E. L. Diedrich Collection, 1783-1805.  Letters written by United States politician Fisher Ames. He discussed political topics such as the first United States Congress, Congressional disagreements, sectarianism in Congress, the United States presidential election of 1796, and multiple prominent politicians.

 

John Hooker Manuscript, 1874-1875.  A 42-page manuscript copy of a letter that John Hooker wrote to Mrs. J. T. Howard on August 26, 1874, with addendums written in January 1875 (20 pages). Hooker wrote extensively about allegations against his wife, Isabella Beecher Hooker, related to the Beecher-Tilton scandal. The manuscript includes remarks about suffragists such as Victoria Woodhull and Susan B. Anthony, and otherwise refers to the women's suffrage movement.

 

Ziba Roberts Collection, in the James S. Schoff Civil War Collection, 1826-1957.  Correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal documents, photographs, and ephemera related to Ziba Roberts of Shelby, New York, and his family. Much of the material concerns service in the 28th New York Infantry Regiment during the Civil War, veterans' pensions, reunions, genealogy, and estate administration.

 

Mary Wait and Alden Scovel Collection, 1820-1888.  Letters, diaries, account books, commonplace books, pamphlets, and ephemeral materials related to the Scovel cousins, of Albany, New York, and Nashville, Tennessee.  Mary Scovel's diaries, documenting her life in Albany and Nashville between 1838 and 1885, are a magnificent, yet untapped resource on social life, charitable work, and intellectual life in the mid-late 19th century.

 

 

Henry Stevens Papers, 1812-1935.  Correspondence, letter books, and transcriptions by rare book dealer and bibliographer Henry Stevens. The material primarily concerns his work obtaining books for prominent private collectors and libraries, including entities such as the Smithsonian Institution, the American Antiquarian Society, the US Patent Office, Yale College, the Bodleian Library, and many others in the United States in the mid-19th century.

 

Vine Utley, Observations on Old People 80 Years of Age, in the Duane Norman Diedrich Collection, 1809-1827.  Dr. Vine Utley compiled his reports on octogenarians and older individuals in New London County, Connecticut. He discussed their ages, families, dietary habits, and physical and mental health.

 

RECENTLY CATALOGUED: CIVIL WAR PHOTOGRAPHS OF ANDREW J. RUSSELL

 

By the time of the mid-nineteenth century, America's railroads had become absolutely vital infrastructure for inland commerce. When the Civil War broke out, the strategic destruction of railroads was a tactic used by both sides. The efficient reconstruction of railroads became vital to the Union war effort and affected troop and supply movements in many theaters of the war. The War Department's Railroad Construction Corps under General Herman Haupt grappled with the ongoing challenges of quickly repairing destroyed bridges, righting overturned trains, and replacing tracks twisted into knots. Documenting much of this work was photographer Andrew J. Russell (1829-1902).

 

Engine "Government" down the "banks," near Brandy, April, 1864http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/012473675
   

Russell was interested in art and railroads from a young age. Early in the war he joined the 141st New York Volunteer Infantry and took private lessons to learn photography. He made himself indispensible by enhancing the official reports of General Haupt with photographs documenting the extensive challenges and accomplishments of the unit.

 

Most photographers of the Civil War were professionals, commercial businessman in the field for the money, perhaps with a sense of duty towards history. They sought sensational views to illustrate popular concepts of death and epic history. Russell was an exception, being a professional soldier who was also a photographer, working directly for the War Department. Russell was not blind to pictorial drama--his images have plenty--and he strove to make the accomplishments of the corps appear impressive, which they were.  When reviewing the rebuilt bridge at Potomac Creek in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln commented that "Haupt has built a bridge four hundred feet long and one hundred feet high across Potomac Creek, on which loaded trains are passing every hour, and upon my word, gentlemen, there is nothing in it but cornstalks and beanpoles."

 

Building military railroad truss bridge across Bull Run, April, 1863.

http://mirlyn.lib.umich.edu/Record/012473595

 

A recent grant from the Earhart Foundation has allowed the Clements to focus on the sizeable backlog of uncatalogued visual collections. We gave priority to photography of the Civil War due to the current peak of interest and the strength of the Clements library's holdings. There are now over 350 records on this topic in the online catalog Mirlyn, with more appearing regularly. The Clements collection features many famous iconic images, but for those of us who swoon at the sound of a steam locomotive whistle and consider Buster Keaton's The General to be one of the greatest motion pictures of all time, Russell's railroading through the wartime upheaval is absolutely enthralling.

 

VISIT THE LIBRARY
 
The Clements Library is open to all serious researchers, including undergraduate students, who wish to consult our collections. 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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