Monday, February 25, 2013

Imperfect: An Improbable Life

[editor's note: One February 17, we posted an entry by Christa Clare about the 2013 Michigan Notable Books list. Today, we are posting an additional piece by Christa Clare highlighting one of the 2013 selections, Imperfect: An Improbable Life by Jim Abbott and Tim Brown.]

Imperfect: An Improbable Life

by Christa Clare

The Clarke Library collects all the Michigan notable books each year, and the books chosen for 2013 have been ordered and are arriving daily.

One of these titles is Imperfect : An Improbable Life by Jim Abbott and co-authored by Tim Brown, which tells the inspiring life story of Flint native Jim Abbott. Jim was born without a right hand, but despite this condition, went on to become a Major League baseball pitcher. At age 19, he beat the vaunted Cuban National team, and at age 21, he won the gold medal game at the 1988 Olympics. He skipped the minor leagues and starting playing with the California Angels. He threw a no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians in 1993. Abbott retired with a career record of 87 wins and 108 losses with a 4.25 earned run average.

Mr. Abbott currently works as a motivational speaker. We hope you find this book as inspiring as we did. And check out all of the Michigan Notable Books for 2013, which will soon be in the holdings of the Clarke Historical Library.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Improving Access to Manuscript Materials in the Clarke

by Marian Matyn

I am approaching the end of a long project to encode finding aids of the Clarke manuscript collection. The project began in January 2009 and involves taking each finding aid and its corresponding catalog record of existing, processed manuscript collections in the Clarke, and putting the information into hyper-text language following national and international rules to make the finding aid Google-searchable online. The finding aids page is hosted by the University of Michigan, a collaborative effort between our institutions.

This is very time consuming work. It takes months to encode large finding aids. We had nearly 5,000 cubic feet of finding aids at the beginning of this project and more have been donated and processed since then. Most of the finding aids that existed at the beginning of project, as well as most of the finding aids created for collections added during the project, are now encoded. The current process is that, at the end of each month, I send copies of the encoded finding aids to the UM where they are added into the webpage. Once I’m notified that they are added and everything is technically fine with the encoded finding aid, I add the url for that specific encoded finding aid from the encoded finding aid page to the related Centra (CMU Libraries catalog) record and make sure that the public’s display view is good and the link works. To see the Clarke Historical Library Finding Aids page click, visit this website:

Encoding finding aids will become an ongoing duty because we are constantly getting new collections, which results in new finding aids. The encoded finding aids, once completed, are linked to the catalog record so you can find the Clarke’s manuscript finding aids searching Google or through Centra. Sometimes we get additions to collections. This means that the finding aid, catalog record, encoded finding aid, box labels, and manuscript location guide all have to be updated.

Recently, I updated two encoded finding aids and added a new encoded finding aid.

The new encoded finding aid was for the papers of Amos Gould. Click here for the catalog record and link to the encoded finding aid.

Amos Gould was born in Aurelius (N.Y.) on Dec. 3, 1808. Educated, he worked in the office of William H. Steward, then Governor of New York (State). He was admitted to the bar in 1832. He moved to Owosso (Mich.) in 1843. He speculated in Michigan in land, began a lumber business, practiced law, served as the attorney for the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad Company, 1852-1881, and was involved with the establishment of the Amboy, Lansing, and Traverse Bay Railroad. He was elected Probate Judge of Shiawassee County in 1844, served as Prosecuting Attorney of the same county and Supervisor of Owosso, 1844-1850. He served as a Senator, 1853-1854. He organized the First National Bank of Owosso in 1865 serving as president and owning most of the stock. He married Louisa Peck of New York (State) in 1841 and they had six children. He died May 14, 1882, a wealthy man. His brother, Ebenezer Gould, married Irene Beach in 1845. They had several children together. He was honorably discharged as a Colonel of the Michigan Cavalry, 5th Regiment in 1864. Fred H. Gould, a son of Amos', was born Oct. 11, 1857. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1878. He was involved in various business interests, including his father's bank, real estate, and raising cattle and horses. He married Josephine Fletcher in 1883 and they had three children.

His papers are 65 cubic feet in volume (in 117 boxes, 3 oversized volumes). His family papers include the records of Amos, Ebenezer, and Fred H. Gould, 1828-1936. Amos Gould's papers, 1828-1882, relate to his many business interests, including: his legal practice and positions, both in New York (State) and Owosso, and in Owosso (Mich.), his business interests in land sales; his lumber industry; his work as an attorney for the Detroit and Milwaukee Railroad Company; the First Bank of Owosso records; and family affairs. Ebenezer Gould's papers include Civil War era correspondence with his wife, children, and brother Amos, business correspondence, a family scrapbook, and miscellaneous, 1845-1936. There is a diary of Fred H. Gould, 1892-1931. There are also letters from Amos Gould's brother-in-law Dr. J. N. Graham about early medical practices, including the use of chloroform in Michigan.

As for the updates to already held records, there was material added to the Joe De Bolt Vietnam Moratorium Committee Records (1967-1983) and the CMU Information Services Organizational Records (1905-2008). To learn about Joe De Bolt and his records, CMU Vietnam Moratorium Committee records click here. To learn about CMU. Information Services click here.

If you have any questions, please contact me - Marian Matyn or 989.774.3990

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Michigan Notable Books

What Are Michigan Notable Books?

Edited from the Michigan Notable Books website by Christa Clare

Each year, the Michigan Notable Books list features 20 books published during the previous calendar year that are about, or set in, Michigan or the Great Lakes region, or are written by a native or resident of Michigan. Selections include nonfiction and fiction and typically have a wide appeal and cover an array of topics and issues close to the hearts of Michigan residents.

Michigan Notable Books (MNB) is a statewide program that began as part of the 1991 Michigan Week celebration, geared to pay tribute and draw attention to many people, places and things that make Michigan life unique. In that regard, the MNB program successfully features Michigan books and writers focusing on the literary talents found in the Great Lakes State.

Books featuring topics as varied as a physically-challenged kid from Flint who went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal and pitch a no-hitter for the New York Yankees, the 1968 Detroit Tigers, survival of the Kirtland's warbler, a biography of Michigan's first governor, northwest Michigan's Fishtown, the revival of Detroit, saving the Theodore Roethke house, Michigan's historic train stations, a memoir of a Detroit soul singer, a study of Michigan's amphibians and reptiles, Depression-era Flint, and an illustrated history of Detroit's historic places of worship are all part of this year's list.

Here are the 2013 Michigan Notable books:

American Poet: A Novel by Jeff Vande Zande (Bottom Dog Press)

The Amphibians and Reptiles of Michigan by J. Alan Holman (Wayne State University Press)

Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography by John Comazzi (Princeton Architectural Press)

Bear Has a Story to Tell by Phillip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin E. Stead (Roaring Brook Press)

The Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the Birth of Michigan Politics by Don Faber (University of Michigan Press)

Canada by Richard Ford (Ecco)

Death Dance of a Butterfly by Melba Joyce Boyd (Past Tents Press)

Detroit City Is the Place to Be by Mark Binelli (Metropolitan Books)

Detroit's Historic Places of Worship compiled and edited by Marla O. Collum, Barbara E. Krueger and Dorothy Kostuch, photographs by Dirk Bakker with a forward by John Gallagher (Wayne State University Press)

Dust to Dust: A Memoir by Benjamin Busch (Ecco)

Fishtown: Leland Michigan's Historic Fishery by Laurie Sommers (Arbutus Press)

Imperfect by Jim Abbott/Tim Brown (Ballantine Books)

Ink Trails by Jack Dempsey and Dave Dempsey (Michigan State University Press)

The Kirtland's Warbler by William Rapai (University of Michigan Press)

Michigan's Historic Railroad Stations by Michael Hodges (Wayne State University Press)

The Mighty Miss Malone by Christopher Paul Curtis (Wendy Lamb Books)

The Skeleton Box: A Starvation Lake Mystery by Bryan Gruley (Touchstone Books)

Summer of '68: The Season That Changed Baseball--and America--Forever by Tim Wendel (Da Capo Press)

A Woman Like Me by Bettye LaVette (Blue Rider Press)

The World of A Few Minutes Ago by Jack Driscol (Wayne State University Press).

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What February 12, 2013 Means to the Clarke

by Bryan Whitledge and Lindsay Gabriel

Tuesday, February 12 marks two events that the Clarke would like to recognize - President Lincoln's 204th birthday and Paczki Day. Because the two events have not much in common, today's blog posting is a 2-for-1 deal.

First, in recognition of the birthday of our 16th President, we are sharing a greeting signed by President Lincoln and dated April 16, 1862. This autograph is one from a collection of every U. S. President's autographs, which is currently on loan at the Clarke Historical Library.

In addition to this item, the Clarke maintains information related to Abraham Lincoln's only speech on Michigan soil, which took place in Kalamazoo on August 27, 1856. Information ranges from microfilm of historical copies of the Kalamazoo Gazette to reprints of the speech published years after Lincoln's assassination.

The second event that we would like to pay homage to is Fat Tuesday and in Michigan, Fat Tuesday means paczkis. The Clarke has a wealth of resources devoted to both Polish culture in Michigan and Michigan cookbooks. Some of these resources cross and in their pages, one can find information about the paczki. Above is a page from Polish Heritage Cookery by Robert and Maria Strybel explaining paczkis.

For the uninitiated, a paczki is pronounced punch-kee. It is a deep-fried dough pastry filled with a sweet filling. Fat Tuesday is the traditional day to eat this calorie-laden treat, which comes from the Polish Catholic tradition of using up all of the food that would be otherwise forbidden during Lent (lard, butter, sugar, eggs, etc.). No matter one's cultural background, Paczki Day is looked forward to by many Michiganders.

Every day at the Clarke has some historical significance and February 12 of 2013 gives us a great excuse to share some of our favorite things with you.