Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Michael Artman Presents "Hemingway’s Paris”

The Clarke Historical Library will welcome Michael Artman on Wednesday, July 31 for a presentation about the Parisian quartiers that Ernest Hemingway called home during the 1920s.

Mr. Artman and his wife exchanged homes with a Parisian family and found themselves living in the Latin Quarter of Paris, only a few blocks from where Ernest and Hadley Hemingway lived when they moved to Paris in 1922. Long interested in the Hemingways, Mr. Artman’s vacation became a research trip into “Hemingway’s Paris,” walking the pathways traveled by Ernest and Hadley and visiting the haunts they found intriguing so many years ago.

Join us, as Mr. Artman takes us along for the journey. Retired educators from Port Huron, MI, Mr. Artman and his wife, Anita Shagena are both two-time CMU Alumni.

The presentation begins at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Baber Room and will be followed by a reception. Both are open to the public without charge.

For more information about this event please contact the Clarke Historical Library, 989.774.3352 or clarke@cmich.edu. Individuals interested in attending either event and in need of an accommodation should phone 989.774.1100.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Historical Detroit Free Press Available at CMU

by Bryan Whitledge

The Clarke Historical Library and the Central Michigan University Libraries are pleased to announce that we now carry the historic Detroit Free Press. This database, provided by ProQuest, contains digitized copies of every issue of the Free Press published between May of 1831 and December of 1922 -- 90 years of Michigan history!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Where the Wild Things Are: From Turning a Page to a Motion Picture

by Ryan Rooney

Read to children across the world, turned into movies, and regarded as one of the best children’s books ever written, here at the Clarke we are very fortunate to have a signed first edition, second issue copy of Maurice Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are (1963). With the Caldecott Medal seal on the front and Sendak's signature on the title page, the book is a part of our children's literature collection that truly stands out as unique.

Friday, July 12, 2013

New Acquisition: The Ruins of Detroit

by Frank Boles

One of the strengths of the Clarke is its local history publications. Through these books, a researcher can trace the history of communities throughout the state. Perhaps understandably, many of these volumes have a certain celebratory tone to them, in essence saying welcome to our town, it was (and is) a great place.

Michigan’s local history is not, however, always happy. Detroit is the obvious example of this. In the first half of the twentieth century, the city was a case study for successful industrialization, with its future lionized as “dynamic Detroit,” the city moved forward to ever greater success. In the last half of the century, Detroit increasingly became a much sadder case study regarding the American post-industrial landscape. By the beginning of the twenty-first century, the city’s infrastructure, built to support a community of approximately two million, was no longer sustainable through the diminishing local taxes paid by the approximately 700,000 souls who still lived within the city limits.

Detroit’s local history publications reflected this change. But unlike most local history, the rise and fall of Detroit is an international story. A striking example of the genre was recently added to the Clarke’s collection: Frenchmen Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre’s coffee table sized, The Ruins of Detroit (Gottingen, Germany: Steidl, 2010). In beautifully created photographic images, the authors capture the decaying architectural grandeur of what was once one of America’s most successful cities. It is a sad irony that in discussing the abandoned, yet still monumental, Michigan Central Railroad Station the authors note it was inspired by the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, which were built in Rome in the third century.

As historian Thomas J. Sugrue writes in the book’s introduction, “No place epitomizes the creative and destructive forces of modernity more than Detroit, past and present.” It is a stark history, but an important one to preserve.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

1777 Map of American Revolution

by Bryan Whitledge

Every year, we celebrate the American Revolution with a parade, or maybe a barbecue, or potentially some fireworks. The Clarke Historical Library has numerous resources documenting how the people of Michigan have celebrated Independence Day throughout the years. We have historic photographs showing Fourth of July events in various Michigan cities. We have publications commemorating the American Revolution. And we have a great deal of material from the Bicentennial celebrations in 1976, including microfilm of over 90 Bicentennial editions of newspapers throughout Michigan – from the Allegan County News & Gazette to the Ypsilanti Press.

Click on the maps to see larger images
or download the images to enlarge them
Because of our focus on materials that document Michigan history and the history of the Old Northwest, children’s literature, and the history of Central Michigan University, we do not have many materials directly related to the Revolution. Despite the fact that we do not have a large collection about the fight for American Independence, we do have a few very interesting items. In honor of the 237th birthday of the United States this year, we are sharing one of these items - a map of the U. S. from the time of the Revolution.

This map, printed in France in 1777, is entitled Theatre de la Guerre en Amérique, or the "Theater of War in America." It shows the 13 colonies (some are tricky to find – “Conecticut” is an example) and southeastern Canada. There are also insets showing the American Southeast, an engraving of Niagara Falls, and the Louisiana Territory (the Mississippi River system), which was French territory at the time of the printing of this map.

The map was engraved in Paris by Monsieur Le Rouge, the King’s Engineer of Geography, and printed under the authority of the King of France. The slight coloration used to denote the borders of some of the colonies and territories was done by hand. Lands that were deemed by the European settlers and the engraver of the map to be the territory of specific Native American groups is identified by the overarching names of the tribe or tribal groups, such as Miamis or Iroquois.

For the size of the map and the time in which it was printed, there is a substantial amount of detail. Larger towns and cities are noted, as are forts. Some of the words on the map differ from what we are accustomed to today, such as “Nouvelle Yorck” for New York or “Pekepsil” rather than Poughkeepsie, but even with the different language and the 236 years since its creation, one can easily discern what this map shows. From a Michigan perspective, there are some locations of note. “Fort du Detroit,” “Sault Ste. Marie,” and “Baye de Saguinum” are just three examples.

While Theatre de la Guerre en Amérique is not a battle map as we might think of one today, it would have given the Frenchman reading it an idea of what the British were up against across the Atlantic 237 years ago.

The Clarke wishes you and yours a happy and safe Independence Day. We will be closed Thursday, July 4 and reopen with regular business hours – 8 am to 5 pm – on Friday, July 5.