Wednesday, May 25, 2016

CMU Activist Alumni in the Archives

by Marian Matyn

This past weekend, May 20-22, a large group of alumni who attended CMU between 1968 and 1974 and who all took part in anti-Vietnam War activism as well as other activist movements came back to Mount Pleasant for the Mountain Madness Reunion. I had a very interesting day this past Friday, May 20, showing them CMU publications from the time period they were students at CMU and numerous primary source collections concerning the CMU Vietnam Moratorium (October 15, 1969), protests on campus, John Westie’s Conscientious Objector status materials, and President William Boyd's papers (everyone in the group had a great deal of respect for him!). We heard a little of an oral history interview with President Boyd and saw a sample of the digitized film of the Vietnam Moratorium. I heard lots of interesting stories and comments. Everyone enjoyed the memories.

Next we went to visit Kim Hagerty and they learned about microfilming and digitizing. Then we visited the stacks and saw some treasurers in the vault. And everyone took lots of free pens, pins, and booklets about the Peace Flag and President Warriner’s involvement in the peace movement, courtesy of Professor Hope May and the Center for International Ethics

It was really nice to meet these amazing grads and hear their fascinating stories. I’m glad they appreciate all we do in the archives and microfilm/digitizing to document, preserve, and make available their history to researchers. They were delighted a younger generation at CMU finds their history fascinating and regularly researches it. Through their effort they had quite a positive effect on CMU and our national history. They remain firmly and proudly dedicated to their ideals of peace, peaceful protesting, and underground presses. Many brought pins, papers, newsletters, photographs, and other material that help document the period and enhance existing collections in the Clarke. Thank you to the alumni who brought materials to donate and for those of you willing to be interviewed for an oral history.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Wrapping Up Archives Processing

by Marian Matyn

The end of the term means various archival processing projects are wrapping up.

Thanks to Chad and Suli, the Morley Bros. Oversized volumes are mostly in order and the listing is nearly done. Kipp, Cassie, and Brian helped reshelve the identified, organized volumes.

All Oversized volumes are Morley

All Oversized volumes are Morley

All Volumes and Oversized volumes are Morley

Cassie and Kipp are done with processing and nearly done with the finding aid for PMRR Saginaw station (Dennis Wolfe)

PMRR Saginaw Station completed last week

Brian is finishing up Nottawa Twp. records addition. Processed, labeled (nearly), finding aid nearly complete.

Nottawa addition

Jordan is still sorting children's art postcards for the DigMichNews 2015-2016 competition collection. There are still postcards from two finalists to sort and folder.

DigMichNews competition 2015-2016, children's art postcards

Here's a cool photo of Boyne Mountain's ski lift

Here's another cool postcard. The fish and way the art is created reminds me of Celtic imagery and the fish scales of the armor in the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting William the Conqueror. See the armor here

Now the processing room is almost empty. New projects await in the stacks for summer 2016.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Jack Dempsey Joins Clarke Board of Governors

by Frank Boles

Since 1956, the Clarke Historical Library has operated with a Board of Governors. The Board plays an important role in the library’s operation, with a definition of the Board’s formal authority vested in an agreement signed by Central Michigan University and the Clarke family. The Board’s influence, however, goes beyond the letter of the agreement, to include a wide-ranging advisory capacity which helps to determine the library’s mission, collecting policy, outreach activities, and the other aspects of library operations.

At its April 2016 meeting, the Clarke Historical Library Board of Governors recommended to the CMU Board of Trustees that John “Jack” Dempsey be elected to serve a five year term on the Clarke Board.

Jack Dempsey is an avid historian, two-term President of the Michigan Historical Commission, and award-winning author. His writing focuses on the Civil War, the history of Michigan, and cultural heritage. His co-authored book Ink Trails: Michigan’s Famous and Forgotten Authors, was named a Michigan Notable Book by the Library of Michigan in 2013.

Mr. Dempsey’s book presentations have been featured at the Henry Ford, the Historical Society of Michigan, the Kerrytown Book Fest, historical museums, public libraries, Civil War round tables, in schools, and on public television and radio, as well as here at Central Michigan University.

Jack has a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science from Michigan State University and a law degree from George Washington University. His legal career includes service as a Law Review editor, Assistant Attorney General, and corporate general counsel. Jack is a partner in the Ann Arbor office of Dickinson Wright PLLC.

He lives in Plymouth, Michigan.

At the same meeting of the Clarke Historical Library Board of Governors, Sandra Planisek was elected to serve as the Board’s chair during calendar year 2016. She and Michael Federspiel will join the executive committee, which also includes Norman Clarke, III and CMU President George Ross. Additional elected Board members include Susan Clarke and Robert Kohrman. In addition to the President, the ex-officio members are Frank Boles, Director of the Clarke Library, Mitchell Hall, Chair of the CMU History Department, and Thomas Moore, Dean of CMU Libraries.

Mr. Dempsey replaced Kenneth Winter, a past editor of the Petoskey News-Review, who retired from the Board after completing a five year term of service. Other past elected members have included the well-known political philosopher Dr. Russell Kirk, former United States Senator and Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Griffin, former Archivist of the United States Robert Warner, Grand Rapids’ longest serving mayor, John Logie, and the co-chairman and CEO of Meijer, Inc. Hank Meijer.

Two years after the Clarke Historical Library was founded, Central Michigan College and the Clarke family agreed to create a ten-person Board of Governors. The Board membership consists of a representative of the Clarke family, five members who are selected by the Board itself, subject to confirmation by the CMU Board of Trustees (the University’s governing body) and four ex officio members: the President of the University, the Dean of Libraries, the chair of the History Department, and the Director of the Clarke Historical Library (although the Director is in some documents referred to as the “Custodian,” which sometimes gives me pause about the true nature of my job).

The criteria for selected members elected to the Board states that members should be “persons who are collectors of original historical materials or are interested in or associated with historical research in American History and who have demonstrated a dedicated interest in history.”