Monday, October 24, 2016

Clarke Joins National Film Inventory Site

by Marian Matyn

As part of our ongoing film project in the Clarke, processing student Jen Bentley and I are entering some of our films into the AVCC, an open source web application for rapid inventory of film, video, and audio materials. AVCC was developed with funding from the Library of Congress’ National Recording Preservation Board, the Metro NY Library Resource Council, and the NY State Documentary Heritage Program. The plan is to inventory film, video, and audio materials in production-based, archival, and other collections of unpublished media which are hard to access, uncataloged or not even inventoried. Also, it registers films which are suffering preservation issues, as so many are.

We have films in numerous collections. Tressa (a former student assistant in the Clarke) and I completed processing, identifying, rehousing and cataloging of non-Channel 9 & 10 films. SK and Jen (current student assistants) and I are still working on all those verbs for Channel 9 & 10 films. I think it is an excellent idea to register the films in AVCC for wider discoverability. I opened a free account for the Clarke and for each film we will fill in a template for each film we register. This is an important step in getting the Clarke acknowledged as holding films of interest at the state and national level and providing accessibility to a broader audience.

First, we added the 8mm and 16mm films in the Joe De Bolt collection documenting CMU Vietnam Moratorium student protests. The films are part of the Joe De Bolt Central Michigan University Vietnam Moratorium Committee Records, 1967,1983. The films are described in the Centra catalog record here: De Bolt catalog record

The films now appear under the heading of the Clarke: (Must be signed in to a free account in order to view the record)

Here is how the films actually look:

De Bolt 8mm

and cover off



beautifully cored

We've also added two CMU. Films collection films documenting 1944 Homecoming and 1960s Homecoming and football events. The link to the catalog record is here: catalog record CMU Films

Jen and I both have to work together to add each film as we need to add additional information beyond what Tressa and I documented. We prioritized non-Channel 9 &10 films that we believe are of value to CMU, MI and nationally. As we finish processing, identifying, and rehousing Channel 9 &10 films we note which films are of particular interest to CMU, MI and nationally. These will be our next top priority to add to the national inventory.

We will not add all the films to the inventory. In most cases an example is part of a larger collection and the inventory information will lead interested researchers to those collections and additional films.

You can learn more about AVCC here at their blog

There is also a review of the AVCC site in the American Archivists reviews portal here

Lastly thanks to Matthew Wilcox at Michigan State University Archives who has collaborated with us about film and informed me about the inventory site.

Monday, October 17, 2016

New Hemingway-Related Collection in Clarke

by Frank Boles

Portrait of Marjorie Bump, ca. 1916
On October 16, at the annual meeting of the Michigan Hemingway Society in Petoskey, the organization permanently loaned to the Clarke approximately one linear foot of material documenting Marjorie Bump’s relationship with Ernest Hemingway. Ms. Bump was a local Petoskey girl who met Ernest Hemingway in 1915. Her first name is given to the female protagonist in the Nick Adams short story, “The End of Something,” published in 1925.

After Hemingway’s death in 1961, Don St. John undertook a project to interview individuals who had known Hemingway to obtain first-hand accounts about the author. One of the people he contacted was Marjorie, by then known as Marjorie Main. Between 1965 and 1974, the two corresponded extensively. That correspondence now joins a bevy of resources related to Hemingway in Michigan found in the Clarke.

Georgianna Main, the daughter of Marjorie, wrote of her mother’s recollections about Hemingway in Pip-Pip For Hemingway (Bloomington, Ill.: iUniverse, 2010). The accounts found in Pip-Pip and in these papers are not consistent. For example, In Pip-Pip Georgianna reports her mother was taught to fish by Hemingway. In her recollection to St. John, Marjorie says she never went fishing with Ernest.

For a quick summary of the scholarly literature regarding Marjorie visit Project Muse, which reproduces a 2014 book review of Pip-Pip written by Matthew Nickel and first published in The Hemingway Review.

Before her death, Marjorie Main destroyed the correspondence with Hemingway she possessed. Thus, it is likely scholars will have a difficult time deciding if Marjorie chose to tell her daughter stories she thought Georgianna wished to hear or, if recounting events to St. John more than a half-century after they occurred, the inevitable tricks of memory led Marjorie to recall things in a way that differed from what had actually happened so long ago.

The Michigan Hemingway Society and the Clarke Library have worked together for more than a decade to document Ernest Hemingway’s life in Michigan. The relationship has been one that has benefited both organizations and we in the Clarke are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work continually with the Society to find new information (with a Michigan twist) about one of the 20th century's most important authors.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Historic Soo Locks Construction Photos Now On-Line

by Bryan Whitledge

Historians, students, hobbyist researchers and general fans of the Soo Locks and Great Lakes shipping now have access to some of the best primary source images known to exist. Today, the Clarke Historical Library is pleased to announce the availability of over 1,700 images of the construction of the Soo Locks dating from circa 1885 to 1941. Through a freely accessible, keyword-searchable database, anyone in the world can now view digital copies of images that document over 50 years of construction, testing, and operation of a great engineering feat that has been a boon to the economy of the Great Lakes states and America. To access this database, visit

The images, which were digitized from the original glass photographic plates, show various stages of the construction of the now-closed Third (Davis) and Fourth (Sabin) Locks. These stages include surveying the St. Marys River above, at, and below the Locks, excavation of earth to form the Locks, construction of the walls that form the lock chambers, installation of mechanical devices and the lock gates, ships passing through operational Locks, and much more...even the extent of damage of the occasional accident!

Before being scanned and digitally preserved, the images were housed at the US Army Corps of Engineers Soo Area Office in Sault Ste. Marie. Since being digitized, the original glass plates have been transferred to the National Archives and Records Administration, Still Pictures Unit in College Park, Maryland. For more information about the digital images or to request high-resolution copies of any particular image(s), please contact Clarke ( or 989-774-3864)