Showing posts from September, 2016

stolen Van Goghs found

A good thought this weekend is that sometimes stolen history comes back. Two Van Gogh paintings stolen in Amsterdam in 2002 were found in Italy, part of a stash by organized crime linked to cocaine trafficking. Police seized assets worth millions of euros from a house including the paintings Police arrested drug traffickers linked to the Amato-Pagano clan and the Camorra mafia of Naples. Read more about it here

Incoming collections!

This term I have been getting a lot of collections every week. In fact, I was telling a student yesterday that literally every time I leave my office something appears. We left to put some boxes on shelves in the stacks in an attempt to decrease the amount of piles  quickly accumulating in the processing room. This move which took less than five minutes. When we got back there were new collections waiting for me. We laughed a lot about that. This morning I come in and Frank brought in two cartloads (about 12 cubic ft.) for me last night and left them in the hall. As soon as I glanced at them and saw GLLKA  I knew what it was-additional material from the estate of  Dick Moehl of GLLKA and Mackinac City fame.

The world's oldest library

The world's oldest library,  al-Qarawiyyin Library, is in Fez, Morocco. It was founded by a woman! and has been operating since 859 AD. In 2012 an assessment of the facility found that it was rotting due to water running through the roof and underneath the building. In addition to major structure changes to preserve the building, a lab now digitizes some of the text to help make them available. It is now open to the public, not just a few scholars. It is a beautiful building with amazing collections. I hope to hear more about the collections in the future. See some amazing images and read more about it here

Chinese skeletons indicate Chinese in Roman Britain!

Talk about an amazing find changing long held assumptions....Chinese skeletons found in London date between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD. This is the first time Asian skeletal remains from Roman Britain have been identified and also only the 3rd or 4th time they've ever been found in what was the Roman Empire and only the second they've been found at a verified Roman site. Identification of the Asian people was made through dental enamel samples. They were clearly not born in Britain. Prior to this, one man's remains, believed to be Asian, were found in Italy. This changes long held archaeological and historical assumptions about the homogeneous society of Roman Britain and the relationships between the two empires of China and Rome. The empires may have had more interaction than ever imagined, probably trade between the two. Trade was believed mostly to have occurred in the Mediterranean. That Asian traders would have come to London was never seriously considered by histo…

Banned Books week 2016

Happy Banned Books Week to you!

Here's information from the American Library Association about the week.

Here's a list of frequently challenged and banned books for 2015:  and other lists of most challenged books by decade, over time, frequently challenged authors-

presidential signatures

There are a lot of presidential signatures in our current exhibit. Here's George Washington's.He and I share the same birthday February 22. This made me wonder, besides books, what else, if anything, do we have about/by George Washington in the Clarke? We have 54 catalog entries about George Washington. Most are books, some are oratories or addresses lauding him after he died. His inauguration and other aspects of his life and character were/are still celebrated long after he died. These were created mostly for adults but also for children. We have certificates of appointment for Daniel B. Ainger, 1887/1889 that celebrate the centennial of Washington's inauguration. We also have an 1845 invitation to a military and civil Ball to Abel F. Fitch and his wife to commemorate Washington's birthday. There are many more secondary sources about George and Martha in the Park Library. We also have a children's fictional book about Martha in the Clarke.

We also have two  manu…

Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture

On Friday, President Obama opened the new African American Museum in Washington, DC., part of the Smithsonian. The major British architect with African heritage who planned the building, sought to bring people together in the building and engage them in ongoing discussions on racial relations. The museum seeks to fill a hole in history. The building combines elements from Africa and the Americas into its design.  See video and read more about it here  Here's the museum's website

Mary Rose 3-d online exhibit

The Mary Rose Museum is creating an online exhibit of 3-d reconstructions of skulls and scans of other materials found in the shipwreck. Very interesting. One of the treasurers for scientists and historians is the every day objects, including clothes, of everyday people. See here

pre-Friday archives report - Collections pouring in

I'm reporting this a day early because so much is coming in lately. I don't know if this happens to other archivists, but I swear every day last week and this week that I have left my space for 20 minutes or more, another collection, or two, appears.

I received collections on 1970s protests, a CD documenting the planning of our learning commons (Copeland Suite), MI Audubon Society, H.H. Dow materials,  soil books, and two large boxes of a now defunct CMU registered student organization, the Golden Key Club National Honor Society.

Mysteries continue after arctic shipwrecks found

In Sept. 2014 I blogged about the finding of the HMS Erebus. The HMS Terror and HMS Erebus were both found below the ice on the sea floor  in 2014. Crews abandoned them in 1848 after two years of the ships being stuck in the ice up in Canada while looking for the Northwest Passage. Some of the crews starved to death there and others died while trying to go south. Now researchers wonder if some of the crew returned to the ships and tried to sail at least one of them, the more maneuverable Erebus. Read more about it here

Iron Mountain clown baseball team on The Making of Modern Michigan

Some of you know of my research interest in MI circus.

A friend asked me to search for her grandfather, Dr. Herman Sturtz of Iron Mountain, about whom she knew little. Through a Google search I found him identified in a digitized photograph with other noteworthy Iron Mountain (Mich.) men dressed as a clown baseball team. I thought this was really funny that he was dressed as a clown. Dressing as a clown baseball team was not uncommon in the late 19th c early 20th c. for holidays, like 4th of July, or to raise funds for a cause. Here's the site and photo The photograph is on the Making of Michigan website. The Making of Modern Michigan is a collaborative project involving 52 Michigan libraries. It includes local history materials from communities around the state. Michigan's unique heritage is represented through over 4,500 different subjects of photographs, family papers, oral histories, genealogical materials, and much more.

processing of the Channel 9&10 News film by Jen Bentley


Friday in the archives

This week Brian and I finished an addition to CMU. Student Government Association. It is an ongoing collection. He is currently the historian for SGA. Three of my students have consecutively served in that position, Mark, Kipp and now Brian. Brian is now processing a collection about the Enbridge pipeline going under the Mackinac Bridge. Then he is going to process signed posters of entertainers at CMU.

As part of her internship Jen started processing the Court of Appeals series of Justice Weaver's papers on the Michigan Supreme Court. When she isn't working on her internship, Jen is processing Channel 9 & 10 film. SK will return to help with film later this term.

Cody is almost done processing an addition to CMU. Park Library records from our last dean. He is going to start his internship next week processing the Beemer family papers documenting an early farm family and teacher in Clare, Michigan, right after the Civil War. I haven't been able to get his photo yet.

Fall 2016 Conservation and Collections Care Camp