September 2013
(Best viewed on-line)

In this issue:

  • New Exhibit - Our Front Porch - Opening Soon!
  • Our Front Porch Live Concert
  • Upcoming Speaker Series
  • Saturday Hours Return
  • Recent Blog Post - The Provenance of the John Greenleaf Whittier Papers
  • Historic Picture of the Week - CMU Football

Our Front Porch Exhibit to Open in September

Beginning September 16, come see our new exhibit - Our Front Porch. Among the most beloved of CMU radio programs, Our Front Porch began over thirty years ago, with the simple goal of giving local musicians a venue to showcase their talent and share their music.  Over the years, the program has become a major sponsor of live concerts throughout mid and northern Michigan, often partnering with like-minded groups such as the Wheatland Music Organization. The program has become a showcase for folk, blues and bluegrass, Cajun, zydeco, and Celtic music.

The exhibit in the Clarke celebrates the program through the stunning photography of Peggy Brisbane and Robert Barclay, who, for years, have photographed the concerts sponsored by Our Front Porch. In addition a sound system will allow visitors to select and hear recordings from each of the show’s musical genres. The music, selected by John Sheffler (with a little help from his friends), features some of the program’s most memorable performances, as well as a few personal favorites.

The Our Front Porch exhibit celebrates the donation of the program recordings to the Clarke Library, where they will be preserved and made available for future listeners. WCMU Radio serves as a media sponsor of the exhibit.  In addition the exhibit is underwritten, in part, by the Cindi J. and Kathryn R. Graham Endowment, with additional support from the Croll Family Endowment and the Friends of the CMU Libraries.

Our Front Porch Live Music Performance 

In conjunction with the Our Front Porch exhibit, the Clarke will be hosting a performance by Billy Strings and Don Julin on Saturday, September 28. A warm-up performance, free and open to the public, will begin at 7:00 pm in the Clarke Historical Library. The main event will take place in the Moore Hall Kiva at 8 pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased are available through the CMU Office of University Events - Ticket Central

Fall Speaker Series

This fall, the Clarke Historical Library speaker series will feature an engagement with international-award-winning children's author and illustrator Peter Sís (Ocober 17), a presentation celebrating the 75th anniversary of folklorist Alan Lomax's trip to Michigan to document the folk songs of Michigan and the Upper Midwest (October 22), and a discussion with Deborah Thomas, program coordinator at the Library of Congress for the National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP), about the NDNP program and the Clarke's role in the project to make Michigan newspapers accessible to users around the World (October 29). Keep up to date with Clarke events via the News and Notes blog and the Clarke events website.

But before these events, the Clarke is hosting an evening with John Scheffler and colleagues about Our Front Porch - the long-running radio program and the exhibit on Tuesday, September 24 at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Auditorium. A reception will follow in the Clarke Historical Library.

For over thirty years, CMU Public Radio’s “Our Front Porch” has featured the best of Michigan music, recorded live and in concert.  Join Mr. Sheffler and his colleagues Dan Bracken, Peggy Brisbane, and Robert Barclay as they open the Clarke Historical Library exhibit Our Front Porch by reminiscing about the show’s storied history.

The Our Front Porch exhibit celebrates the donation of this treasury of recorded music to the Clarke Library. It is underwritten, in part, by the Cindi J. and Kathryn R. Graham Endowment, with additional support from the Croll Family Endowment and the Friends of the CMU Libraries.

Clarke Saturday Hours

Now that classes are back in session at Central Michigan University, the Clarke Historical Library will be open Saturday mornings from 9 am to 1 pm. We will keep Saturday hours from September 7 through December 7, with the exception of November 30 for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Stop in to browse our current exhibit, use the Clarke resources to further your research, or learn a little something about CMU history, Michigan history, and children's literature. On days of home football games, the Clarke will be available for alumni to browse our historical yearbooks, student newspapers, football programs, and photographs documenting the history of Central Michigan University.

Recent Investigation into the Provenance of the John Greenleaf Whittier Papers Posted on the Clarke Blog

The Clarke News and Notes blog recently featured some interesting posts, including one post telling the story of the provenance of the John Greenleaf Whittier Papers held by the Clarke. Whittier was a renowned abolitionist, poet, and essayist from New England. Through twists of history and chance encounters, the Papers made their way to Central Michigan University in the 1950s and this post documents the research done by Clarke Staff to discover the details of the provenance.

Follow the Clarke News and Notes blog for tales of interesting finds and news about events and happenings in the Library.

Historical Central Gridders featured as Pictures of the Week

The Clarke has been working with the CMU Libraries and the CMU Alumni Association to bring historical photos of the campus, notable events, and student life to the public once a week via facebook. This weeks photo is of the 1902 Central football team, who went undefeated (4-0). Follow the CMU Libraries facebook page and the CMU Alumni Association facebook page for every historical picture, every week. is gearing up for classes to begin.