February 2014
(Best viewed on-line)

In this issue:
  • New Exhibit Opening Soon
  • Upcoming Speakers
  • Molson Art Collection in Petoskey
  • News on our Blog
  • CMU History to be Focus of Clarke Speaking Event

I Used This Because... Opening Soon

Last year, 3,622 individuals used the Clarke Historical Library. The Library’s exhibit, I Used This Because... asks more than thirty of these visitors a simple question, why? In a world full of information resources what was it that they found in the Clarke Library that drew them here?

The answers are as varied and interesting as the individuals who supplied them and the Clarke’s collections. Students, CMU faculty and staff, independent scholars, and community users – each bring their unique perspective and each identifies a part of the Clarke Historical Library important to them. What they chose, and why they selected it, reveals the riches of the Library in a uniquely informative and interesting way: sharing the artistry of handmade books from Europe and Asia, contemporary accounts from eighteenth century New France and the arrival of Cambodian refugees in mid-Michigan in 1979, children’s books that delight and educate, sometimes at the same time, and reminding exhibit visitors of the importance of CMU and the University Archives.

Join us for this opportunity to see the wonders of the Library from the user’s perspective. The exhibit will run in the Clarke Historical Library from mid-February through August.

Upcoming Speakers

The Clarke Historical Library will be host to two presentations in the next four weeks. The events will each begin at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Auditorium with a reception to follow in the Clarke.

First, on February 24, Metro-Detroit artist Patricia Lay-Dorsey will make a presentation as part of the opening of her exhibit Falling Into Place. In 1988, Ms. Lay-Dorsey was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Over time she noted that most of the stories about the disease were told from the an outsider's perspective; portraits painted of MS victims as tragic, brave, and fundamentally "other." It was a viewpoint she both resented and resisted.

In 2008, she turned her camera on herself, with the intention of showing the day-to-day life of someone with a disability from the inside. What she discovered was an emotional roller-coaster where she suddenly began to view herself as "other." Eventually, she came to realize the viewpoint that was changing was her own. The exhibit and the presentation discuss this transformation, as does Patricia Lay-Dorsey's website, http://www.patricialaydorsey.com.

Then, on March 5, Don Faber, author of The Boy Governor: Stevens T. Mason and the birth of Michigan Politics, will speak to a Clarke audience about the youngest person in United States history to hold the position of governor of any state. George Weeks, a longtime political columnist and former member of the Clarke Board of Governors described the book this way:
"With exhaustive research and engaging writing, Don Faber weaves an extraordinary account of one of Michigan's most extraordinary political figures, the Boy Governor who led Michigan to statehood. Stevens T. Mason, branded 'Young Hotspur' by President Andrew Jackson, achieved young and died young in the 19th century but remains a compelling story today for those who follow and pursue politics, with all its highs and lows."

Mr. Faber's presentation is made possible by the John and Audrey Cumming Endowment.
Molson Art Collection in Petoskey

The Crooked Tree Arts Center in Petoskey is currently displaying 52 pieces of original artwork used as illustrations in children's books from the Clarke’s own Francis and Mary Lois Molson Collection. Clarke Director, Frank Boles noted, "This is a wonderful opportunity that we have - the chance to spread the artistic inspiration to a place outside of Mt. Pleasant, to a young audience with fresh eyes. It’s a different kind of experience for children to see their favorite pictures from their favorite books up in a frame, and know that it was the first one to ever exist." This exhibit will be open until April.
Recent News Posted on the Clarke Blog

Make sure to check out our recent blog posts from January. Do you like to bake, or have a bit of a sweet tooth? You may want to check out one of our recent post featuring a gingerbread recipe straight out of an Alma College cookbook - one of the many cookbooks that are part of Maureen Hathaway Culinary Archives. Or, read about a historic Aladdin Company kit home in Northville which was discovered thanks to the Aladdin Company Collection at the Clarke. We also featured a post celebrating the 35th anniversary of one of the world’s most iconic athletes, Muhammad Ali, paying a visit to CMU.  Finally, Clarke Archivist Marian Matyn wrote about an image of a circus in Alpena, the details of which were only recently discovered.

CMU History to be the Focus of a Speaker Series Event

The Clarke Historical Library is pleased to announce that we will be hosting "Gentle Friday: A CMU Tradition." This multimedia presentation will feature stories, photos, and recordings to share the story of "Gentle Friday," a CMU tradition going back to the 1960s. "Gentle Friday" was invented to help relieve tension on campus and it continues to serve as a reminder unique to CMU about how all of us benefit from a culture built on the concepts of civility, good will, and a free ice cream cone. Staff of the CMU Alumni Association and the Clarke will contribute to the discussion. And look for a feature about Gentle Friday in the spring issue of Centralight, a quarterly publication of the CMU Alumni Relations Office.