May 2015
(Best viewed on-line)

In this issue:
  • Highlight from Exhibit
  • Summer Speakers
  • New on the Blog
  • Summer Hours

In the Exhibit

One of our favorite items featured in the current exhibit, International Children's Books, is the Travels of Ibn Battuta by Fāṭimah Sharaf al-Dīn (Lebanon) and illustrated by Inṭilāq Muḥammad ʻAl (Iraq). This book, an Honor Book of the International Board on Books for Young People, is printed in Arabic.

While most Americans have heard of 14th century Italian explorer Marco Polo and his travels to China, few know the story of Ibn Battuta, who similarly traveled across the world to China in the 14th century. This book tells the story of the famous world traveler as he made his way through dozens of countries from his home in Morocco to China and India over the course of 29 years. With such beautiful illustrations and calligraphy, there is no need for a translation to enjoy this book!

Stop in to the Clarke to see this item and much more in our International Children's Books: Celebrating Recent Gifts exhibit!

Summer Speakers

The Spring Speaker Series may be complete, but the summer will bring three new presentations to the library.

On Saturday, May 30, New York Times best-selling author of “The Arsenal of Democracy: FDR, Detroit, and an Epic Quest to Arm America at War,” A.J. Baime, will speak at the 2015 Friends of the Libraries Speaker and Luncheon event. “The Arsenal of Democracy” tells the story how Ford Motor Company went from making automobiles to producing the airplanes that would mean the difference between winning and losing World War II. Baime's book was selected as one of the Library of Michigan’s Notable Books for 2015.

This event is a Friends of the Libraries only event. If you would like to become a friend, please follow this link for more information.

On Saturday, June 20, at 2:00 p.m., Al Declercq will be here to talk about his new book, Bernida: A Michigan Sailing Legend. Bernida, a boat that had previously won the very first Port Huron to Mackinac Island race in 1925, was refurbished by Declercq and his friends in 2012 to win again in the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. Declercq has had plenty of experience in boat races, with over 50,000 miles raced and a recent victory in the 25th Mackinac race in 2013.

On Tuesday, July 14th at 7:00 p.m., Nancy Auer will discuss The Great Lake Sturgeon, which captures many of the aspects of the remarkable Great Lakes sturgeon, from the mythical to the critically real. A professor at Michigan Technological University with a doctorate in biological sciences, Auer has dedicated much of her career to the study and restoration of the lake sturgeon. She is one of the region's leading experts on the fish.

Both Declercq and Auer's presentations will be held in the Park Library Auditorium. They are free and open to the public. An author's reception, held in the Clarke Historical Library, will follow each presentation.

New on the Blog

Some of the new posts featured on our  News and Notes blog for April include:

An inside-look at what some of the soldiers, Confederate and Union alike, were writing in their diaries and letters as the Civil War came to an end.

Marian Matyn reflects on the past semester and all of the work put in by her volunteers, interns, and student assistants.

Lastly, Frank Boles wrote a thoughtful piece in remembrance of U.S. Senator and Michigan supreme Court Justice Robert P. Griffin (pictured with representatives of a home demonstration group) and the Senator's  relationship with the Clarke.

Clarke Summer Hours

The Clarke Historical Library will be open during the summer Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday hours will resume in the Fall Semester. We will be closed Monday, May 25 in observance of Memorial Day.

Contact us via phone (
989-774-3352), e-mail (, or stop by to view our exhibit or conduct research.