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Clarke Historical Library

February 2017

Soo Locks Exhibit Opening Soon

The Soo Locks: an incredible engineering feat in a location described by nineteenth century lawmaker Henry Clay as being the ?remotest settlement in the United States, if not the moon.? In this new exhibition, the Clarke is delighted to showcase dozens of visually stunning photographs, many rarely seen before, documenting the history of this important transportation link.

In 2016, the Clarke was contracted by the US Army Corps of Engineers to digitize and preserve over 1,700 glass, photographic negatives dating from 1885-1941. The images document the construction and operations of three of the locks at the Soo complex. Our exhibition draws from these images, as well as original documents and contemporary photographs, to explain the impact of one of North America's greatest engineering accomplishments.

To officially open the exhibit, the Clarke will welcome Michelle Briggs, Director of the US Army Corps of Engineers Soo Locks Visitor Center, on Thursday, February 23 at 7:00 pm in the Park Library Auditorium. Ms. Briggs will discuss her award-winning photography and the operations of the Locks. This presentation is free and open to the public.

DigMichNews Grant Winner Announced

The voting is complete for this year?s Michigan Digital Newspaper Grant Program. The winner, amid the flurry of tweets and postcards, was #DigLAnse. During the voting period, we received over 25,000 tweets and 6,800 postcards. That?s an average of over 525 postcards per day and nearly three tweets per minute for all 8,640 minutes of the contest! The thousands of postcards received, including numerous hand-drawn postcards, were in support of all five finalist communities. You can view many of the postcards we received on this DigMichNews Pinterest page.

As a result of winning, the L?Anse Area Schools and Baraga County Public Library will see approximately 10,000 pages of the L?Anse Sentinel digitized and made accessible via the Clarke?s Digital Michigan Newspapers database along with previous winners, Cheboygan (2014), Milford (2015), and Alpena (2016). Keep up with the progress of the L?Anse Sentinel digitization by following @DigMichNews on Twitter or DigMichNews on Facebook.

The DigMichNews Grant is made possible thanks to the support of the Robert and Susan Clarke Endowment.

Upcoming Speakers at the Clarke

In addition to welcoming Michelle Briggs to open our Soo Locks exhibit on Thursday, February 23, we have one other speaker in February. On Monday, February 27, Jack Deo will present, "The Gems of Lake Superior: B.F. Child's 3D Voyage in 1870 Lake Superior Views" (pictured). Deo brings to life the landmark images of one of the Great Lakes' most prolific photographers in a 3D slide show of scenes including Native American settlements, copper and iron mining camps, lake transportation, and more. 3D glasses will be provided.

In March, we will bring you two more speakers. On Thursday, March 16, Sally Howell, author of Old Islam in Detroit: Rediscovering the Muslim-American Past, will speak about the history of Islam in Detroit. The following Monday, March 20, the Clarke will partner with the African Humanitarian Educational Research Organization (AHERO), a CMU student organization, to host an evening of reading of African fairy tales to the CMU campus.

Then, in April, on the 100th anniversary of the American entry in the First World War, the Clarke will collaborate with CMU's Center for International Ethics to commemorate this historic event. Join us on Sunday, April 2, to reflect on what led the United States to enter what was supposed to be the war to end all wars.

You can view a list of all of the Clarke?s speakers on our events website. All presentations begin at 7:00 in the Park Library Auditorium. A reception in the Clarke Historical Library will follow each presentation. Please contact the Clarke - 989-774-3352 or - for more information or to request special accommodations.

Isabella County Founders Day and John Cumming Historic Preservation Award

The Isabella County 158th Founders Day celebration will take place on Saturday, February 11, from 8 am to 12:30 pm at the First United Methodist Church of Mount Pleasant. There will be historic displays, a quilt show, and a pancake breakfast benefiting the CMU Museum Studies Club. At 11:45 am, Frank Boles, director of the Clarke, will present the John Cumming Isabella County Historic Preservation Award. Click on this link for more information.

Clarke Traveling Exhibits Now Showing

You can view the Clarke?s traveling Native Treaties ? Shared Rights exhibit at the River Raisin National Battlefield Park in Monroe, Michigan through the spring. Learn more about the historical impact the treaties signed between Tribal Governments and the United States Government have had and how this is reflected in our societies today.

The Native Treaties ? Shared Rights exhibit is made possible thanks in part to a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council.

Another of the Clarke's travelling exhibits, Celebrating Two Centuries of Michigan Newspapers, is showing at the Oxford Public Library through February 17. Journalism has been said to be the first draft of history and this exhibition explores how that history has developed in over 200 years of newspaper publishing in Michigan.

If your community is interested in hosting one of the many traveling exhibits produced by the Clarke, please visit our traveling exhibits webpage or contact us via e-mail at

New Clarke Staff Member

The Clarke is pleased to announce that Megan Farrell, MLIS has joined our staff as the Reformatting and Imaging Manager. Megan will oversee the vast digitization efforts of the Clarke as well as manage digital access to Clarke resources, including information on our website and on social media. Welcome Megan!

New on the Clarke's Social Media

In January, the Clarke News and Notes blog celebrated the 180th birthday of the State of Michigan by showing off Michigan?s baby pictures (in other words, the earliest maps showing Michigan as a state). We also displayed several images of winter recreation, particularly skiing, as found in our archives.

Clarke?s Facebook and Twitter pages were full of interesting posts last month, including a beautiful 1960s photos of the sun above Warriner Hall at CMU (pictured), several books by Tigers hall of fame broadcaster Ernie Harwell on the anniversary of his birth, and images of our 1st edition of Alice?s Adventures in Wonderland presented to Queen Victoria?s daughter by Lewis Carroll, whose birthday was January 27. We also featured a classic postcard showing two whaleback ships docked in Detroit and we showed off several of our children?s books about penguins on Penguin Awareness Day.

Stay up with the latest from the Clarke by checking in with the Clarke News and Notes blog and following our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Clarke Hours

The Clarke is open Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm for you to view our exhibit or to use our materials for your research. Due to the Central Michigan University spring break, will not have Saturday hours on Saturday, March 4 or Saturday, March 11.

You can view a calendar of our hours (and the hours of the rest of the CMU Libraries units) via this CMU Libraries webpage.