Beyond the Reading Room

Anecdotes and Other Notes from the U-M Special Collections Library

Exhibition Opening: "Pearls of Wisdom"

Pearls of Wisdom : The Arts of Islam at the University of Michigan

Don't miss "Pearls of Wisdom : The Arts of Islam at the University of Michigan," on display October 15th - December 21st at the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology! This exhibition features a number of items from the Special Collections Library, including manuscripts from our Islamic Manuscripts Collection and a couple of magic bowls from our Historic Scientific Instrument Collection.

Robin Williams and "Popeye": Comedic Mumblings Worthy of Another Look

Invitation to the premiere of the film Popeye (1980)

Nestled in the nearly 800 boxes that comprise the Robert Altman Archive here at the University of Michigan’s Special Collections Library is a treasure trove of materials from his 1980 film Popeye, which featured Robin Williams as the mumbling, spinach eating sailor. Over the last two months since the unexpected passing of Williams, numerous magazines, websites and blogs have paid tribute to the departed comic genius. Chief among them is Eric Spitnagel’s piece for Vanity Fair’s Hollywood...

Robinson Crusoe and the Noble Savage

For anyone interested in marginalized communities and the progress of social movements, the Special Collections Library has a wealth of primary and secondary resources. Examples of institutionalized racism, in particular, can be found throughout the Special Collections Library, and are a reminder that even objects we tend to revere such as rare books cannot escape their historical context.

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