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The University Library is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013-2014 U-M Library Undergraduate Research Award. Each year, the U-M Library conducts a research award competition to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary academic achievements of our undergraduate students. The award is given to students who demonstrate excellence in lib
Children’s Literature Collection
A collection of primarily British and American children’s literature and archival materials from the late 18th century to the present
There may be a time to put away childish things, but U-M librarians are delighted that our children’s literature collection continues to be well used by students and scholars.
The stories that a society tells its children say a lot about what the culture values, and about its conception of childhood — and adulthood, for that matter. Moreover, many works of children’s literature are also important as works of art and design, and well as reflections of historical trends and the impacts of new technologies.
"The collection complements a variety of disciplines and supports research and coursework in literature, information science, and art and design — among others,” says emeritus curator William Gosling, who led the U-M Library from 1997 to 2005.
The U-M Library’s Children’s Literature Collection is known for strengths that include:
- Michigan authors and illustrators
- Midwest publishers, especially in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois and Wisconsin
- Newbery and Caldecott medal winners
- works by 19th century British author George Alfred “G.A.” Henty
- the “Disneyfication” of classic tales
- archives and/or artwork of authors and illustrators including Joan Blos, Nancy Willard, Tom Pohrt, Rod Ruth, Richard Andrew Parker, Ed Emberley, Hardie Gramatky, Alice Provensen and Gijsbert van Frankenhuysen
“By focusing on these key areas, large parts of the collection represent rare or unique holdings for such a young collection," says Gosling.
The U-M Library also has a large circulating collection of children’s literature, which is housed at the Shapiro Undergraduate Library.
History of Medicine
- incunabula — books printed before 1501
- early editions of medical classics and anatomy texts
- one of the most complete collections on the history and development of homeopathy, much of which has been digitized
- medical “fugitive sheets” — the Renaissance version of a pop-up book that allowed for the study of different layers of the body
- a collection of magical amulets dating from 100-500 C.E.
- Among the notable works is, for example, Andreas Vesalius’s first edition of De Humani Corporis Fabrica Libri Septem, published in 1543. Vesalius, who is considered the father of modern anatomy, made sure that his exhaustive knowledge of anatomy was presented in a luxurious book format. Indeed, profusely illustrated with detailed woodcuts by Jan Stephan van Calcar, an artist of Titian’s school, this work represents the shift toward the study of anatomy by means of the dissection and direct observation of the human body.
History of Astronomy
A collection of materials on astronomy dating from the second century through the 'golden age' of celestial cartography
If you simply want to read a historical astronomy text, you may be able to find it online, digitized and translated into English. But to fully experience the physical splendor of the documents, you’ll need to make a visit to the library.
Peggy Daub, curator of the history of astronomy collection, says, “We are one of the few institutions in the world to have all the important early works in astronomy covered, including hundreds of pre-1800 publications.”
The Galileo Manuscript, written 1609-1610, is among the great treasures of the University of Michigan Library. One of the top ten items requested from Special Collections, it is also the most frequently reprinted, appearing in textbooks and on the web, including on the NASA website. The document, written in his own hand, describes and illustrates Galileo’s discovery of the four moons of Jupiter.
Daub says, “The Galileo manuscript is a rare and valuable holding and it gets students excited about the subject. I’m often invited to speak to beginning astronomy students, and the manuscript is part of the talk. Physics classes use it, too, and when Michigan Math and Science Scholars visit, it’s part of our show-and-tell.”
While the greatest strength of the history of astronomy collection is the depth and breadth of its material, the Galileo manuscript is one among its many sparkling gems.
The library owns all of the “big four” star atlases that came out of Europe’s golden age of celestial cartography: the Atlas Coelestis of John Flamsteed, the Uranometria of Johann Bayer (1603), the Firmamentum Sobiescianum sive Uranographia of Johannes Hevelius (1690) and the Uranographia of Johann Elert Bode (1801) — two of which were fairly recent aquisitions made possible with the support of library endowments.
To look back even further, you can examine an Egyptian papyrus containing an astrological treatise, written in Greek around the second century C.E., that predicts the movement of Mars.
Daub points out that the astronomy collection has significant overlap with the History of Mathematics collection. For example, the library owns a rare first edition by Copernicus (1543) that puts forth his theory that the earth moves around the sun, a theory he supported with mathematics since it couldn’t be proven by observation.
The mathematics collection also includes more than 100 editions of The Elements of Euclid, spanning five centuries and many languages. An edition by Oliver Byrne published in 1847 is one of the first examples of the use of color to elucidate mathematical concepts.
All U-M libraries will be closed December 25 and January 1. From Monday, December 23 through Wednesday, January 1, library buildings will be closed or open for limited hours only; check library hours for details.