U-M Bicentennial Celebrations

December 20, 2016

The University of Michigan celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2017. The University Library marks this milestone with exhibits, lectures, publications, and more. This list features signature library activities as well as cross-campus collaborations in which the library is a key partner.

All library events are free and open to the public.
Check back often for new events and additional information.

Online Exhibits and Digital Collections
Social Media

Units across campus will be looking back at U-M’s past contributions and challenges and looking ahead to its next century and the state of public higher education in the United States. View a listing of bicentennial events taking place across campus.



Striving to Stimulate Serious Thought: Jewish Scholarly and Cultural Life at Michigan Across Two Centuries
Through February 22, 2017
Special Collections, 7th Floor Hatcher Graduate Library

This exhibit chronicled Jewish life and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan from the 19th century to the first Hebrew language and Hebrew Bible courses in 1890 to the founding of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies in 1988 to the present day.


The Leaders and the Rest: Boundaries and Belonging at the University of Michigan
January 4 - February 25
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

The Leaders and the Rest showcased key moments of student expression, politics, and culture from the first decades of the university’s existence in Ann Arbor, through the upheavals of world wars, and to the social and cultural turmoil of the late-twentieth century.


The Student Experience: Flappers, Mappers, and the Fight for Equality on Campus
January 19 - May 12
Clark Library, 2nd Floor Hatcher Graduate Library

In honor of the University of Michigan’s bicentennial, the Clark Library highlights the student experience in this exhibit. Join flappers as they stroll through 1926 Ann Arbor with a beautiful pictorial map and experience the busy student life of the 1920s, celebrate two University of Michigan alumna who have greatly influenced the field of cartography, and come explore the rise of diversity and the fight for equality on campus through protest posters from the Joseph A. Labadie Collection of the U-M Library’s Special Collections.


Poets at Michigan
March 3 - April 30
North Lobby, Hatcher Graduate Library

This exhibit explores the poets who have been both shaped by Ann Arbor’s literary culture and active in shaping that culture, beginning with Robert Frost and ending with poets who still walk and write among us.


The Wonder of Learning—The Hundred Languages of Children
June 15 - August 27, 2017
Duderstadt Center Gallery and Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

The Wonder of Learning is an international exhibit—based on the work of the children and teachers of Reggio Emilia, Italy—focused on the importance of early learning and its impact on lifelong curiosity, discovery and innovation.


Storied Acquisitions: Highlights from the University of Michigan Library Collections
May 8 - August 30
Audubon Room, Hatcher Graduate Library

Many library items have an interesting and/or important story about how and why that particular item made its way to the university and into U-M Library collections. View an eclectic array of acquisitions and read their stories!


Creating a Campus: A Cartographic Celebration of U-M's Bicentennial
June 26 - December 20
Clark Library, 2nd Floor Hatcher Graduate Library


Online Exhibits and Digital Collections

The Michigan Daily Digital Archives, 1890-2014
The U-M Library, Bentley Historical Library, and The Michigan Daily — the student newspaper at the University of Michigan — have collaborated to bring you 125 years of Michigan history with the complete Michigan Daily archive made available online in a searchable collection.


UpstART 200
This yearlong creative production project allows students to actively engage in meaningful connections to U-M’s 200-year history via “making.” From an archive of historic or culturally significant works of art, design or architecture created from 1817-2017, held by, or otherwise connected to U-M, students and alumni can choose items as inspiration to create 200+ new works of all kinds – creative writing, spoken word, essays, visual arts, music, choreography, design, and technology – as well as celebrate contemporary student art making on campus.


The Library is the Heart of the University: A Bicentennial Exhibit
Images of the University of Michigan libraries from the last 200 years have been collected and described in this online exhibit, which will be on display in the Shapiro Lobby. Dates to be announced.



Color Me Michigan: A University of Michigan Coloring Book
If you ever thought that the University of Michigan was only Maize and Blue, think again. The only limit to the palette in this new adult coloring book is your imagination...and whatever pens or pencils you have on hand. Celebrate well-known Ann Arbor and U-M landmarks and unearth hidden treasures in the pages of Color Me Michigan, while celebrating the University’s 200-year history. Get a glimpse here, where U-M Arts & Culture shares "Color Me Michigan" coloring contest winners.


Always Leading, Forever Valiant
Always Leading, Forever Valiant gives a fascinating look at the history of the University of Michigan on its 200th birthday. The engaging, well-illustrated stories in this book celebrate the progressive vision, dedicated individuals, and groundbreaking moments that helped forge the life-changing institution that the University is today.



Exhibit Opening for The Student Experience
January 19, 4-7pm
Third Thursday in the Clark Library, Open House

This was the official opening for the exhibits The Student Experience: Flappers, Mappers, and the Fight for Equality on Campus and Women in War: Wartime Posters of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1950s-1970s).


But Not the Loud Offensive Type
February 2, 4-6pm
Lecture & Exhibit Reception

Karla Goldman, Sol Drachler professor of Social Work and professor of Judaic Studies at U-M, spoke about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan during the Era of Jewish Admissions Quotas, 1925-1939. Kosher reception to follow.


Faculty Author Recognition
February 22, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

This event honored faculty who wrote books that were published in 2016. Remarks were by bestselling author and commentator John U. Bacon.


Soundings: A Cartographic Celebration of Marie Tharp
March 16, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Reading/Lecture/Open House

Hali Felt, author of “Soundings: the Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor," reads from and discusses the book at 4:00 p.m. Hear about the fascinating life of Michigan alumna and Ypsilanti native, Marie Tharp, whose work led to the acceptance of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. After the presentation, explore samples of Tharp’s work and the exhibit The Student Experience: Flappers, Mappers, and the Fight for Equality on Campus, which features Marie Tharp.


"Color Me Relaxed" Coloring Book Event
April 19, 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Bert's Lounge (Lobby), 1st Floor Shapiro Undergraduate Library

Drop by for some fun and relaxation as we invite you to color your cares away! We'll have colored pencils, markers, and crayons on hand to color pages from the adult coloring book, Color Me Michigan: A University of Michigan Coloring Book.


Preserving History: Pass it on to the next two centuries
April 27, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Information Clinic
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

Preservation and conservation experts from U-M Library give one-on-one consultations about caring for your U-M memorabilia and more at this drop-in clinic.


“Object Lessons” Book Launch


LibrarySpace 2020
Fall, 2017
Envisioning the library's presence into the future.


Social Media

U-M Library Bicentennial Twitterbot
We invite you to follow a new Twitter account at twitter.com/UMLibraryBot that's tweeting three random images a day from these online collections: Bentley Image Bank, Special Collections Audubon Images, and Special Collections Image Bank.

Blog Posts
Library bloggers are authoring bicentennial posts throughout the year. We'll list posts here as they are published, plus you can browse all of the library blogs.

Books for the Bicentennial: Women at the University of Michigan lists books -- available from the Shapiro Undergraduate Library -- about women's experiences at U-M.

Tweeting 200 years of University of Michigan images introduces the library's U-M Bicentennial Bot that tweets images from the past 200 years of the university's history.

Rare Books and the Bicentennial: Part I partly answers the question: where do our rare book collections come from? Read about an 1862 acquisition from a grateful alum.

Student Story: U-M, Jewish Students, and Belonging acknowledges that, in many ways, U-M really was the 1925-1939 “Harvard of the West” for Jewish students. Yet Jewish students were still stereotyped and discriminated against.

Michigan Football History gives a sampling of history books about Michigan football — the Big House, Bo Schembechler, and our famous rivalries — that you can locate by searching Mirlyn.

The Growth of the Computer & Video Game Archive: An 8 Year History offers memories and press articles that chronicle the growth of the archive.

Sounded to bits: Digital preservation of U-M Library’s audio collections shares what the library is doing to preserve decaying media.

Two Snapshots of Engineering and Student Activism at U-M profiles 1970 and 2017 student protests, and notes that library materials can closely connect today's student movements to those of the past.

Michigan Daily - From Newspaper Prints to Digital Archives explains how the Library IT team developed a robust discovery interface to provide searchable access to 125 years of The Michigan Daily student newspaper.

Establishing the University Library's Collection: Asa Gray's Purchase gives the book-collecting history of Asa Gray, the professor commissioned to purchase books for the new University of Michigan — books that became the nucleus of the University Library's collection.


Page maintained by Mary Claire Morris
Last modified: 04/28/2017