Posts on August 2017
from Beyond the Reading Room

Nancy Willard: Writer and Artist

Figurine reading a newspaper, with a box for a head.

Among the author's papers housed in Special Collections are those of U-M alumnus and Ann Arbor native Nancy Willard (1936-2017). Nancy Willard (1936-2017) was born in Ann Arbor and is an alumnus of the University of Michigan and winner of major and minor Hopwood Awards (1955, 1956, 1957, 1958). Although best known as a children’s author and winner winner of the 1982 Newbery Medal for William Blake’s Inn, Willard in fact wrote for a range of audiences and genres.

Possibility in Archival Collections: Mary Hays Weik

document with International Registery of World Citizens letterhead

One of the great pleasures of spending this summer in the archives as a Mellon Public Humanities Fellow has been stumbling into and out of people’s lives, or the echoes of them left behind in correspondence, records, doodles, drafts, and other materials. There are a lot of recognizable names in the Special Collections Library stacks, but for every person I’ve read or heard about there are so many more who are new to me...

Behind the Scenes: Collections About Film

newspaper sheet with columns of text and photo of Holly Fine

As I thumbed through letters between Danny Kaye and his sweetheart Holly Fine, I couldn’t help but imagine the ginger-haired actor twirling Vera-Ellen in his arms and singing “The Best Things Happen While You're Dancing.” We often think about film as a moving media––people and objects flickering across screens––but film archives, like those of the Special Collections Library, contain the material, tangible objects that accompany the making of films. These materials tell rich stories!

The Life and Legacy of Charles Ellet, Jr.

suspension bridge drawing showing both the side and end elevations

The Charles Ellet, Jr. Papers, part of our Transportation History Collection, document the career of a man who surveyed rivers, built innovative bridges, and served as Colonel of the U.S. Ram Fleet during the Civil War. Guest writer Lauren Lincoln-Chavez, who processed the collection, tells the story of an exceptional 19th century engineer.