Sweet Sixteen: Digital Collections Completed July 2019 - June 2020

Digital Content & Collections (DCC) relies on content and subject experts to bring us new digital collections. Most digital collections are created using University of Michigan’s holdings, but some are created through collaborations with other organizations. Thank you to all of the people involved in each of these 16 digital collections! From the subject experts bringing us the idea for the digital collection, to the Library Copyright Office for their expertise, to the many individuals in LIT who build the technical components of the digital collection, and more. 

Below you will find links to videos and articles by the subject experts speaking in their own words about the digital collections they were involved in and why they found it so important to engage in this work with us. When a full video or article is not available, each digital collection homepage has contextual information and a link to a help email to reach out to with content or technical questions.

Please contact me (havensl@umich.edu) if you have any questions. We hope that communicating about these digital collections can encourage people to spread the word about them so that appropriate audiences can learn about and utilize them. These digital collections and others can also be found through the library website.

Thank you!

A big thank you to all of the folks involved in these digital collections:

  • Rob McIntyre, Chris Powell, and Roger Espinosa in Library Information Technology;
  • Justin Bonfiglio, Yuanxiao Xu, Raven Lanier, and Melissa Levine in the Library Copyright Office;
  • Grace Mahoney, Brendan Nieubuurt, Barbara Alvarez, and staff from the Mikhail Bulgakov Literary-Memorial Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine;
  • Daniel Linke, Eric White, Emma Sarconi and others from Princeton University Library; 
  • Individuals associated with the Jewish Women's Archives; 
  • Greg Schneider and Erika Tucker at the U-M Museum of Zoology;
  • Emiko Hastings and Cheney Schopieray at the William L. Clements Library;
  • Max Eckard, Matt Adair, Dallas Pillen, and others at the Bentley Historical Library

Thank you as well to many others who are involved not just in the creation of these digital collections but in the continued maintenance of these and hundreds of other digital collections that reach users around the world to advance research and access to materials. 


Mikhail Bulgakov Digital Collection

The Mikhail Bulgakov Digital Collection is the result of an international collaboration spearheaded by Grace Mahoney, a University of Michigan doctoral candidate at the time. Materials from the Mikhail Bulgakov Literary-Memorial Museum in Kyiv, Ukraine, have been digitized, and the story of the collection and the digital collection’s creation is told here by Grace Mahoney and Brendan Nieubuurt, U-M Librarian for Slavic, East European & Eurasian Studies.


The American Jewess Digital Collection

Another collaboration with an outside organization led to our being able to offer the full run of The American Jewess. We had initially prepared our digital collection of this periodical in 2004, but a physical copy of a single issue could not be located anywhere. This year, Princeton University provided the missing issue to us so that we’re able to provide the full run of the magazine. Read more about the collaboration and the periodical in a full blog post about the experience.


University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Herpetology Field Notebooks

Though the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Herpetology Field Notebooks digital collection was initially created in 2017, significant additions and changes occurred this year. Please view this video presentation by Greg Schneider, the primary stakeholder and content expert from the Division of Reptiles and Amphibians, about why content was added and to gain a richer understanding of the physical collection, how it was amassed, and potential future research possibilities.


Two Insect Digital Collections

Two new digital collections showcase content from the Museum of Zoology’s insect collection: 

  • University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Insect Field Notebooks

    The Museum of Zoology has maintained collections for over 100 years, and the earliest of our collections in the Insect Division that are documented with field notes is the 1908 expedition to Huron County, Michigan. Subsequent UMMZ curators and staff kept notes of their field activities, with the activities of Theodore H. Hubbell comprising a majority of the records. At minimum, the field notes represent a listing of places visited where specimens were obtained. Those records often have additional information that is not contained on a specimen label, and a well-documented expedition often has information on vegetation, land features, weather, associated species, and may also contain photographs and maps of the collecting events.

  • University of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Insect Division Collection

    This collection contains catalog records from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Insect Division's specimen collection. Specimens that have an image associated with the record, such as a label data image, are included here. Some records contain complete collection, preparation, and taxonomic detail, while others only have a specimen data image and limited taxonomic detail. Records include specimen information from the early 1800s through the present and are of global distribution. Most of our databased or digitized records currently are of Orthoptera (grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets), Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), and Hymenoptera (bees, wasps, and ants). There are currently about 300,000 specimens recorded in the database and more specimen record images are being added frequently as the UMMZ Insect Division continues to work on digitizing the estimated 4.5 million specimens in the collection.


Eight Digital Collections with the William L. Clements Library

Working closely with Emiko Hastings and Cheney Schopieray, eight digital collections have been created in collaboration with the William L. Clements Library. Additional information about some of these digital collections is available through articles here and here posted on the Clements Library blog.

  • African American History Collection, 1729-1966 (bulk 1781-1865)

    The African American History Collection is comprised of individual letters, documents, and other manuscript items from the William L. Clements Library relating to slavery, abolition movements, and various aspects of African American life, largely dating between 1781 and 1865.

  • Lydia Maria Child Papers, 1831-1894

    The Lydia Maria Child Papers consist of ninety mostly personal and at times provocative letters dating largely from 1831 to 1894. The bulk is letters from Lydia Maria Child to her wealthy Boston abolitionist and philanthropic friends, the Lorings, between 1839 and 1859. They concentrate on the period of Child's distress with the institutional politics of antislavery, her editorship of the National Anti-Slavery Standard, her growing attachment to New York Bohemia, and the publication of "Letters From New York." The correspondence documents her day to day finances, friends, and family.

  • Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society Papers, 1848-1868 

    The Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society papers consist of materials collected by the society, including correspondence to and from various members about slavery, fugitive slaves, the conditions of freemen, and other progressive issues; printed annual reports; and other items.

  • Henry James Family Correspondence, 1855-1865 (bulk 1859-1865) 

    This collection is made up primarily of incoming correspondence to husband and wife Gilbert and Adeline James of Cherry Creek, New York. Their most prolific correspondent was Gilbert's brother Henry James, who sent 18 letters, most written while serving in Company C of the 7th Michigan Cavalry during the Civil War. Henry James wrote to his family about life at Maple Grove, near Saginaw, Michigan; camp life during training at Camp Kellogg, Grand Rapids; experiences fighting at Gettysburg and elsewhere in Pennsylvania; and his posting at Camp Stoneman, Washington, D.C.

  • Fort Wayne Indian Agency Collection, 1802-1815 

    The Fort Wayne Indian Agency collection consists of a letterbook kept by Indian agents John Johnston and Benjamin Franklin Stickney; an English-to-Ottawa dictionary, likely written by Stickney; and a memorandum book kept by Johnston during his time at Fort Wayne, Indiana Territory.

  • Louise Gilman Papers, 1866-1869

    The Louise Gilman papers consist of letters written by Louise Gilman while serving as a teacher at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia, a school established to educate freed slaves. The letters describe Gilman's activities as a teacher and her thoughts about the African American students.

  • Humphry and Moses Marshall Papers, 1721-1863 

    The Humphry and Moses Marshall papers primarily document the careers of botanist Humphry Marshall (1722-1801) and his nephew and business associate, Moses Marshall (1758-1813).

  • William L. Clements Library Finding Aids

    Use this site to explore collection guides and inventories of manuscripts and graphics collections, which include letters, diaries, photographs, ephemera, and more. Two earlier versions of finding aids were combined and underwent significant improvements through the creation of this single finding aid.


Four Digital Collections with the Bentley Historical Library

The Bentley Historical Library partnered with us to create four new digital collections. Thanks to Max Eckard, Matt Adair, Dallas Pillen, and others at the Bentley for their work on these.

  • Digitized Selections from the Nathan M. Thomas Papers, 1818-1889 

    Quaker abolitionist and physician in Mt. Pleasant, Ohio, and Schoolcraft, Michigan. Correspondence of Thomas, his wife Pamela S. Brown Thomas, and their children; addresses, autobiography, financial ledgers, and files relating to business activities, medical practice, and anti-slavery activities.

  • Digitized Selections from the George W. Pray Papers, 1844-1890

    Physician; member of the first graduating class of the University of Michigan in 1845; papers include journals, correspondence, physician's records.

  • Grand Hotel Photograph Series 

    The Grand Hotel records comprise documents, photographs, audio and videographic material collected about the hotel by its management. The digitized Photographic Material, circa 1855-2004, series comprises over 2,200 images organized in 5 subseries. Hotel Amenities, Scenery and Unidentified Events comprises images of the hotel, its surroundings, and general unidentified events. The bulk of the images in this subseries are from the mid-20th century through the late 1980s. The Events subseries comprises images of identified events that were held at the hotel, and includes numerous photographs of celebrities and political leaders. The People subseries contains images featuring notable personages and staff members, and includes several images of Woodfill and the Musser family. Construction and Remodeling contains almost entirely snapshot images of construction projects that were conducted at the hotel during its off-seasons, mainly during the 1980s. Finally, the Miscellaneous subseries contains images of the recovery work after a room fire at the hotel in 1983, as well as photographic reproductions of several artistic and historical items related to the hotel.

  • Michigan Citizen Digital Archives 

    The Michigan Citizen newspaper, originally called the Citizen, was founded in Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1978 by Charles and Teresa Maxwell-Kelly. It was a weekly publication, distributed on Sundays from November 1978 until December 2014. Since its beginning, the paper maintained a strong pro-community, progressive editorial stance, and was directed toward Michigan's African American and progressive-minded community. The Kellys' experiences as community organizers provided the newspaper's editorial focus. Founded on the belief that people made good decisions if armed with good information, the paper attempted to provide voice to the views of ordinary citizens in a city where African Americans were the majority. From its beginning, the paper was often considered by some to be controversial, insisting on holding elected officials accountable for their actions and providing sole coverage of grassroots groups and movements.