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Bentley Historical Library publications, 1935-2012

3.7 linear feet

The Bentley Historical Library (BHL) houses the Michigan Historical collections, which documents the history of Michigan; and the University Archives and Records Program, which maintains the historical records of the University of Michigan. Founded in 1935 as the Michigan Historical Collections, directors of the library include Lewis G. Vander Velde, F. Clever Bald, Robert M. Warner and Francis X. Blouin, Jr. The publications include annual reports, bulletins, bibliographies, newsletters, and books produced by the BHL using its holdings

The PUBLICATIONS (3.7 linear feet) are divided into two series: Unit Publications and Sub-Unit Publications.

The Unit Publications series contains complete runs of the Bentley Historical Library publications. These include annual reports, 1935-2012 (except for 1989-1990 and 1997-2004, when no annual reports were published). The Unit Publications series also includes brochures, calendars, exhibit programs and manuals such as the University Archives and Records Program Records Policy and Procedures Manual. There is a complete run of topical resource bibliographies including the Bibliographic Series (No. 1-11) dating from 1973 to 1988 and the Guide Series written starting in 1996. In 2001 a guide to holdings relating to Detroit was published. The Unit Publications series includes a comprehensive collection of bibliographies such as the Guide to Manuscripts in the Bentley Historical Library published in 1976 and a bibliography of works derived using the holdings in the Bentley Historical Library, 1935-2010, issued as the Bentley celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2010. The Bulletin Series is a series of booklets largely written on Michigan or University of Michigan topics using Bentley Library collections and record groups as source material. This series began in 1947 and continues to the present.

The Unit Publications series contains monographs published by or in conjunction with the Bentley Historical Library. This eclectic subseries includes a biography of Ann Allen written by Russell Bidlack, a history of the Detroit observatory by Patricia Whitesell, and an updated edition of Howard Peckham's history of the University of Michigan. There have been two newsletters published by the unit, the Michigan Historical Collection Gazette published from 1967 to 1988 and the Bentley Historical Library which began publication in 1989 and continues to the present.

The Sub-Unit Publications series contains undated brochures from the Friends of the Bentley Historical Library.


Bentley Historical Library records, 1919 - 2023 (majority within 1970 - 2013)

79 linear feet — 2 oversize boxes — 1 oversize folder — 3 drawers — 33.5 GB (online)

The Bentley Historical Library houses the Michigan Historical collections, which documents the history of Michigan; and the University Archives and Records Program, which maintains the historical record of the University of Michigan. Founded in 1935 as the Michigan Historical Collections, directors of the library include Lewis G. Vander Velde, F. Clever Bald, Robert M. Warner, Francis X. Blouin, Jr., and Terrence J. McDonald. The records include administrative files, correspondence, meeting materials, files on exhibits, archived websites, images, audio-visual media, and documentation of special projects such as the Vatican Archives project.

The records of the Bentley Historical Library were received in six main accessions 1991, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2014. Together the records comprise 79 linear feet, plus two oversize boxes, and oversize folder, three flat file drawers, and more than 16 GB of data spanning the years 1935-2014. The researcher should consult the summary box list on page vii for a quick overview of the materials in the collection.


Donald A. Kimball Architectural Papers, 1913-1998, and undated

6 cubic feet (in 2 Oversized Rolled Map boxes, 4 Flat Oversized Boxes, 2 Oversized Folders, and 1 Document Box)

The papers consist mostly of architectural papers mostly for Saginaw, Midland, Grand Rapids, Gladwin, and Bay City, Michigan, buildings. Biographical materials, photographs, and materials for Santa Barbara, California, are also included.

The Donald A. Kimball Architectural Papers are an example of the work of a Michigan Architect practicing largely in mid and northern Michigan during the late 1930s through the mid- 1950s. The papers are comprised wholly of visual architectural material representative of the spirit of the times. The papers include renderings, architectural drawings, specifications and photographs of Kimball’s buildings, and personal papers. Most of the architectural materials are for buildings in Saginaw and Midland, while a few are for buildings in Grand Rapids, Gladwin, and Bay City, Michigan, but there are oversized architectural drawings for buildings in Santa Barbara, California.

An additional Kimball collection is held at the University of Michigan in the Bentley Historical Library.


Francis X. Blouin papers, 1975-2017

2 linear feet

Archivist, historian, professor of history and information at the University of Michigan, and director of the Bentley Historical Library from 1981 to 2013. The materials in the collection relate to Blouin's career at the Bentley, faculty work at the University of Michigan, and various professional activities.

The Francis X. Blouin papers highlight Blouin's work at the Bentley Historical Library, his teaching endeavors as a faculty member, and his professional activities both in the United States and abroad. A large portion of the collection consists of presentations and publications by Blouin regarding both the fields of archives and history.


Hobart Taylor, Jr. Papers, 1961-1981

23.1 linear feet (in 25 boxes)

Attorney and businessman, associate counsel to President Lyndon Johnson, later director of the Export-Import Bank; correspondence, speeches, and oral history interviews; files relating to his work with Plans for Progress, a voluntary association of business and industry working to promote equal employment opportunities; his work on the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, the NAACP, the Commandant of the Marine Corps' Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; topical files relating to Democratic politics in the 1960s, and his work with Johnson and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey; and photographs.

The Hobart Taylor, Jr. papers document his work in various staff positions in the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, Democratic Party activities and his service on several government committees and work with business and civic organizations relating to civil rights, equal employment opportunities and economic development. The papers have been organized into the following ten series: Personal, Correspondence, President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunities, Plans for Progress, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Commandant of the Marine Corps' Advisory Committee on Minority Affairs, Export-Import Bank, Topical files, Awards, and Photographs.


Robert M. Warner papers, 1945-2007 (majority within 1980-1992)

37.5 linear feet — 8 oversize volumes

Historian and archivist at the University of Michigan, archivist of the United States, dean of the University of Michigan School of Information and Library Studies. Records, 1980-1985, detailing his activities as Archivist of the United States; documentation prepared by Warner in 1972 and submitted to the Indian Claims Commission relating primarily to Indian land claims in Michigan and Ohio; files detailing archival career interests, as director of the Michigan Historical Collections (now Bentley Historical Library) and as a member of the Society of American Archivists.

The Robert M. Warner Papers date from 1945 to 2007. These materials primarily highlight Warner's lengthy professional career, documenting his various teaching and administrative positions at the University of Michigan, his appointment as Archivist of the United States and the subsequent administration at the National Archives. Also documented is the appointment of his successor at the National Archives, his return to the University of Michigan as Dean of the School of Information and Library Science, and his activities on various boards and foundations after his retirement. Much of the records documenting his tenure as the director of the Michigan Historical Collections (now the Bentley Historical Library) can be found under the official Bentley Historical Library record group.

The Robert M. Warner collection has been divided into ten series: Biography; Correspondence; Indian Court Claims; National Archives; School of Information and Library Science and Dean of the Michigan Library Systems; Teaching Materials and Scholarly Research; Professional Activities, Speeches; Scrapbooks and Scrapbook Materials, and Audio-Visual Material.


Stellanova Osborn papers, 1907-1988

40 linear feet

Wife of Chase S. Osborn, leader in the Atlantic Union Movement, and officer in the Atlantic Union Conference, the International Movement for Atlantic Union, and Federal Union, Inc. Correspondence, diaries and other materials concerning her professional interests, especially her work for world peace through international cooperation.

The Stella Osborn collection was received in multiple accessions. The bulk of the papers were received from her home in Georgia (1958) and her office in Washington D.C. (1972). These materials documenting her entire career were organized into seven series: Biographical; Correspondence; Personal and miscellaneous; Atlantic Union Committee and related; Business and Professional Women's Club; Sound recordings; and Index card files. An extremely active woman with many interests and causes, Stella Osborn continued to add to her papers with a later accession in 1983. Following her death, the executor of her estate and other friends added to the collection with materials which she had retained for whatever reason or which had been in storage. There is obviously some overlap in these later materials and the files received previously. The purpose of the Summary Contents List (see below) is to draw like materials together.

The 1992 accession was more fully described than the earlier papers. This accession includes biographical notes and clippings about Stella Osborn and Chase Osborn. There is, in addition, personal and organizational correspondence, financial and estate records (1970-1988), land deeds for the Osborn holdings in Georgia and Michigan, organizational material for the Federal Union and the Atlantic Union Committee, manuscripts of poetry, prose, and political essays (including some material by Chase Osborn), and Stella Osborn's diaries (1982-87). The collection includes childhood photographs of Stella Osborn and photographs of her parents and grandparents. Two copies of a videotape about the Osborn farm in Georgia, Possum Poke, are included here as well.

Much of this accession documents the last few years of Stella Osborn's life, after her move to a retirement home in Sault St. Marie Michigan, years during which she maintained an interest in people and world peace organizations, and in documenting her own and Chase Osborn's place in history. While the bulk of correspondence here is for 1982, 1983, and 1987, some earlier correspondence is included as well. Of interest to university historians is the topical correspondence file on Robert Frost's visit to Michigan. Stella Osborn's lifelong friendship with Yuki Otsuki is documented by their extensive correspondence, a series of letters beautifully written and presented that recall earlier days, including student life.

The collection contains some material of interest to researchers interested in Chase Osborn, including the series of land transfers and deeds which document Chase and Stella Osborn's extensive holdings in Georgia and Michigan, and their gifts of land to various charities and institutions. Also included is some Chase Osborn correspondence and copies of articles he wrote about his extensive travels in Africa. Chase Osborn's 1938 "Longfellow Birthday Book" contains the birth dates of his ancestors. Several letters from 1936 pertain to Chase Osborn's involvement in the movement to build the Mackinac Bridge.

Of special interest to researchers interested in Stella Osborn and her role in various world peace organizations are her unpublished autobiographical manuscripts and files. Also of interest are her diaries, where she continued to record her ideas about politics and her memories.

Summary Contents Lists
  1. Accessions, 1958 and 1971-1972 [boxes 1-27]
    • Biographical material [box 1]
    • Correspondence, 1916-1982 [boxes 1-13]
    • Personal and miscellaneous
      • Schedules, notes on telephone conversations, various writings [box 14]
      • Personal press releases [box 15]
      • Speeches [box 15]
      • Clippings [box 15]
      • Poetry [box 15]
      • Income tax files [box 15]
      • Diaries [box 16]
      • Student notebooks, account books, etc. (U-M and others) [box 16]
    • Atlantic Union Committee and related [boxes 17-24]
    • Business and Professional Women's Club activities [box 24]
    • Sound tapes [box 25]
    • Card files [boxes 25-27]
  2. 1983 Accession [boxes 28-34]
    • Biographical material [box 28]
    • Correspondence, 1918-1983 [boxes 28-31]
    • Organizations [box 31]
    • Topical file [boxes 31-32]
    • Writings (autobiography, poetry, prose) [box 32]
    • Diaries [box 33]
    • Visual materials [box 34]
  3. 1992 Accession [boxes 35-38]
    • Biographical and Autobiographical Material (including Chase Osborn) [box 35]
    • Correspondence, 1960-1987 [box 35]
    • Financial and Business Affairs, 1920-1985 [boxes 35-36]
    • Peace Organizations, 1970-1983 [box 36]
    • Manuscripts and Research Notes [box 36]
    • Chase Osborn materials, 1913-1949 [box 37]
    • Diaries, account books, day books, 1930-1987 [box 37-38]
    • Card Indices [box 38]

William H. McNitt papers, 1968-1976

5 linear feet

Ann Arbor, Michigan, archivist; collected materials relating to local Democratic Party politics; student papers; and photographs.

The McNitt papers consist of materials collected relating to his interest in, and activities with, the local Democratic Party. Included are newsletters, leaflets, campaign materials and newspaper clippings concerning state, county, and municipal politics, particularly the presidential campaigns of Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and George McGovern in 1972, Ann Arbor City Council and school board elections; the New Democratic Coalition of Michigan; the Human Rights Party; the state presidential primary in 1972; Democratic state conventions; state elections in 1968, 1970, 1972, and 1974; and the election campaign of Congressman Richard F. VanderVeen in 1974.

The collection also includes copies of student papers on topics relating to Michigan history. The titles of these papers are "The Library Extension Movement in Grand Rapids", "Journalism and the Republican Party of Michigan, 1890-1920; A Study of the Michigan Republican Newspaper Association", and "Peace and American Society : Rebecca Shelley and the Peace Movement."

Finally, there are many hundreds of photographs taken by McNitt relating to the construction of the Bentley Library and to the accessioning of the papers of Gerald R. Ford.