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Balthazar Korab photograph collection, circa 1950-1997

1 linear foot

Architectural photographer based in Troy, Mich. Photoprints and copy negatives, chiefly a portfolio entitled "Man's Presence," a study of Michigan's manmade environment.

Representing but a tiny fraction of Korab's oeuvre, the collection held at the Bentley Library will nevertheless appeal to a broad range of researchers. Especially in a collective sense, Korab photographs are not only about architecture and architectural photography, but also about art, technology, modernism, photography's history, the environment, urbanism, ruralism, and the creative process itself. They also document one individual's spirited commitment to a life's work -- work expressed both analytically and emotionally.

The essence of the collection is a Korab portfolio entitled Man's Presence, a study of Michigan's man-made environment that drew him to dozens of towns, cities and rural areas in the upper and lower peninsulas. Photographs capture the quiet magnificence of silos and barns, the elegance of 19th century mansions, the utilitarian architecture of iron foundries and grain elevators. There are also pictures depicting ways man has wasted resources (an abandoned lumber mill, a barren tract of bulldozed land. A superb example of Korab's lifelong fascination with vernacular architecture, Man's Presence is a deliberate effort to capture on film Michigan worlds that otherwise might go unnoticed or become lost to future generations.

The collection is comprised of three series: Biographical Materials; Man's Presence Contact Sheets; and Man's Presence Copy Prints and Copy Negatives.


Ed Beach photographs, 1931-1948

2.5 linear feet (in 5 boxes)

Ed Beach was an amateur photographer whose photographs document his hometown of Howell, Michigan and historical sites in other Michigan communities. His collection consists of photographic negatives (with some prints) and albums with prints of historic plaques and markers, statues of famous statesmen and their gravesites, early school buildings, historic houses, gristmills, sawmills, and county courthouses.

The Ed Beach collection consists of photographic negatives (with some prints) and albums with prints of historic plaques and markers, statues of famous statesmen and their gravesites, early school buildings, historic houses, gristmills, sawmills, and county courthouses. Other subjects include tourist sites in Michigan (such as Greenfield Village or Mackinac Island) and state parks, especially those in the Upper Peninsula. His hometown of Howell, Michigan is also heavily documented.

The Beach collection is arranged into three series. In the Kodak series the negatives measure 2 3/4 by 4 1/2 inches in size and cover the years 1931 to 1948. The Leica series consists of 35-millimeter strips and were taken between the years 1936 and 1938. The third series consists of seven albums of carefully identified photographs.

An item-level listing of the contents of the Kodak and Leica series is available at the library. To aid researchers a geographic and subject index has been created and is attached to this finding aid. These indices provide the best introduction to the collection.

Beach created the photograph albums around broad topics, and each has a title. The albums include: "Michigan Historic Places," "Around Lake Erie in Ontario. Trip to Chicago Century of Progress," "Michigan Courthouses," "Michigan Ships, Monuments, Historic Places, Buildings, Creek Scenes," "Indian and Trail Markers," "Around Michigan: Historic Places, Buildings, Mills, Dams, Bridges, Masonic Buildings," and "Michigan Governors' Homes, Michigan Trees, Old Buildings of Michigan." The photos in the albums include Beach's negative number.


Episcopal Church. Diocese of Michigan records, 1830-2016

66.5 linear feet — 12 oversize volumes — 3 oversize folders

Bishops files, records of executive and administrative bodies and of diocesan organizations, staff files, parishes and mission's materials, and visual materials and sound recordings.

The records of the diocese of Michigan have been arranged into the following series: Bishops' files, Executive and administrative bodies, Diocesan organizations, Diocesan programs, Diocesan staff, Parishes and missions, Clergy, Audio and visual material, and Miscellaneous.

The record group is most valuable for its documentation of the history of the diocese and the individual churches within its administration, with a lesser amount of material pertaining to religious functions performed and to the operation of diocesan administrative groups and departments. For a number of reasons, there is scant material pertaining to the administration of the diocesan office or to the special programs that have been initiated by it over the years. Some of this material may be found in the papers of individual bishops whose papers have also come to the library and are separately cataloged. These include Samuel McCoskry, Samuel Smith Harris, Charles D. Williams, Herman Page, and Richard Emrich.


Fletcher Family Papers, 1856-1936

7 linear feet

Family based in Detroit and Alpena, Michigan and engaged in many business enterprises; business records detailing involvement in lumbering, milling, paper manufacturing, and power and light companies, mainly in Alpena, Michigan.

The Fletcher family collection consists primarily the records of the family's business activities. The business correspondence date from 1856 to 1936 and relates to the operation of family firms, notably A. F. Fletcher & Co., Fletcher Pack & Co., and George N. Fletcher & Sons. The business records series is more specifically arranged by company name and includes the Alpena Power Company/Alpena Electric Light Co., George N. Fletcher & Sons, and the Alpena Water Company among others. Other series in the collection relate to both personal and corporate litigation. The Frank W. Fletcher Personal papers concerns his tenure as a regent of the University of Michigan and his continuing interest in university affairs.


Fletcher, Pack and Company (Alpena, Mich.) Records, 1868-circa 1923 (majority within 1868-1898)

4.3 linear feet — 17 oversize volumes

Fletcher, Pack and Company and A. F. Fletcher & Company were two early Alpena, Michigan lumber companies. Financial, land, and other business records.

This record group includes financial records, records of land purchases, and other miscellaneous business materials. There are also some photographs detailing scenes of lumbering activities. Although described here together, these are the records of separate Fletcher family companies: Fletcher, Pack Company and the A. F. Fletcher Company. The relationship between these two companies is not clear.


Frank Ward Fletcher papers, 1875-1922

1.5 linear feet

Alpena, Michigan, lumberman and Republican member of the Board of Regents of the University of Michigan; business and personal correspondence, University of Michigan Board of Regents correspondence, financial materials, and photographs.

The Frank Ward Fletcher collection includes letters from his father George N. Fletcher concerning business and personal affairs. There are also letters received from faculty and university administrators from the period when he was a member of the Board of Regents. Miscellaneous items include a letterpress book, 1885-1899, of business letters and files of bills and receipts. Of interest are materials relating to state Republican politics, especially the elections of 1896 and 1898. The one file of photographs includes portraits of family members as well as snapshots of Fletcher and others on a boating excursion.


Fred Stanley Goodrich papers, 1863-1918

0.3 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Alpena, Michigan, resident. Correspondence, including a letter from Thomas Wentworth Higginson and a letter describing Goodrich's Civil War experience in the 115th New York Volunteers at the Battle of Morris Island, South Carolina, genealogical material, recipe book, and miscellanea; also photographs.

Fred Stanley Goodrich papers consist of correspondence, including a letter from Thomas Wentworth Higginson and a letter describing Goodrich's Civil War experience in the 115th New York Volunteers at the Battle of Morris Island, South Carolina, genealogical material, recipe book, miscellanea and individual and group photographs of Goodrich family members. The collection is noteworthy for a detailed description of the Battle of Morris Island in South Carolina during the summer of 1863.


Gilchrist Family Papers, 1867-1945

7 linear feet

Alpena, Michigan, family; correspondence, letterpress books, financial papers, and other material largely relating to the family's business enterprises in lumbering, sugar manufacturing, ferry and excursion lines, mining, and banking; contain record of business affairs in Alpena, Michigan, and other areas of northern Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Missouri, Oregon, and Mississippi; family members represented in the collection include Frank W. Gilchrist and two of his sons, Frank R. and Ralph Gilchrist, also members of a related Fletcher and Potter families.

The Gilchrist Family Papers, which date from 1867 to 1945, reflect the business life of four generations of a prominent Alpena, Michigan family. The lives of four generations of Gilchrists are documented by the collection, but the bulk pertains primarily to Frank W. Gilchrist and his son, Ralph. Included in the collection is an assortment of correspondence, financial statements, inventories, reports, and cost estimates, pertaining to the lumbering, sugar beet, shipping, and mining industries.

The collection contains a considerable amount of material pertaining to Michigan business history, especially in the areas of lumbering, shipping, cement, and mining industries. Among the papers are financial statements, profit and loss records, invoices, lists of timber prices, salary records, blueprints of milling operations, and correspondence. They provide a documentary record of a family-owned business, which, when faced with declining lumber sales in northern Michigan, attempted to diversify its holdings in the real estate, mining, shipping, and sugar beet industries. Some of these endeavors proved successful for the Gilchrists; others did not. The papers record both the family's successes and failures.

Particularly useful for this study are the correspondence and financial statements of Frank W. Gilchrist and the early papers of his son, Ralph. The collection includes records of the Huron Sugar Company, the Alpena Portland Cement Company, and the Gilchrist Transportation Company, all of which failed to produce sufficient profit for the Gilchrists. The lumber and land companies were more successful.

The collection also serves to document the manner in which Ralph Gilchrist, Frank's son, carried the family industries into the 1920s and 1930s, managing to survive the effects of the Great Depression. The collection contains year by year, and in some cases month by month, financial statements, showing Gilchrist assets before, during. and after the stock market crash of October, 1929. The records of Gilchrist & Company Limited, the Detroit Trust Company; and Commonwealth Securities Incorporated are especially valuable for this study.

The Gilchrist Papers are not particularly useful for social history or for information on the family's private life. The collection does contain a travel diary of William H. Potter, dated 1883, in which a journey from Alpena to Detroit is described, but the bulk of the material reflects only the Gilchrists' official business functions. Correspondence usually relates information on stock acquisition, land purchases, lumber sales, and estate liquidation. The Potter papers are perhaps more personal in nature, containing some correspondence between the elder Albert Gilchrist and his daughter Ella, but these letters are few.

The researcher interested in Michigan business history, however, will find the collection useful for the above-named industries. Moreover, the collection also provides evidence for changes that took place from the 19th to 20th centuries within the office itself and the manner in which business was conducted. To some extent the papers reflect how the family reacted to early forms of office automation, as for example complaints that secretaries make too many typographical errors and that it is often easier to write letters by hand.

The collection remains in excellent condition, for the most part, although the letterpress books from the 19th century are faded and nearly illegible.


Jesse Siddall Reeves Papers, 1853-1942 (majority within 1901-1942)

14 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Chairman of the department of political science at University of Michigan. Correspondence, reports, manuscript articles, book reviews, lecture notes, and miscellaneous papers concerning family affairs and his academic interests in political science and international law.

The Reeves papers largely concern JSR's activities as professor (also chairman) of the University of Michigan Department of Political Science from his appointment in 1910 until his retirement in 1937. The great bulk of the collection consists of Reeves' correspondence. With this is a smaller series of such other materials as lectures, research materials, professional organizational materials. As an aid to accessing the correspondence, a selective index of correspondents and subjects has been prepared and is appended to the following containing listing.


Lutheran Church in America, Michigan Synod records, 1917-1987

42 linear feet (in 46 boxes) — 2 oversize volumes — 1 oversize folder

President's correspondence, executive committee minutes, and minutes of annual conventions; also files on individual churches in the Synod, including clippings, reports, church histories and programs; and photographs.

The records of the Michigan Synod of the Lutheran Church in America include president's correspondence; executive committee minutes; and minutes of annual conventions; files on individual churches in the Synod, including clippings, reports, church histories and programs; and photographs. The records have been arranged into the following series: Organizational and Administrative Records; Archivist's files; Organizational units and programs; Lutheran Church Women; Printed material; Church files; Topical files; and Visual Materials. Most of the records prior to 1962 originally came from the archives of United Lutheran Church in America.