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C. Earle Beckwith photograph album, [ca. 1885]

1 volume

The C. Earle Beckwith photograph album contains images of rural living and farming activities, possibly in Michigan.

The C. Earle Beckwith photograph album (17 x 22 cm) contains 18 photographic prints of rural living, possibly in Michigan. Includes two views of a mill; a photograph of two women in a boat; a photograph of a crowded event at a rural residence; a group shot of a brass band; two men and a boy holding farm implements; two images of a railroad track and water tower; and candid photographs of family at home. Also included are several photographs relating to farming activities; one is of a roadside display of vegetables after the harvest.

The album's brown cloth cover has an embossed title "Photographs." The album is inscribed "C. Earle Beckwith, Merry Christmas" and is housed in a light blue box.


David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography, ca. 1845-1980

Approximately 113,000 photographs and 96 volumes

The David V. Tinder Collection of Michigan Photography consists of over 100,000 images in a variety of formats including daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, cartes de visite, cabinet photographs, real photo postcards, stereographs, and mounted and unmounted paper prints. The collection is primarily made up of vernacular photographs of everyday life in Michigan taken by both professional and amateur photographers from the 1840s into the mid-twentieth century. In addition to supporting local history research, the collection has resources for the study of specific events and subjects. Included are images related to lumbering, mining, suburbanization; the industrialization of cities; travel and transportation; the impact of the automobile; the rise of middle-class leisure society; fashion and dress; ethnicity and race; the role of fraternal organizations in society; and the participation of photographers in business, domestic, and social life. The collection is only partially open for research.

The subject contents of different photographic format series within the Tinder collection vary, depending in part upon how each format was historically used, and the date range of that format's popularity. For example, cartes de visite and cased images are most often formal studio portraits, while stereographs are likely to be outdoor views. Cabinet photographs are frequently portraits, but often composed with less formality than the cartes de visite and cased images. The postcards and the mounted prints contain very diverse subjects. The photographers' file contains many important and rare images of photographers, their galleries, promotional images, and the activities of photographers in the field. See individual series descriptions in the Contents List below for more specific details.

Included throughout are images by both professional and amateur photographers, although those by professionals are extant in far greater numbers.


General Motors Bankruptcy Collection Web Archives, 2009-ongoing

1.03 GB (online) — 2 archived websites (online)

The Motors Liquidation Company was the company left to settle past liability claims from the government-endorsed General Motors Chapter 11 reorganization which sold the assets of automobile manufacturer General Motors and some of its subsidiaries to NGMCO, Inc. ("New GM"). The collection includes archived websites of the Motors Liquidation Company, containing court documents and a claims register.

Motors Liquidation Company bankruptcy website is evidence of the automotive industry crisis of 2008-2010, caused in part by the confluence of the global financial turndown of the late-2000s recession, record oil prices, a severe global automotive sales decline due to the global financial crisis of 2008--2009. This collection of archived websites contains court documents and a claims register for the company left to settle past liability claims from General Motors Chapter 11 reorganization, and is arranged in a single series, Archived Websites.


Gerta Gage family photograph album, 1885-1895

1 volume

The Gerta Gage family photograph album contains cabinet card portraits of men, women, and children taken in various Michigan cities around the mid-1880s to mid-1890s. Some of the pictured individuals posed in groups or with animals, and two men wore Shriners uniforms. The album likely belonged to Gerta Gage, of Big Rapids, Michigan.

The Gerta Gage family photograph album (22cm x 29cm) contains 80 cabinet card photographs of men, women, and children, few of whom are identified. The studio portraits were taken in Michigan towns and cities such as Muskegon, Big Rapids, Petoskey, Jackson, Allegan, Ovid, and Traverse City, as well as in other locales such as Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Decatur, Illinois; and Chicago, Illinois. Two men posed in Shriners hats, a few posed with dogs, and one man, photographed by A. S. Green of St. Thomas, Ontario, blew cigar smoke while having his picture taken. Though most items are individual portraits, some subjects posed in groups of two to four; one image is a group portrait of seven men. The volume's padded covers are bound in blue and yellow cloth. "Gerta Gage" and "Gerta Gage Big Rapids Michigan" are engraved on the album's large metal clasp. The pages of the album are decorated to resemble wood.


James G. Birney papers, 1816-1884 (majority within 1820-1856)

5 linear feet

The James G. Birney papers consist of the personal, political, and professional letters of James Birney, a Kentucky slaveholder, Alabama politician, anti-slavery activist, and presidential candidate. The collection is particularly strong in Birney's political activities with the American Colonization Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and the Liberty Party; his role as an abolitionist writer and as the founder and editor of The Philanthropist; and his personal communications with his family and friends.

The James G. Birney papers contain the personal, political, and professional letters of James Birney, a Kentucky slaveholder, Alabama politician, anti-slavery activist, and United States presidential candidate. The collection is particularly strong in Birney's political activities with the American Colonization Society, the American Anti-Slavery Society, and the Liberty Party; his role as an abolitionist writer and as the founder and editor of The Philanthropist; and his personal communications with his family and friends.

The Correspondence series (1909 items) is comprised of Birney's incoming letters, which span his entire career after 1818, with particularly full correspondence for the decade 1834-1844. Also present are 137 drafts of letters written by Birney. Birney corresponded with a wide variety of public figures in politics and in the anti-slavery movement in America and Great Britain, such as Gamaliel Bailey, Guy Beckley, James Buchanan, Theodore Foster, Seth Merrill Gates, William Goodell, Beriah Green, Ralph Randolph Gurley, Joshua Leavitt, Henry Brewster Stanton, Arthur Tappan, Lewis Tappan, Theodore D. Weld, Elizur Wright, Jr., and John Clark Young, among many others. In addition to business and political communications, the collection contains family and personal letters, including items to and from Birney's wife Agatha, his father James Birney, his father-in-law William MacDowell, and his siblings, children (particularly James, Jr., William, Dion, and David), and friends.

From 1818-1832, Birney was a lawyer and politician in Alabama, and a trustee of both Greene Academy in Huntsville and the University of Alabama. Much of the material from this period concerns personal and family news, and his nascent interest in anti-slavery. Birney received letters from many prominent Alabama politicians in Washington, including Clement Comer Clay, John McKinley, and Harry I. Thornton.

Of note:
  • February 12, 1827: From John McKinley on establishing a branch of the United States Bank in Nashville instead of Huntsville, Tennessee
  • December 12, 1825: From Philip Lindsley containing the collection's first mention of the American Colonization Society (hereafter ACS), concerning founding a chapter in the South
  • December 25, 1828: From Birney's uncle, Thomas B. Reed, on running for the United States Senate
  • March 6, 1830: From Lucinda M. Bradshear to her sister Agatha Birney discussing family and social news
  • January 9, 1832: Permission from the ACS giving Birney credit to put toward the "African Repository"
  • January 24, 1832: From Clement Comer Clay concerning a meeting in Washington on temperance and "improving the morals of society"

Between 1832 and 1834, Birney served as southern agent for the ACS. Letters from this period reveal Birney's changing views on slavery, as well as his personal struggles as an abolitionist in the south. Birney communicated with his fellow ACS agents, society leaders, and the Washington office, including 10 letters from ACS Secretary Ralph Randolph Gurley between 1832 and 1833. Many letters deal with sending former slaves to Liberia, such as Cyrus Chinn and his family (November 1, 1832); Elijah and Benjamin Collier from St. Louis, Missouri (November 12, 1832); a group of 80 African Americans from Illinois, Ohio, Tennessee, and Mississippi (February 7, 1833); and Allen Bates and 15 others (March 10, 1833).

Of note:
  • June 12, 1832: From the ACS appointing Birney an official agent for the society in the southern and western states
  • July 7, 1832: Birney’s official appointment as ACS agent, accompanied by a list of "Things which Should be done to aid the Cause"
  • November 1, 1832: From Henry Sheffie Geyer regarding recruiting freed men and their families for emigration to Africa and inquiries into the creation of more local societies in the South
  • April 24, 1833: From Birney to his wife Agatha regarding the death of two of their young children
  • August 26, 1833: From Nathan Green who voiced abolitionist arguments against the ACS's mission

Though no longer a member of the ACS, Birney remained active in the abolitionist cause between 1834 and 1839, during which time he founded The Philanthropist and joined the American Anti-Slavery Society. Many of the 1836 letters relate to printing The Philanthropist, and contain details on funding, publication, and subscriptions, along with moral support from Birney's peers. During this time, Birney also maintained a close communication with Theodore Dwight Weld and Elizur Wright, Jr. Topics covered include Birney's anti-slavery speaking tour through several northern states, the growing divisions within the American Anti-Slavery Society, his relations with his family, and the death of his wife Agatha. A highlight of the collection is a letter from a slave named Milo Thompson, owned by Major George C. Thompson, to his fiancée Louisa Bethley, owned by James Birney, Sr., concerning their continued separation (October 15, 1834). Days later, Major Thompson wrote to James G. Birney explaining that he was uncomfortable with the situation and that hoped to purchase Louisa Bethley from his father so they could marry (October 18, 1834).

Other items of note:
  • September 15, 1834: A note from Henry Clay concerning a discussion on emancipation
  • December 13, 1834: From Robert Hutchinson Rose, of Silver Lake, Pennsylvania, concerning the character of slaveholders and the practice of slaves earning their freedom
  • January 6, 1835: From John Jones regarding the problems with giving blacks rights
  • January-April 1835: Four letters between Birney and Peter Vanarsdall concerning local anxieties about the slavery question in Kentucky and the church's roll in the discussion
  • June 20, 1835: From William Jennings Bryan, containing the collection's first mention of The Philanthropist
  • August 1835: From Birney to subscribers of The Philanthropist discussing delays in publishing
  • March 27, 1836: Account of travel in Mexico
  • [July 1836]: A letter warning Birney that an organized band will tar and feather him if he returns to Kentucky
  • August 1, 1836: Commission from Arthur Tappan appointing Birney agent for the American Anti-Slavery Society
  • November 11, 1836: from Birney explaining that he prints The Philanthropist in a "country village" because no one in Cincinnati would print it for fear of reprisal
  • January 12 and 25, 1837: between Birney and John J. Marshal
  • May 1837: Longtime Alabama agent, Arthur Hopkins, severs ties with Birney and no longer collects claims from past land sales.
  • October 21, 1838: A joint letter from Birney's sons Dion and William reacting to the death of their mother
  • February 1839: Several letters discussing the division between the Boston and New York factions of the American Anti-Slavery Society
  • July 28, 1839: News from Birney's Sister Anna Marsh of their father's death
  • November 3, 1839: From William Birney discussing the life of a bachelor, doing housework, and hiring two hands to help him

The period from 1839-1845 represents the height of Birney’s involvement in politics. On November 13, 1839, a Liberty Party convention at Warsaw, New York, nominated Birney to run for president. The letters from 1840 are dominated by news of presidential politics, including discussions of rivals Henry Clay and William Henry Harrison. Birney, however, did not campaign and instead spent the time from May to November 1840 attending an international anti-slavery convention in Great Britain. He received only a small percentage of national votes. In the fall of 1841, Birney and his family moved to Michigan, where he maintained close communications with his friends, children, the Fitzhugh family (relatives of his second wife Elizabeth), and abolitionist colleagues in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and throughout the South. Birney also received personal requests for assistance from those in need, such as the case of a Creek Indian mother named Susan, who had been sold into slavery with her children, and was attempting to sue for their freedom (March 8, 1843). The letters from 1844 concern Birney's second run as the Liberty Party's presidential candidate, and include frequent references to Henry Clay, James K. Polk, and the landscape of the race. Of particular interest is a group of letters, dating from the end of October through November, relating to the "Garland letter," a letter published in newspapers which falsely claimed that Birney was a secret Democrat trying to swing the election subversively

Also of note:
  • December 17, 1839: News from the Warsaw Abolitionist Convention that selected Birney to run for President of the Liberty Party
  • February 17, 1840: From Benjamin Fenn, inviting Birney on a stumping trip from Vermont to Arkansas to Maryland, and his views on Blacks in government
  • March 24, 1840: From Francis Julius Le Moyne who is concerned about splitting the anti-slavery vote
  • April 1, 1840: Draft of a letter to the Mexican legislature on the taking of Texas and abolition of slavery in Mexico
  • June 22, 1840: From the British Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
  • May 27, 1840: From the Ladies of New York City Anti-Slavery Society, electing Birney to attend the World Anti-Slavery Convention in London
  • December 27, 1843: From Dr. Joseph P. Gazzam concerning mason and anti-mason political parties in Pittsburgh
  • January 1, 1844: From Reese C. Fleeson concerning presidential politics
  • March 30, 1844: Against the Annexation of Texas
  • April 13, 1844: From James Caleb Jackson informing Birney that he was chosen as the Liberty Party candidate for the upcoming presidential election
  • November 2, 1844: A discussion of the Garland letter and a newspaper clipping of the incriminating article

In the autumn of 1845, Birney fell off of a horse and suffered a severe injury, possibly related to a paralytic stroke, which forced him to retire from public service. He continued, however, to write on political and constitutional issues and kept up broad correspondence with his anti-slavery colleagues (such as Gerrit Smith, William Goodell, Sarah Grimké, and Theodore Weld) and his family. He also kept in contact with Michigan Anti-Slavery Society activists. The period between his forced retirement and his death (1845-1857) also contains the most concentrated number of draft letters written by Birney. These reveal his political opinions, thoughts on religion, academic interests, and his life in Michigan and later New Jersey. The last letters, from 1856-1857, document the state of Birney's accounts and land holdings.

Of note:
  • September 17, 1845: From James Birney to his father regarding his accident
  • December 7, 1845: From Theodore Foster regarding an anti-slavery meeting in Marshal, Michigan
  • April 7, 1846: From the United States Attorney's Office
  • April 1, 1847: From William Goodell discussing Birney's limited role in the Liberty Party and future activities of the party
  • May 10, 1848: From Martha V. Ball: Address of the Massachusetts Female Emancipation Society
  • July 10, 1848: From Birney to Lewis Tappan, in which he declines the office of vice president for the Foreign Anti-Slavery Society
  • November 20, 1850: From James Birney to Theodore Parker regarding a draft of an article about the 1842 court case Prigg v. Pennsylvania
  • December 2, 1850: Concerning secession and abolitionism from the Union Safety Committee of the City of New York
  • June 1, 1852: A letter accompanied by a note from Frederick Douglass
  • June 1, 1852-January 12, 1853: Four letters between Birney and Leonard Woolsey Bacon, writing for Harriet Beecher Stowe, concerning Stowe's new book, "Key to Uncle Tom's Cabin," and her discussion of churches and slavery, and mentioning a violent attack on Stowe and her brother
  • January 1853: A printed circular from Frederick Douglass for subscribers for his paper
  • August 30, 1854: From Sarah Grimké, discussing Weld's sickness, the shipment of Birney's luggage to New Jersey, and news from other friends

Only five letters post date Birney's death in 1857, all to or from his wife Elizabeth Birney and his daughter D. B. Birney, with the final item from George Clark of Oberlin to a Mr. Smith concerning studying under Henry Lloyd Garrison. The collection also contains eight undated letters, including six to Birney (one addressed to “Christianus," Birney's favorite pen name) and one letter to Florence Birney.

Many letters contain illustrated letterheads. Five items feature an image of a kneeling slave called, "A Colored Young Man of the City of New York, 1835," engraved by P. Reason: May 1, 1838 (invitation to Weld-Grimke wedding), June 1, 1840, August 15, 1840 ("Am I not a man and a brother"), December 4, 1840 (similar but different image), and January 2, 1841. Other items with illustrations include: June 10, 1839, containing a poem; April 26, 1847, depicting Astor House, New York; and June 28, 1853, depicting "Topsy, or the Slave girl's Appeal," along with a poem.

Dwight L. Dumond published many of Birney's letters related to abolition and anti-slavery in his book Letters of James Gillespie Birney, 1831-1857. See additional descriptive data for a full citation.

The Diaries and Journals series (4 items) contains volumes related to the American Colonization Society, to Birney's travels in Great Britain in 1840, to Birney's gardens, and his intellectual and personal life. The first item (8 pages) is entitled "Memorandum of Donations, Collections, Subscriptions, c&, c&, etc. for the American Colonization Society in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkinsas." It documents Birney's general accounts from June to December 1832, salary accounts for 1833, and general accounts for October 1833. The second item consists of brief entries during Birney's trip to England, Scotland, and Ireland from September to October 1840 (12 pages) and his meteorological observations for 1849 (30 pages). The third volume is a "Garden Memo" in which Birney recorded planting and harvesting details from November 1843 to July 1847.

The fourth volume is the personal journal that Birney kept between 1846 and 1850 while residing in Michigan. It includes essays or article drafts relating to pressing political affairs, predominantly the Mexican-American War; slavery and the expansion of slavery into new territories and states; and Congressional isues and political parties. Several of these drafts include notations of newspaper names next to them, indicating possible places where he submitted them for anonymous publication. He remarked regularly on what he was reading and how it spurred his thinking, including newspapers and specific articles, almanacs, Bible passages and religious works, presidential messages and Congressional reports, various history texts, and more. Birney frequently wrote religious reflections as well as essays relating to Catholicism and early Jewish history. He also kept meteorological and gardening records. The journal contains personal reflections, including analysis of the impacts strokes had on his physical and mental health, his reliance on his wife, comments about visitors, and news about various family matters. He wrote either on the day of his second stroke or shortly thereafter, as well as annual reflections on his birthday commenting on his disability. The journal interweaves various veins of thought, revealing how deep religious reflection, social and political engagement, daily labor, and physical ailment all combined in Birney’s intellectual world.

The Speeches, Essays, Notes, and Other Writings series (74 items) contains Birney's non-correspondence manuscript writings. The series is organized into three subseries: Speeches, Essays, and Drafts (1833-1852); Speech Notes (1836-1841); and Miscellaneous Notes (1832-1852). The Speeches, Essays, and Drafts subseries (22 items) reveals Birney's thoughts on social reform and slavery in American society, politics, and history.

Speech and essay titles of note:
  • August 10, 1833: Colonization of the Free Colored People: Prospective Evil of the Free Colored People in the South
  • March 20, 1840: Committee in Temperance
  • [1847]: Presidential Nomination--Mr. Clay--Slavery
  • [1852]: To The People, concerning the president, congress, and habeas corpus
  • Undated: Angels Suggested by Arch. Bishop Whatley's Sections on "Good + Evil Angels"]
  • Undated: An address from the Independent Party concerning slavery
  • Undated: The point to be established in my reply to the foregoing note is the affirmative of the question--Is Slaveholding Sinful under all circumstances?
  • Undated: Proclamation to the Free People of Color
  • Undated: General Lecture on Slavery , unsigned but believe to be authored by Sarah Moore Grimké.

The Speech Notes subseries (38 items) is comprised of the notes and note cards that Birney used during speeches. Most of the notes relate to Christianity, slavery, and abolition. The dated speech notes are from 1836 to 1841, however, many items are undated.

The Miscellaneous Notes subseries (13 items) contains manuscript fragments of speeches, essays, and articles, including a copy of an essay from the Vermont Chronicle on the abolition of slavery in Mexico (March 3, 1832), a report of cruelty of a young slave copied from the New Orleans Bee (June 25, 1834), and two pledges to give up drinking (December 1842 and January 19, 1845).

The Financial Documents series (384 items) contains a plantation record book, bills and receipts for household expenditures, receipts for speaking engagements and other employment, tax records, estate records, and stock certificates. The plantation record book (139 pages) documents the 43 slaves working on Birney's father's plantation and the slave's cotton production from 1819 to 1821. Slave records include birth dates, previous owners, dates of purchase, buyers, dates of sale, prices, and deaths. The record book contains details on the following names: Tom, Billy Banks, Michael, Jesse, Ben, Sam, Hartwell, Jerry, Willis, Little Ben, Charles, Luke, Moses, Isham, Edwin, Wilson, George, Alfred, Henry, Charles, Anthony, William, Charles, Amy, Daphnie, Biddy, Hannah, Clara, Sarah, Kitty, Maria, Barbara, Mary, Margaret, Caroline, Betsey, Julianne, Viney, Silvia, Susan, Polly, Judy, and Lucy. The volume also contains records for the number of bales of cotton each slave picked in 1820 and 1821.

This series contains personal receipts and accounts from Birney's professional life:
  • 1834-1836: Kentucky, kept by Henry and Robert Chambers while Birney was living in Ohio.
  • 1837-1841: New York, including the sale of household furniture October 27, 1838-1841
  • 1842-1854: Michigan
  • 1854-1857: New Jersey
  • 1857-1860: Estate records

Also present are personal records for food, clothing, household goods, and medical assistance; certificates for shares of stocks; tax records concerning his land in Michigan; bundles of personal receipts from 1850, 1851, 1853, 1854; receipts for magazine subscriptions; payments for Birney's speaking engagements; and 19 undated items.

The Legal Documents series (123 items) consists primarily of deeds, leases, contracts, and sales of land in Kentucky, Alabama, New York, Michigan, and New Jersey, with the bulk of these related to land in Saginaw County, Michigan. This series also contains Birney's legal manumission papers for freeing his father's slaves (September 3, 1839).

Also of note:
  • August 6, 1835: a report from Danville, Kentucky, on a mob that threatened to use force against Birney and vandalize the office where he planned to print The Philanthropist
  • August 15, 1845: a copy of a document concerning the stockholders and the board of directors approving the purchase of land for the Saginaw Bay Company

The Genealogy series (11 items) is made up of various documents containing genealogical information primarily on Birney and his extended family. Included are: an item from William Birney to his cousin listing the decedents of Thomas Madison (April 3, 1882); a list of the birth and death dates of many members of the Birney family throughout the 19th century (undated); details on the births and deaths of Birney's children; and a report on the descendants of John J. Marshall and Anna Reed Birney (undated).

The Printed Material and Illustrations series (43 items) is composed of newspaper clippings, political broadsides, invitations to social events, and school report cards. Of note are a broadside entitled "Abolitionists Beware" (July 1836) and an 1852 broadside for the National Liberty Party. The collection holds 15 newspaper selections which contain articles by or about Birney. The series also includes a printed invitation to the burial of Arthur Hopkins Birney (March 8, 1833).

Articles by Birney appear in the following newspapers:
  • The Olive Branch, Danville, Kentucky: July 25, 1835
  • National Intelligencer, Danville, Kentucky: March 15, 1840
  • Southern Advocate, Huntsville, Alabama: October 9, 1829; July 16, 23, 30, August 6, 20, 1833.
  • Southern Mercury, Huntsville, Alabama: July 10 and August 10, 1833
  • The Democrat, Huntsville, Alabama: April 16, 23, May 7, 1830; May 16, 1833

Also present are two clippings about Birney that post date his death: "No. 1 Abolitionist," Washington Post, October 30, 1938, and "Presidential Candidate," unknown source, February 38, 1937. Of the seven undated items, two are illustrations and the floor plan of a house, possibly in Bridgeport, Michigan. The collection also holds 27 broadsides, many integrated into the Correspondence series. For a complete list of broadsides see the additional descriptive data.

In addition to this finding aid, the Clements Library has created a Contributor List (.pdf format). For additional information see the Clements Library card catalog.


John D. Bagley photograph albums, 1903-ca. 1920

3 volumes containing approximately 1280 photographs

The John D. Bagley photograph albums consist of three photograph albums created by John DuCharme Bagley IV of the Bagley family of Detroit, Michigan.

The John D. Bagley photograph albums consist of three photograph albums belonging to John DuCharme Bagley IV of the Bagley family of Detroit, Michigan.

The photograph albums document the life of John DuCharme Bagley IV over a period of twenty years or so. Bagley IV was clearly an enthusiastic amateur photographer who enjoyed documenting his family and friends. The photos in all three albums are snapshot-sized and mostly taken outdoors. While the earliest album (Volume I) is extensively captioned, the other two are not.

Volume 1:

The first volume (14 x 30 cm) includes images taken between 1903 and 1905, including numerous photographs taken during a Bagley family trip to Europe. Bagley IV was a teenager at the time. Identified family members documented in this album include his older sister Frances, younger brother Phil, parents John N. and Esther, and an “Aunt Frankie” who was likely Esther’s sister. This trip appears to have lasted several months, perhaps the better part of an entire year. Locations visited included the German Alps, Naples, Rome, Pompeii, Lake Lucerne, Amsterdam, and London. The family’s return to New York by steamship is also represented. The remainder of this album documents experiences on Woodcote Farm in Ionia, Michigan, as well as family life in Detroit and outdoor summer activities at Long Lake in Grand Traverse County, Michigan.

Volume 2:

The second volume (20.5 x 30.5 cm) contains material compiled during World War I and afterwards. Views of the U.S. Naval Academy and of Washington D.C. are included, and Bagley IV is shown in many images wearing a naval uniform. Several warships (including what appears to be the USS Pennsylvania, commissioned in 1916) are pictured from afar throughout the album. One series of snapshots shows an Armistice celebration taking place at an unidentified location. Several pages showcase scenic views taken during a train journey through an unidentified mountainous region. The bulk of the remaining pictures in this album consist of portraits of family and friends posing informally in urban, domestic, and rural settings. Bagley IV appears regularly, usually in a business suit, and in a couple of cases he can be seen standing next to a Bagley & Co. company vehicle. Also present is a large loose photo that shows John J. Bagley’s birthplace in Medina, New York, which was photographed in 1895.

Volume 3:

The third volume (20.5 x 30.5 cm) contains numerous photographs taken during visits to New Mexico and Colorado in 1908 as well as Oregon in 1909. Images in the New Mexico section highlight operations and personnel of the Maxwell Irrigated Land Company. Bagley IV’s younger brother Phil may have been involved with this company. While it is not entirely clear which photos were taken in Colorado, numerous images of logging operations and logging camps were most likely taken in Oregon. Also present are personal photos showing Bagley IV and his wife Mary visiting forests and beaches. The final section of the album includes photos of Bagley IV in a navy uniform and views of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland.


Ladd family carte-de-visite album, 1865

1 volume

The Ladd family carte-de-visite album contains carte-de-visite and tintype portraits of members of the Ladd and White families, as well as other individuals. The volume belonged to a woman named Annis.

The Ladd family carte-de-visite album (14cm x 12cm) contains formal studio portraits of members of the Ladd and White families, as well as other individuals. The photographs are comprised of 30 cartes-de-visite and 6 tintypes. An index to the photographs is partially filled out, though some items may not remain in their original positions or may have been removed. The volume contains pictures of men, women, and children, sometimes photographed in pairs; one child is shown sitting in a baby carriage. Some items have the photographer's name and studio location printed on the back; many were taken in Sterling, Illinois, and various towns in Michigan. The volume's brown cover has a raised geometric design, and the book has one metal clasp.


Lakefront Michigan Cottage Photograph Album, 1920s

approximately 440 photographs in 1 album.

The Lakefront Michigan cottage photograph album contains approximately 440 images documenting the construction of a family lake cottage likely located in lower Michigan.

The Lakefront Michigan cottage photograph album contains approximately 440 images documenting the construction of a family lake cottage likely located in lower Michigan. The album (18.5 x 29 cm) has black cloth covers. Photographs include views of a work party clearing land for the cottage on May 3 1920; a truck with a load of lumber mired in a rut before being subsequently rescued; three men sealing the bottom of a rowboat which proceeds to sink in shallow water; the framing and roofing of the cottage; the mounting of a sign reading, "Non Nobis Solum" over the cottage; the addition of a dock; and furniture being moved inside. Other activities depicted include a game featuring a blindfolded woman holding a beer stein; the erection of a flagpole and subsequent raising of a flag accompanied by a bugle player and firing of a miniature cannon; swimming in the lake with innertubes; wading in the lake; and rowing in a seaworthy rowboat. A truck from Edgar's Sugar House in Detroit also appears in several photographs related to the construction of the cottage.


Lantern Slides and Glass Plate Negatives Collection, ca. 1890s-1910s

approximately 1,260 items in 33 boxes

The Lantern slides and glass plate negatives collection consists of approximately 1,260 magic lantern slides, glass plate negatives, and glass plate transparencies from commercial and non-commercial sources documenting a wide range of subjects.

The Lantern slides and glass plate negatives collection consists of approximately 1,260 magic lantern slides, glass plate negatives, and glass plate transparencies from commercial and non-commercial sources documenting a wide range of subjects.

The collection contains a total of 33 boxes and is loosely organized by topical groupings. The following list references individual boxes and the general nature of their contents.

Box 1 (G.4.1) (25 items) – Ann Arbor
  • 10 x 12.5 cm glass negatives of views of Ann Arbor, Michigan, ca. early 1900s taken by an unidentified photographer. Includes views of several University of Michigan buildings, hospitals, fraternity houses, and private residences.

Box 2 (G.4.2) (26 items) – Movie Ads; 1906 San Francisco Earthquake
  • Sixteen 8 x 10 cm cardboard-mounted slides showing posters for upcoming films and local product advertisements intended for use in movie theater intermissions. Producers include Excelsior Illustrating Co., Inc. and Photo Repro Co., Inc. Identified films include High Steppers (1926); The Blind Goddess (1926); Without Mercy (1926); Chickie (1925); Stop, Look and Listen (1926); West Point (1927); Pals First (1926); Ella Cinders (1926); Paying the Price (1927); The Avalanche (1919); and Turn to the Right (1922).
  • Ten 7.5 x 7.5 cm slides documenting damage caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake (two of the slides are broken).

Box 3 (G.4.3) (40 items) – Pearsall, New York City
  • 10 x 12.5 cm glass negatives including scenic views of fields, woods and towns, Canterbury Cathedral, ships in harbor, New York City streets, Coney Island beaches, street merchants, and children interacting with dogs (often humorously). All or some the images were produced by photographer William S. Pearsall in 1906 or earlier.

Box 4 (G.4.4) (29 items) – Movie Ads
  • Twenty-two 8 x 10 cm cardboard-mounted slides (some damaged) showing motion picture posters intended for display during movie theater intermissions with play dates handwritten in space at bottom. Dates listed range from 1918 to 1929. Identified films include The Devils Circus (1926); The Love of Sunya (1927); The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1929); Mademoiselle Modiste (1926); Classified (1925); Chang (1927); The Demi-Bride (1927); The Swell-Head (1927); Steele of the Royal Mounted (1925); The Voice of the City (1929); His Supreme Moment (1925); Monte Carlo (1926); An Old Fashioned Boy (1920); Lovers in Quarantine (1925); Riders of the Dawn (1920); Paid Back (1922); The Breaking Point (1921); and Gypsy Blood (also named Carmen - 1918 in Germany, 1921 in U.S.A.)
  • Seven 8 x 10 cm hand-colored slides showing scenes from the popular book The Bad Boy and His Pa by George W. Peck produced by the Chicago Projecting Co. in 1904. Tableaux are carefully staged and elaborately tinted.

Box 5 (G.4.5) (31 items) – Movie Ads
  • Includes 8 x 10 cm slides showing scenes from The Bad Boy and His Pa by the Chicago Projecting Co. Other identified films include Babe Comes Home (1927); Figures Don't Lie (1927); and The Danger Girl (1916).

Box 6 (G.4.6) (28 items) – Movie Ads
  • Twenty-six 8 x 10 cm cardboard-mounted movie theater slides related to coming attractions or local products. One item of particular note includes a notice to female patrons that they do not need to remove their hats if they are seated in the women’s section. Identified films include The Taxi Dancer (1927); Square Crooks (1928); The City Gone Wild (1927); Too Much Money (1926); The First Night (1927); Broadway Nights (1927); Rainbow Riley (1926); The Wizard (1927); Vamping Venus (1928); The People vs. Nancy Preston (1925); Lovely Mary (1926); Rookies (1927); The Swan (1925); The Cohens and Kellys (1926); His People (1925); and My Official Wife (1926).

Box 7 (G.4.7) (31 items) – Movie Ads
  • Twenty-three 8 x 10 cm cardboard-mounted movie theater slides related to coming attractions or local products. Identified films include The Phantom Police (1926); The Testing Block (1920); The Brute Master (1920); The Cowboy Ace (1921); The Song and Dance Man (1926); His Brother's Keeper (1921); Private Izzy Murphy (1926); The Wanderer (1925); Eve's Leaves (1926); Good and Naughty (1926); It's The Old Army Game (1926); Vanishing Trails (serial, 1920); Don't Shoot (1922); The Whirlwhind of Youth (1927); The Shield of Honor (1927); Across to Singapore (1928); Naughty But Nice (1927); The Barrier (1926); For The Love of Mike (1927); The Dark Angel (1925); Keeping Up With Lizzie (1921); and Top O' The Morning (1922).
  • Seven 8 x 10 cm slides (mostly duplicates) related to the Yale “Pageant of America” series showing damage in the aftermath of World War I.
  • One 8 x 10 cm slide showing an ancient Egyptian tablet depicting battle.

Box 8 (G.4.8) (59 items) – Fitchburg, Mass.; Dr. J. T. Morehouse & others
  • Twenty 8 x 10 cm slides documenting various activities in the town of Fitchburg, Massachusetts, around the turn of the 20th-century, including a hot-air balloon excursion and a fire engine race, along with other local scenes.
  • Thirty-nine 8 x 10 cm slides showing scenic views (some hand-colored) in New Jersey and New York between 1896 and 1907. Most are attributed to Dr. J. T. Morehouse, but other noted contributors include the Charles Beseler Co., Dr. Ferdinand G. Kneer, William Archibald, and George W. Lamoreux. Items of particular interest include an aerial view of lower Manhattan; a map of New Jersey showing holdings of Esso; and a hand-colored view of a high railroad bridge in Portage, New York.

Box 9 (G.4.9) (30 items) – Clements Library materials; Miscellaneous views
  • Twenty 8 x 10 cm slides by Ann Arbor photographer George R. Swain documenting select manuscripts and maps from the William L. Clements Library.
  • One 10 x 12.5 cm glass negative view of the Clements Library exterior.
  • Seven 8 x 10 cm slides of outdoor scenes in Alaska and California from around 1900.
  • Two 8 x 10 cm copy negatives of elaborate unidentified interiors.

Box 10 (G.4.10) (29 items) – Clements Library materials; Miscellaneous views
  • Six 8 x 10 cm slides of scenes in California and British Columbia. Includes view of a redwood logging train.
  • Ten 8 x 10 cm glass negatives of scenes in British Columbia, mountain views, and photos of maps.
  • Four 8 x 10 cm slides by Ann Arbor photographer George R. Swain of items from the William L. Clements Library.
  • Nine 8 x 10 cm slides showing people and places (notably Firle Place) in the United Kingdom during the 1920s.

Box 11 (G.4.11) (30 items) – Clements Library materials
  • Six 8 x 10 cm slides by Ann Arbor photographer George R. Swain showing exterior and interior views of the William L. Clements Library in the 1940s.
  • Twenty-four 8 x 10 cm slides by Ann Arbor photographer George R. Swain of items from the William L. Clements Library. Includes an image of materials from the Thomas Gage papers stored in one their original document chests.

Box 12 (G.4.12) (12 items) – Miscellaneous
  • Five 8 x 10 cm slides showing unidentified locations (possibly in Alaska) produced by the Seattle, Washington studio of Asahel Curtis.
  • Four 8 x 10 cm slide reproductions of paintings.
  • Three 8 x 10 cm slides of miscellaneous content.

Box 13 (G.4.13) (42 items) – Voyage Historique d’Abissinie
  • 8 x 10 cm glass negatives documenting a 1728 French translation of an earlier memoir by Jerome Lobo regarding attempts to convert Ethiopians to Christianity. An enclosed note says slides were for “a Prestor [sic] John talk.”

Box 14 (G.4.14) (20 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides from an extensive educational series on lumbering processes and techniques produced ca. 1910. Images detail the production of railroad ties, including loggers’ methods of shaping each piece with their axes, and the proper method of stacking ties. Most of these views appear to be from Michigan’s lower peninsula, but one slide is from Wyoming in 1910.

Box 15 (G.4.15) (32 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing various stages in logging operations and mill processes in states from Maine to California. Includes one hand-colored view of a mill pond in Virginia and a map of the U.S. that renders the size of each state relative to its timber resources.

Box 16 (G.4.16) (29 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing production stages for treenails and stulls. Also includes images of various types of mill saws in marketing photos as well as working mills.

Box 17 (G.4.17) (32 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides primarily related to pulp production with views showing logging sites, stages of the milling process, and specific machinery used. Includes images showing both ox-drawn and wooden-wheeled logging wagons.

Box 18 (G.4.18) (29 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing portable mills set up near logging sites and log flumes in various stages of construction and operation. Several images of elaborate flume constructions are present.

Box 19 (G.4.19) (29 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides related to fir logging, possibly in Sitka, Alaska. Also present are a couple views showing treenail production.

Box 20 (G.4.20) (33 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing locust logging, log loaders, and lumber yards.

Box 21 (G.4.21) (34 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing different types of log loaders as well as maps of the U.S. highlighting population and timber resources.

Box 22 (G.4.22) (33 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides related to the Lidgerwood (written as “Ledgerwood” on slide labels) logging system which made extensive use of winches and pulleys. The Lidgerwood Company was instrumental in building the Panama Canal and later developed machinery for the logging industry. Also present are more images of log loaders and diagrams/photos of mill machinery.

Box 23 (G.4.23) (33 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides related to the Lidgerwood system as well as views of logging and mill operations in several states.

Box 24 (G.4.24) (32 items) – Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing pull boats towing log rafts and various logging and milling operations.

Box 25 (G.4.25) (30 items) –Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing finished lumber products being shipped by boat, rail, and wagon as well as images related to shingle production.

Box 26 (G.4.26) (28 items) - Lumber production
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing steps in the production of shingles, stulls, and poles as well as steps in paper production, including micro views of linen and cotton paper fibers.

Box 27 (G.4.27) (38 items) - Lumber production; Anchuha
  • Twenty-eight 8 x 10 cm slides showing stages in paper production as well as views of portable mills and flumes, especially flume dumps.
  • Ten 10 x 12.5 cm glass negatives by unidentified photographer ca. 1902 related to estate in Berlin, Maryland nicknamed “Anchuha.” Includes snapshots of house and family members.

Box 28 (G.7.1) (83 items) - Lumber production
  • Despite the separate accession number, these lumbering slides appear to be from the same educational series contained in other boxes. The topics covered by the 8 x 10 cm slides in this box include agricultural use of logged spaces, large mill operations, redwood logging, steam tractors, splash dams and charcoal kilns.

Box 29 (G.7.2) (80 items) – Michigan Lumbering Lantern Slides
  • 8 x 10 cm slides covering log jams, barrel staves and cooperage, flumes, big tree logging, and maps of national forests. Non-Michigan locations also represented. Includes color slide by Asahel Curtis showing Douglas fir timbers on railroad car.

Box 30 (G.7.3) (76 items) - Michigan Lumbering Lantern Slides
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing pole roads, agricultural use of logged land, large mills, machinery used in distillation and cooperage, logging of wide range of individual tree species. Non-Michigan locations also represented.

Box 31 (G.7.4) (79 items) - [Untitled]
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing tramways, pull boats, portable mills, geared locomotives, and skidways as well as a graph comparing regional production. Nine shattered slides are present.

Box 32 (G.7.5) (82 items) - [Untitled]
  • 8 x 10 cm slides showing gasoline and steam skidders, lumber yards, motor trucks, and Arizona tree species. One image of particular interest shows an early Kelly truck with a full load of logs and an African American driver.

Box 33 (G.8.1) (16 items) - Miscellaneous Glass Slides, Negs
  • Eight 8 x 10 cm glass negative copies of photos showing scenes in Alaska, including the Muir Glacier.
  • Four 8 x 10 cm slide views of British Columbia, possibly from a Canadian Pacific Railroad car.
  • Three 12.5 x 18 cm glass negative self-portraits by Charles P. Steinmetz, ca. 1904/5.
  • One 12.5 x 18 cm glass negative titled “Girl on Bicycle”


Masters-Taylor-Wilbur papers, 1796-1857

2 linear feet

The Masters-Taylor-Wilbur papers are the personal and business letters of an extended family in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C. Of special interest are a group of letters between former slave Matthew Matthews and Mary F. Spence (the owner of his six children), and between Francis Markoe, Jr., and Jeremiah Wilbur, who helped Matthews purchase his children's freedom.

The Masters-Taylor-Wilbur papers (618 items) consist of 570 letters, 9 legal documents, and 39 financial records (1796-1850). The vast majority of the letters are family correspondence written by Thomas Masters and two of his daughters, Martha [Mrs. Henry W. Taylor] and Sarah [Mrs. Jeremiah Wilbur], between 1824 and 1850. The collection also includes letters written by his wife Isabella, his daughter Anna, his sons Samuel and Francis, and his sons-in-law, Jeremiah Wilbur and Henry W. Taylor. Many of the letters are between family members living in New York City, where Thomas Masters ran his mercantile business and Canandaigua, New York; Marshall, Michigan; Philadelphia; and Mt. Morris, New York. Several are joint letters with notes from two or more family members. The letters are rich in details of family life: illnesses, disease, and cures are much discussed, as are family weddings, and travel. Though dominated by family news, the family occasionally discussed politics, religion, temperance, and other religious-inspired social reform issues.

Of note:
  • July 19, 1832: G.H. Green to Martha C. Masters claiming a link between the consumption of alcohol and the occurrence of cholera
  • October 15, 1833: Jeremiah Wilbur describing an anti-slavery speech
  • December 19, 1835: Henry Masters to Martha Taylor recounting in detail a fire that swept through parts of New York City and destroyed Taylor's firm of Masters & Markoe at 51 South St.
  • March 20-April 3, 1838: A long communal letter to Martha Taylor and Samuel Masters from family in New York City, in the form of a newspaper entitled "The Burning and Shining Light and Free Discussionest"
  • August 1840: passing reference to hearing Daniel Webster speak
  • Three letters from Lydia H. Sigourney to Martha Caldwell Taylor (July 26, 1841; February 18, 1846; February 13, 1849)
  • February 15, 1842: Martha Taylor to Sarah Wilbur describing the temperance movement in Marshall, Michigan
  • June 2, 1842: Sarah Wilbur to Martha Taylor discussing a wedding feast and spousal abuse
  • December 11, 1842: Thomas Masters to Martha Taylor, providing a detailed account of the first New York Philharmonic Concert, which opened with a well-received piece by Beethoven
  • March 3, 1844: Thomas Masters to Martha Taylor giving a second hand account of the explosion on board the U.S.S. Princeton, which killed the Secretary of State and the Secretary of the Navy

The earliest letters in the collection pertain to the Wilbur family from 1811 to 1818 (32 letters). These consist of letters from Backus Wilbur in Princeton and Newark, New Jersey, to his brother Marcus Wilbur in New York City, describing Backus’ schooling, religious training, and life at school. Included in one letter is an account of a food fight that escalated to a near riot (February 6, 1812).

Of special interest are 12 letters and two enclosures documenting the attempt of Francis Markoe, Jr., and Jeremiah Wilbur to help former slave Matthew Matthews of Washington, D.C., purchase his six children (January-September 1835). Markoe and Wilbur outlined strategies regarding the best use of the available money to maximize the purchase of the highest number of children in the shortest possible time. Also included are two letters to Matthews, one from Mrs. Mary F. Spence, informing him that she may be forced to sell his children at public auction, and the other from Luke Johnson of Dumfries, Virginia, a black slave who loaned him money toward the purchase of one of the children. Enclosed with the letters are copies of bills of sale for two of the children.

In addition to the family papers are 135 business letters, 35 receipts, four invoices, and nine legal documents that relate to the mercantile affairs of Thomas Masters, Francis Markoe, and their firms of Markoe & Masters, and Masters & Markoe in New York City and Philadelphia (1796-1847). These business papers give some insight into the New York and European financial markets and the economic climate of the time.