News and Reviews
Tue, 04/14/2015 - 4:13pm by amy
70 years ago, on April 14, 1945, Ann Arbor News photographer Eck Stanger took this photograph of a service parade in the U-M Law Quadrangle held in honor of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died two days earlier.
Thu, 04/09/2015 - 2:18pm by amy
60 years ago, the announcement of the success of the Salk polio vaccine took place right here in Ann Arbor. This momentous announcement followed one of the largest peacetime mobilization of volunteers in American history to undertake the 20th century's greatest public health experiment. Like many other community newspapers, the Ann Arbor News documented the determination of its citizens to fight polio, with feature stories on the afflicted and the swirl of local fundraising efforts to raise awareness, find a cure, and vaccinate area children. Local historian Grace Shackman has written a feature story on Polio in Ann Arbor for our Oldnews site, pulling together dozens of articles and photographs on the history of polio in our community and the announcement of the polio vaccine on April 12, 1955.
Join us on the 60th anniversary, Sunday, April 12, for a special discussion at the Downtown Library with Dr. David Oshinsky, Director of the Division of Medical Humanities, NYU School of Medicine, Professor of History, and author of the Pulitzer prize-winning Polio: An American Story.
Sat, 03/28/2015 - 10:51am by valerieclaires
The Ann Arbor Film Festival is here again, and with it comes another year of films, events, and community partnership. AADL will once again be an official AAFF community partner for Films in Competition 4, on Saturday March 28 at 11 am at the Michigan Theater, which features films especially for viewers and filmmakers age 6 and up.
You can check out the list of films playing and buy tickets on the Ann Arbor Film Fest’s website. Make sure to enter the code AAFF53_AADL for half off your advance ticket – normally $6!
When you come to the screening, you’ll even have a chance to hear the premieres of the film scores participants created in our Making Movie Music workshop, held in conjunction with the AAFF.
The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. The 53rd AAFF takes place March 24-29, 2015 and presents over 200 films from across the world with dozens of world premieres. For more information, please visit the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s website.
Sat, 02/14/2015 - 3:08pm by valerieclaires
The best way to celebrate and honor Black History Month is to delve into history. What better place to do that than the Library?
This February, AADL has several events and resources to help you mark Black History Month by honoring those who came before, their traditions, and our hopes for the future.
April Ryan, a 30-year journalism veteran, the White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, and the only black female reporter covering urban issues from the White House has just released a new book, The Presidency in Black and White: My Up-Close View of Three Presidents and Race in America, a behind-the-scenes look at the inner workings of race relations as it relates to the White House. She will be at the Downtown Library on Monday, February 16 at 7 pm to discuss the book, her career, the three presidents she’s covered, and her experiences.
The Sankofa Ensemble takes their name from a word that means “to retrieve the goodness from the past”. They will teach us about the traditions of Ghanaian and West African music and play authentic instruments from Ghana. Families will especially enjoy being able to get up and dance to the music, and learning more about traditional African dancing. The Sankofa Ensemble will perform on Saturday, February 21 at 2 pm in the Downtown Library’s Multi-Purpose Room.
The last very special Black History Month event features the relatives of a prominent Civil Rights figure: Rosa Parks. Sheila McCauley Keys is Rosa Parks’ niece, and she and her siblings grew up very closely with their aunt when she moved to Detroit. They have recently released a new book of memories of their aunt, Our Auntie Rosa: the Family of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons, and Sheila will visit the Downtown Library on Tuesday, February 24 at 7 pm. She will talk about her new book and her Auntie Rosa, and she will take questions from the audience.
Of course, libraries are fantastic resources for more than just events. Here at AADL, we have the African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County’s Living Oral History Videos. These are recorded interviews with local African-Americans discussing what they witnessed and experienced and their perspectives relating to race, gender, education, equality, faith, housing, employment, community building activities, and social infrastructure in our area. These amazing videos show what a historical resource our own people are, and make learning about history as easy as a conversation with your grandparents.
Newspapers are also great historical resources. AADL has digitized copies of local abolitionist newspaper Signal of Liberty which was started in April 1841 and published almost every week from an office on Broadway Street in Ann Arbor. Issues featured local and national news, anti-slavery poems, interviews with emancipated slaves, minutes from anti-slavery meetings, and stories by abolitionists about helping people escape from slavery. Reading these articles helps us to understand issues surrounding slavery, why people opposed this dark part of our past, and how ordinary people participated in the fight for freedom.
Whatever part of history you are interested in, your library is a resource for research, learning, and commemorating.
Mon, 02/09/2015 - 12:36pm by oldnews
Dating back to the Underground Railroad, Ann Arbor boasts a rich and vibrant history for African-Americans. A wonderful piece about this time in Ann Arbor’s history is written by Grace Shackman and can be found here.
There are many African-Americans that created their own piece of history in Ann Arbor. For instance, you can read about Ann Arbor’s first African-American mayor, Albert H. Wheeler, first African-American teacher and later principal at Northside Elementary, Harry Mial and his wife, Joetta Mial, Huron High School's first female African-American principal.
O.Herbert Ellis, who passed away last year is notable for being the first African-American to serve on and to chair the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. You can read more history and the individuals that created it here.
Fri, 01/23/2015 - 1:32pm by valerieclaires
This week, the AADL was featured in the Ann Arbor Public Schools News when students from Clague Middle School performed in the Multi-Purpose Room as part of our AADL Songsters program.
With their teacher Jeff Gaynor and local musician Nan Nelson, students learned to dance the Troika and perform two songs as part of a World Cultures and geography unit on Russia. Круто! Клево!
Thu, 01/15/2015 - 10:30am by amy
In the days following the assassination, Ann Arbor held a memorial at Hill Auditorium and Ann Arbor News photographers snapped dozens of photos of townies and students participating in marches and peaceful demonstrations. Here they are, for the first time, from the Oldnews archive.
Mon, 11/24/2014 - 1:14pm by eli
Due to power outages Malletts Creek and Pittsfield Branches are closed for the remainder of Monday, and will reopen at 9 AM Tuesday. Drop Boxes are still usable and today's items on the hold shelf will still be available all day Tuesday. Thanks for your patience!
Fri, 11/21/2014 - 2:34pm by aadl staff
Did you know the first movie theatre in Ann Arbor was built on Main Street?
Have you ever wondered how Ann Arbor got its name? Did you know the University of Michigan began its tradition in Detroit? Are you curious about Ann Arbor's activism roots? Or maybe you want to know about the history behind the arts, music, and culture in your city.
You can find out all of these facts and more on AADL's Ford Gallery of Ann Arbor Founders.
Fri, 10/31/2014 - 10:51am by amy
Don’t look now, Ann Arbor, but just in time for Halloween, we’ve unearthed a few frightening photos from our Oldnews vault.
In 1945, a pirate, some clowns and...a singing cornstalk(?) took over the former WPAG radio station at Main and Liberty, and in 1952 Ann Arbor Civic Theatre conjured up this disturbing scene during its production of The Spider.
We've also exhumed ample evidence that witches, goblins and other monster mites haunted the Burns Park neighborhood in 1951 and 1952. Similar creatures appear in a 1957 JCC Halloween Parade. And in 1964, this vampire stalked Art Fair booths.
So click if you dare, Ann Arbor. You can browse all things Halloween or search the past at Oldnews - your gateway to Ann Arbor's hair-raising history.
Tue, 10/28/2014 - 2:41pm by amy
In honor of Dr. Jonas Salk's 100th birthday, we've just posted a few photographs and articles from our archives celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Jonas Salk, the American medical researcher and virologist who spent time at the University of Michigan doing critical research on the influenza virus before inventing the first successful polio vaccine.
On April 12, 1955, the vaccine was declared to be safe and effective and within weeks was being shipped around the world.
Thu, 10/09/2014 - 8:30am by Debbie G.
Long, long ago in a galaxy known as the '60s, Ann Arbor's first head shop, Middle Earth , opened in a 2nd floor walkup on Liberty Street and then moved to its iconic location on South U.
Owner Cynthia Shevel sat down with Old News last year to talk about the history of Middle Earth, how it changed over the years and the challenges independent shops face in Tree Town.
Cynthia announced the closing of Middle Earth yesterday saying that with the closing of the Selo/Shevel Gallery a few months back, she and longtime partner Elaine Selo will begin a new phase of their lives.
Mon, 10/06/2014 - 3:57pm by amy
The owners of one of Ann Arbor's signature stores, Falling Water Books & Collectibles, just announced they will be closing after 26 years. Here's a 1988 article and photograph (left) from the store's grand opening in July of that year. Falling Water was first located at 318 S. Ashley St., and later moved to Main St.
Mon, 09/29/2014 - 7:54am by Debbie G.
On a cold and windy October 9, 1964, a small group of speakers and community members gathered in front of the new senior citizen apartment high-rise, Lurie Terrace, to celebrate its completion. No one was more instrumental in bringing Lurie Terrace to completion than Shata Ling. Mrs. Ling founded the Ann Arbor Senior Citizens Guild in 1956 and worked tirelessly on behalf of seniors throughout her active career in Ann Arbor. Lurie Terrace was named in honor of Mrs. Ling's mother, Ann Przzan Lurie.
Lurie was one of the first affordable senior housing projects proposed in the U.S. In 1961 a site on W. Huron was selected and demolition of four homes began. Bricks from the Lorin Mills House were used to construct the patio at Lurie. Designed by local architect James H. Livingston the building featured twin Pentagon towers. The first resident to sign a lease at Lurie Terrace came from a family with a long history in Ann Arbor, Pearl McOmber.
Lurie was not without controversy and in February, 1982, three years after a woman was denied admission because she was handicapped, the Michigan Court of Appeals struck down Lurie's residency requirements that prohibited handicapped persons. Over the years, Lurie developed programs and social events that aimed at expanding horizons of all seniors in their community of apartments. Happy Birthday Lurie Terrace!
Thu, 09/25/2014 - 11:36am by aadl staff
Wednesday, September 24, AADL hosted two very prestigious visitors from Ghana. Nana Afia Adoma II, Queen of Antoa-Krobo in the Asnate Kingdom and Nana Kwadwo Nyantakyi III, Chief of the Treasury in the Asante Kingdom were at the Downtown Library discussing African culture.
They spoke, through a translator, about their customs and traditions, such as how their royal garments are made, sharing that garment patterns hold special meaning. It can take weeks to weave the cloth.
They also explained that drumming is an integral part of the culture and that drumming is used as a form of communication.
The Royal couple will be back to the Downtown AADL on Wednesday, October 8 at 7 pm to discuss Royal instruments and West African Music.
The event was cosponsored by the U-M Center for World Performance Studies and the U-M Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments.
Tue, 09/16/2014 - 3:50pm by aadl staff
The Downtown Meeting Room was packed for Tom Hayden's lecture Monday evening, September 15.
Hayden, a former student at U-M was in Ann Arbor because U-M has recently purchased papers, photos and documents which detail his life as an activist. He stated that "history repeats itself if all parties aren't involved, even dissenters," in creating the future. He will be visiting the area once a year for 4-5 years to decipher his hand-written notes accurately because they include so many primary sources.
MLive reporter Janet Miller wrote a detailed story on his lecture you can find here.
Tue, 09/09/2014 - 2:19pm by TimG
Fast Company, the award-winning national business magazine focusing on technology, business, and design, just released an online article about public libraries, highlighting AADL and its unique collections.
In the publication's Elasticity section, highlighting innovative businesses using the cloud and big data to stay in sync, the article Taking A Long-Overdue Sledgehammer To The Public Library describes how libraries are "lending tools you can't 3-D print -- awls, hammers hacksaws, mood synthesizers and human skeletons -- to keep pace with the times."
Deputy Director Eli Neiburger describes AADL's Unusual Stuff to Borrow collection and how "Ann Arbor launched its collection of objects three years ago with 30 telescopes. Soon, the waiting list grew to more than 100 people. Encouraged by the telescopes' success, the library added tools, giant-sized games, musical instruments" and more.
"Libraries have always been a place to access rare, hard-to-find objects." Eli states. "Commercial books aren't rare, hard-to-find objects anymore, so library collections are being used in different ways."
Wed, 08/27/2014 - 9:15pm by Debbie G.
No not that date.
Ann Arbor News sportswriter John Heuser wrote: “It may be the biggest upset in college football history, a Division I-AA team from the foothills of North Carolina wrecked Michigan’s season opener and made national headlines, shocking the Wolverines in Michigan Stadium.” Until then, no Division I-AA team had defeated a ranked Division I-A opponent since the inception of I-AA in 1978.
Fans and football prognosticator alike were wondering, “What just happened.” Great things were expected the Maize and Blue, who entered the season ranked No. 5 in preseason polls. The game with Appalachian State was a charity match, to give the little guys some national exposure and give the home team an easy victory. UM star running back Mike Hart was stunned, “When you lose to a team like a Division I-AA team, how can you go for national championship in Division I.”
The News headline said it all, “One and done.”
Fans were livid, angry at coach Lloyd Carr. One fan, Cam Swift of Grand Rapids said, “They obviously didn’t prepare the kids for the game. I think it’s time for Lloyd to go. We’ve had too many disappointments under him.” One fan quipped. “Lloyd Carr is an inspiration to me and many other Ohio State fans.” Jim Carty also opined in his column that Carr was losing his touch as a coach. Despite the final score, Mike Hart had an excellent game. After missing most of the second quarter with a bruised hip, he returned to run for 131 second-half yards and two touchdowns. He put his team ahead with a 54-yard run with 4:36 to play and finished with 188 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries.
In Boone, N.C., Appalachian State students were dancing the streets. They grabbed a goalpost and dragged it down Main Street. One senior said, “This is my humble opinion: This is the biggest thing to happen in Boone.
News football writer John Heuser gave the team a failing report card with Fs in defense, coaching and overall. The next week, the LOSS was still the news when the Wolverines were about to face the Oregon Ducks and Ducks fans were quacking about their improved hopes for a victory. And what a victory it was. The Ducks added insult to injury by beating the Wolverines, 39-7.
This Saturday, UM plays the Mountaineers in another home opener. This time they hope it won’t be, in the immortal words of Yogi Berra, “déjà vu all over again.”
Fri, 08/08/2014 - 12:08pm by oldnews
The Monuments Men, the movie with George Clooney and Matt Damon, was based on the book The Monuments Men : Allied heroes, Nazi thieves, and the greatest treasure hunt in history by Robert M. Edsel.
The real Monuments Men were a group of men and women from thirteen nations, most of them volunteers, who were museum directors, curators, art scholars and educators, artists, architects, and archivists. These mostly middle-aged family men, walked away from successful careers into the epicenter of the war, risking—and some losing—their lives. They raced against time in order to save the world’s greatest cultural treasures from destruction at the hands of Nazi regime.
Professor Hammett taught in the architecture department at U of M starting in 1931, with a hiatus to join the army in 1943, and retired from the University in 1965. His work as one of the Monuments Men and a noted architect will be forever remembered in Ann Arbor having designed some homes as well as buildings such as an addition to the Ann Arbor (then Women's) City Club on Washtenaw, the St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church parish hall and chapel, the Lloyd Douglas Memorial Chapel, and the Lutheran Student Center. He also designed the Abraham Lincoln Memorial in Springfield, Illinois. He was named “Architect of the Year” in 1957 by the Michigan Society of Architects. Hammett died in 1984. You can read Old News articles about him here. There is also an extensive website created by his grandson here.
Tue, 08/05/2014 - 2:19pm by amy
On your way to the voting booth today, consider what passed for cutting-edge voter technology in Tree Town back in March 1942.
Oldnews has over 200 articles and photos of past Elections in Ann Arbor and 160 that reference past Ann Arbor Mayors, including this one of former Mayor Cecil O. Creal taking the oath of office - with his left hand - 55 years ago.
Wed, 07/16/2014 - 2:23pm by annevm
As the Ann Arbor Art Fairs open today, you can learn a lot from AADL. Take a look at 50 Years of Originality: A History of the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, a digital collection which includes over 100 images, plus audio recollections and videos. And if you’re interested in viewing past fair posters from our Art Print Collection, click here.
Mon, 04/28/2014 - 1:19pm by amy
AADL is pleased to partner with the University of Michigan Stephen S. Clark Library to explore community life in Ann Arbor during World War Two. "A Community for Victory - Ann Arbor in World War Two", which will be on display May 1-August 1 on the 2nd floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library, makes use of AADL’s local historical archives, the Clark Library's map collection, and special materials from the the American Culinary History Collection.
Among the documents on display from AADL’s collection are Ann Arbor News articles and photographs highlighting homefront activities during World War II, including the promotion of victory gardens, scrap drives, and bond drives. Nearly 800 additional articles and photographs from the World War II era are available via AADL’s Oldnews site.
An opening reception will take place at the Stephen S. Clark Library, 913 S. University Ave., on Thursday, May 1st, 4- 6pm, with coffee and light refreshments provided. Public welcome!
Mon, 04/21/2014 - 11:37am by amy
Open to all researchers, this unique research tool is available for searching by composer or composition, conductor or performer, and provides access to repertoire, programs, and other material detailing the unique legacy of UMS and the history of touring in the performance arts in America.
Mon, 03/31/2014 - 2:35pm by muskrat
For those with a history interest, the databases are especially rich.
Start at the History and Biography Page and go from there. You'll find local history aadl.org-hosted sites like Ann Arbor Observer: Then & Now, Freeing John Sinclair, and Old News. An exploration of Other Sites reveals a yield so diverse, you can find, within minutes, the legend of the Birth of Hatshepsut, National Security discussions between Henry Kissinger and President Gerald Ford, a transcript of the 1783 Treaty of Paris ending the Revolutionary War, and the actual scanned pages of the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from May 24, 1883 touting the Opening of the Brooklyn Bridge (click on "View" and then "View Item in PDF" to get the full article) along with the May 31, 1883 edition recording the subsequent, deadly Panic on the Bridge and much more.
The Newspaper section allows you to browse historical editions of the Ann Arbor News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal and others. If you know what you're looking for, you can easily track down such unusual items as the Washington Post's 1933 Obituary of Mrs. George A. Custer.
Let your love of history go wild and see what you can find.
Sat, 03/22/2014 - 12:55pm by muskrat
Malletts Creek Branch is 10 years old this year! Come help us celebrate all day on Saturday, March 22.
Join us from 10 - 11 AM for a Happy Birthday Celebration Craft for age 3 and up.
Then, from 3 - 5:30 PM, the Paul Keller at Sundown Quartet performs at an afternoon reception that will also include remarks at 4:15 pm by AADL Board President Prue Rosenthal and guests.
Refreshments will be served during the concert and souvenir giveaways will be available all day long. The Branch will be open from 9 am - 6 pm.
Opened in 2004, the Branch was designed by Luckenbach|Ziegelman Architects PLLC, with InSite Design Studio serving as the landscape architects and Skanska USA Building, Inc. as construction manager. Malletts Creek Branch is a unique model of sustainable design and in 2005 was awarded the American Institute of Architects Michigan (AIA Michigan) Award for Sustainable Design.
Celebrate with us on Saturday, March 22!
Sat, 03/22/2014 - 11:09am by muskrat
The 52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival is only days away and the Ann Arbor District Library is participating as a Community Partner for "Film Competition 5" featuring filmmakers ages 6 and up.
The screening takes place Saturday, March 29 at 11am at the Michigan Theater. Take a look at the list of films and if you enter this code - AAFF52_AADL - when buying online tickets, you will get 10% off the advance ticket price ($5 standard)!
The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. The 52nd AAFF takes place March 25 - 30, 2014 and presents over 200 films, videos and performances from more than 20 countries with dozens of U.S., North American and world premieres.
Thu, 03/20/2014 - 2:10pm by muskrat
A lot has happened at the library in the last ten years!
In honor of the 10th anniversary of Malletts Creek Branch, AADL has assembled a short film of highlights. From new branch openings to website advances to collection additions to awards received to memorable programs and appearances, 10 Years Since Malletts Creek will give you a taste of what's gone before and the kinds of things to expect in the future.
And don't forget the all-day celebration at Malletts Creek on Saturday, March 22!
Thu, 02/20/2014 - 12:05pm by amy
Just in time for Ann Arbor’s 190th anniversary, AADL is pleased to release - for the first time! - I Remember When, a seven-part video series made during the city's sesquicentennial celebrations in 1974 "to tell the story of the important events that have happened in Ann Arbor's 150-year-old history."
In the first show, host Ted Trost says, "...the entire series will be recorded on videotape so that future generations of Ann Arborites may see and hear what it was like, way back when in 1974 - the year Ann Arbor celebrated her sesquicentennial.” And today, 40 years later, all seven episodes are available at aadl.org/irw for streaming and downloading!
Following an overview in the first show, each episode focuses on a specific topic - from city politics, the business community and religion, to entertainment, music and theater, and Ann Arbor’s Greek and German communities - and features interviews with several prominent citizens from that era. Together these films provide a snapshot of our city at a unique time and place in its history.
I Remember When was sponsored by the (at that time) Ann Arbor Public Library, in conjunction with the Ann Arbor Sesquicentennial Commission, and produced by students in the University of Michigan’s Speech Department.
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 1:06pm by muskrat
If the only AADL blogs you read are those on the home page, you may be missing out on items you'd enjoy. The blogs page offers categories to better pinpoint your particular interest whether it be AADL-GT for gaming, Axis for teens and tweens, books, magazines, audio, or video.
You can subscribe to all of these pages through an RSS Feed found at the bottom left of each page so you need never miss out on the items you'd enjoy again.
Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:16am by oldnews
Valentine greeting cards have been around since the second half of the 19th century, and popular with local collectors, and the topic of museum exhibitions. One of the most endearing collection is that of Ellen Gould, with some items dated back to 1917, from her former students.
For the serious-minded, academics and researchers were consulted on the subject of romance.