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Ann Arbor Resident's Story of Survival

Sun, 03/03/2013 - 10:54am by theshhlady

A current resident of Ann Arbor has a story to tell about her remarkable survival during a period of tremendous upheaval and bloodshed a lifetime ago and an ocean away. Miriam Garvil's autobiography I Have To Survive: Miriam Garvil's Story is the culmination of twenty years' worth of work. Ninety-two year old Garvil, who resides in an assisted living facility in Ann Arbor, began writing with the encouragement of social worker Ruth Campbell, who continued to assist Garvil's work even after retiring herself.

"I Have To Survive" reveals the author's past growing up in Poland before the outbreak of the Second World War, and recounts her memories of the concentration camps Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen. She lost her mother, father and sister in the camps, and recalls her promise to her father: "If you don't survive, I will survive for you".

You can find more information on Miriam Garvil and her story in this month's issue of the Ann Arbor Observer.

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Attention Genealogists! Your Ancestry Library Edition Has New Resources!

Thu, 02/28/2013 - 1:56pm by darla

While new content is added, and updated regularly, in your Ancestry Library Edition database, the following new resources are especially noteworthy for 2013:

1. Public Member Trees
Public Member Trees have become the bridge between individual researchers and original records/sources to tell the family story. Many clues about family history can be found in these trees, which include photos, personal stories, etc. Nearly 40 million trees have been contributed by more than two million members. Until now these trees were visible only to paying members of (These members have indicated that their tree(s) can be viewed by all Ancestry members). The trees can change over time as users edit, remove, or otherwise modify the data.

The Fine Print: The trees in the Library Edition are read-only. Library patrons cannot edit the existing trees or add new trees. Information about living people is not shown. Each Public Member Tree is owned by the individual who put it on does not verify that any tree or fact is correct, nor will they correct or edit a tree. Library patrons will not have the ability to contact the owner of the tree. Library patrons can submit anonymous comments about any tree.

2. U.S. City Directories
This new feature is a collection of directories for U.S. cities and counties in various years. The database currently contains directories for all states except Alaska. Coverage is 1821-1989. Original sources vary according to directory. The title of the specific directory being viewed is listed at the top of the image viewer page. Check the directory title page image for full title and publication information.The Gale City Directories Collection is included. Searching locally? The Ancestry Library Edition has Ann Arbor Directories from 1886 to 1960!
TIP: Use the Ancestry Card Catalog feature to go directly to U.S. City Directories.

Interested in more information? Join us for our upcoming Genealogy Online Research Class: Thursday March 14, 2013: 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch or check out our collection of Genealogy materials.

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Blog Post

Martha Rock Keller, Local Artist and Ambassador

Mon, 02/18/2013 - 3:14pm by oldnews

Martha Rock Keller (obituary), well-known local artist and educator died Wednesday, February 13, 2013. She was 86.

An alumnus and faculty at the University of Michigan and other local colleges, she is also a frequent contributor to the Ann Arbor News. She has served as a juror for the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair.

In 1985, her work was included among other American women artists in an exhibition at the United Nations Conference on Women in Nairobi (Kenya). In the summer of 1989, Martha Keller was selected to exhibit her paper fountains at Tubingen, one of the Ann Arbor Sister Cities, in the Ann Arbor-Tubingen Exchange Program to promote international understanding.

The Old News team had digitized many of the Ann Arbor News articles on and by Martha Rock Keller.

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AADL Talks to Kathy Kelley

Thu, 01/31/2013 - 3:45pm by amy

Kathy Kelly moved into the Hill Street houses when she was very young, but she recalls her life there as a member of the White Panther Party as a positive, life-changing personal experience and social experiment. Kathy talks about daily life in the commune with her friends and colleagues, some of the events she participated in, including the John Sinclair Freedom Rally, as well as her apprenticeship as a graphic artist under legendary rock poster artist, Gary Grimshaw. Kathy's experience with the White Panther Party and Rainbow People's Party led to a successful career in art direction for publishing with magazines such as Chicago, Outside, CREEM, and most especially in educational publishing with Weekly Reader Corporation and Scholastic.

Attachment Size
AADL_Talks_To-Kathy_Kelley.mp3 26.3 MB

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Inaugural Gowns - 1933

Mon, 01/21/2013 - 2:51pm by Debbie G.

On March 4, 1933, the Ann Arbor News ran photos of Eleanor Roosevelt and Anna Roosevelt in the gowns they would wear for the Inaugural Balls. The designer of the gowns was Sally Milgrim and the light blue gown you see in the News photo of Mrs. Roosevelt was considered one of Mrs. Milgrim's triumphs. Later tonight we'll get the first glimpses of Mrs. Obama's Inaugural Ball gown. Jason Wu designed the 2009 Inaugural gown which is now part of the First Ladies collection at the Smithsonian.

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Professor Shaun Jackson - Inventor and Mentor Dies at 63

Thu, 01/17/2013 - 11:14am by Debbie G.

As reported in the Michigan Daily, Prof. Shaun Jackson died Tuesday from burns suffered in a plane crash last weekend. We've digitized Ann Arbor News articles about Prof. Jackson, an award-winning designer and inventor who inspired generations of students at the University of Michigan School of Art and Design.

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Frank Lloyd Wright's Legacy in Ann Arbor

Wed, 01/09/2013 - 5:05pm by oldnews

Frank Lloyd Wright in Ann Arbor, a Then and Now article by local historian Grace Shackman detailed history of the house, and the continued efforts of the architectural community to restore and conserve Ann Arbor's beloved Frank Lloyd Wright home - one he built for Bill and Mary Palmer, just because they asked, known locally as the Palmer House.

Though he never built another home in Ann Arbor, his legacy is woven into the fabric of the community. Many of the local architects, among them Alden Dow and Lawrence R. Brink were students of FLW, while others like George R. Brigham, Jr. were known for designs inspired by FLW's philosophy.

This generation of architects in turn passed along the FLW influence to the next generation - well-known architects Robert Metcalf was in fact, a protege of George R. Brigham.

Read up on local architects and browse through AADL's Architecture Archive to discover more of Ann Arbor's architectural history.

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Powering Ann Arbor: The Huron River Dams

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:42am by Debbie G.

Ann Arbor may be known as "Tree Town" but it was the Huron River and it's potential for industry and commerce that brought settlers to the area. Grace Shackman's Then & Now article The Broadway Bridge Parks provides a succinct history of dam-building on the Huron beginning with Anson Brown's in 1830. Old News has assembled articles on the dams including the tragic tale of a 1913 accident at Barton Dam and the lone survivor.

Architect Gardner S. Williams designed nine dams along the Huron River including Barton in 1912, Argo in 1913 and Geddes in 1919. The dams were on-again, off-again sources of hydroelectric power for the city. Read Shackman's article on the old Municipal Beach at Argo Park, the precursor to the great recreational facilities now available at Argo Park.

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Blog Post

Ann Arbor Goes to the Movies

Wed, 12/19/2012 - 7:31pm by oldnews

In 1908, 5 cents would get you into a movie at The Casino. The Theatorium on Maynard, built on a former skating rink, showed one-reelers. The Majestic, a W.S. Butterfield theater, opened on December 19, 1907, quickly followed by the Whitney on Main Street the next January. The chain also operated the Michigan, the State, the Wuerth, and the Orpheum.

On Saturday afternoon September 11, 1915, 2000 Ann Arborites poured into the new Rae Theater (capacity 385) on Huron Street to see Pearl White in the Iron Claw. But the big hoopla occurred on Sunday September 12, when the first legal and public showing of a motion picture took place on a sabbath day in Ann Arbor history, and it took a special election to accomplish that.

The Old News team has digitized many of the news articles on the early history of Ann Arbor's movies theaters.

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Blog Post

Oh, to live on Sugar Mountain

Thu, 11/08/2012 - 1:00pm by amy

Forty-four years ago, on November 10, 1968, Neil Young (whose critically-acclaimed autobiography, Waging Heavy Peace: A Hippy Dream is currently a New York Times bestseller) recorded the song "Sugar Mountain" here in Ann Arbor at the now-legendary Canterbury House, then located at the end of this alley at 330 Maynard.

Recorded between the time of Young's membership with and , this ode to lost youth written four years earlier was acknowledged by fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell (who also played the Canterbury House) as the inspiration for her similarly-themed, The Circle Game. It's one of Young's earliest and more traditional folk songs, and the sincerity evident in this live recording is underscored by its remarkable intimacy.

Check out Sugar Mountain: Live at Canterbury House in our CD collection and some of our Oldnews articles about Ann Arbor's Canterbury House, at the time a coffee house music venue and center for outreach programs associated with St. Andrew's Episcopal Church. Local writer Alan Glenn wrote a great article about the Canterbury House in a recent issue of Michigan Today.