U-M Bicentennial Celebrations
December 20, 2016

The University of Michigan celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2017. The University Library marks this milestone with exhibits, lectures, publications, and more. This list features signature library activities as well as cross-campus collaborations in which the library is a key partner.

All library events are free and open to the public.
Check back often for new events and additional information.

Online Exhibits and Digital Collections
Social Media

Units across campus will be looking back at U-M’s past contributions and challenges and looking ahead to its next century and the state of public higher education in the United States. View a listing of bicentennial events taking place across campus.



Striving to Stimulate Serious Thought: Jewish Scholarly and Cultural Life at Michigan Across Two Centuries
Through February 22, 2017
Special Collections, 7th Floor Hatcher Graduate Library

This exhibit chronicled Jewish life and Judaic studies at the University of Michigan from the 19th century to the first Hebrew language and Hebrew Bible courses in 1890 to the founding of the Frankel Center for Judaic Studies in 1988 to the present day.


The Leaders and the Rest: Boundaries and Belonging at the University of Michigan
January 4 - February 25
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

The Leaders and the Rest showcased key moments of student expression, politics, and culture from the first decades of the university’s existence in Ann Arbor, through the upheavals of world wars, and to the social and cultural turmoil of the late-twentieth century.


Poets at Michigan
March 3 - April 30
North Lobby, Hatcher Graduate Library

This exhibit explored the poets who have been both shaped by Ann Arbor’s literary culture and active in shaping that culture, beginning with Robert Frost and ending with poets who still walk and write among us.


The Student Experience: Flappers, Mappers, and the Fight for Equality on Campus
January 19 - July 14
Clark Library, 2nd Floor Hatcher Graduate Library

In honor of the University of Michigan’s bicentennial, the Clark Library highlighted the student experience in this exhibit. Join flappers as they stroll through 1926 Ann Arbor with a beautiful pictorial map and experience the busy student life of the 1920s, celebrate two University of Michigan alumna who have greatly influenced the field of cartography, and come explore the rise of diversity and the fight for equality on campus through protest posters from the Joseph A. Labadie Collection of the U-M Library’s Special Collections.


The Wonder of Learning—The Hundred Languages of Children
June 15 - August 27, 2017
Duderstadt Center Gallery and Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design

The Wonder of Learning is an international exhibit—based on the work of the children and teachers of Reggio Emilia, Italy—focused on the importance of early learning and its impact on lifelong curiosity, discovery and innovation.


Storied Acquisitions: Highlights from the University of Michigan Library Collections
May 8 - August 30
Audubon Room, Hatcher Graduate Library

Many library items have an interesting and/or important story about how and why that particular item made its way to the university and into U-M Library collections. View an eclectic array of acquisitions and read their stories in this exhibit!


Creating a Campus: A Cartographic Celebration of U-M's Bicentennial
July 21 - December 20
Clark Library, 2nd Floor Hatcher Graduate Library

Learn about the campus’ history and architecture and explore the campus that might have been through maps, plans, architectural drawings, proposals, and photographs of the campus throughout its evolution.


Forever Unfinished: Making and Remaking a Public University
September 5 - October 27
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

Imagine U-M's future as a public university based on what we know about its past. What makes a university public? What should it look like? Whom should it serve? Who should have access to its resources, and where should those resources come from?


Online Exhibits and Digital Collections

The Michigan Daily Digital Archives, 1890-2014
The U-M Library, Bentley Historical Library, and The Michigan Daily — the student newspaper at the University of Michigan — have collaborated to bring you 125 years of Michigan history with the complete Michigan Daily archive made available online in a searchable collection.


University of Michigan Alumnae Council Survey Responses, 1924
In 1924, the Alumnae Council of the U-M Alumni Association mailed a survey to more than 10,000 women who were attending or had attended the University, going back to when women were first admitted in 1870. The 3,047 returned surveys included information such as past and present occupations, public offices and leadership positions held, outstanding achievements, and more. Reponses to open-ended questions were often deeply personal and reflective of their experiences as women at U-M in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centures.


James B. Angell Papers
James Burrill Angell was the third (and longest serving) President of the University of Michigan, holding the office from 1871-1909. Under his leadership, Michigan was recognized as one of the premier public universities in the United States and would come to exert significant influence on other institutions of higher education. Over the course of his presidency, the University of Michigan faculty increased from 35 to 400, the student body expanded fivefold to more than 5,000, and the school's budget increased nearly ten times to more than $1,000,000.


Charles I. Walker Collection
Charles Irish Walker was an amateur historian, practicing attorney, and a professor of law at the University of Michigan (1859-1887). This collection contains materials relating to the founding of the University, including the original draft of the act to establish the "Catholepistemiad."


The University of Michigan, An Encyclopedic Survey (1817-1975)
This Encyclopedic Survey is a rich and particularly detailed source for the history of the university from its origins in Detroit in 1817, through the first century of its operation in Ann Arbor, with updates extending the history through 1975. It includes more than 400 individual histories about the administration, schools and colleges, departments, programs, units, organizations, and physical facilities that comprise the university.


University of Michigan: An Encyclopedic Survey (Bicentennial Edition)
The Encyclopedic Survey is being updated for the bicentennial. The histories of the academic departments form the Survey’s nucleus; they comprise an essential source of institutional memory and a guide to research for U-M faculty, other scholars, students, alumni and other friends of the various departments. If your department isn't listed yet, keep in mind that this is a work in progress!


UpstART 200
This yearlong creative production project allows students to actively engage in meaningful connections to U-M’s 200-year history via “making.” From an archive of historic or culturally significant works of art, design or architecture created from 1817-2017, held by, or otherwise connected to U-M, students and alumni can choose items as inspiration to create 200+ new works of all kinds – creative writing, spoken word, essays, visual arts, music, choreography, design, and technology – as well as celebrate contemporary student art making on campus.


MGoView Bicentennial App
The U-M School of Information crafted MGoView, a mobile application for iOS and Android that provides an interactive look back through time at the university's rich history through it's buildings, its landmarks and its people—exploring 30 sites and 50+ hand-crafted digital and historical artifacts drawn from two centuries of material in the university’s archives. Both the Hatcher Library and the Shapiro Library are included. Download the app from Google Play or Download the app from iTunes.


Storied Acquisitions: Highlights from the University of Michigan Library Collections
Many library items have an interesting and/or important story about how and why that particular item made its way to the university and into U-M Library collections. View an eclectic array of acquisitions and read their stories.


The Library is the Heart of the University: A Bicentennial Exhibit
Images of the University of Michigan libraries from the last 200 years have been collected and described in this online exhibit, which will be on display in the Shapiro Lobby during homecoming weekend, October 26-29.



Color Me Michigan
A University of Michigan Coloring Book
If you ever thought that the University of Michigan was only Maize and Blue, think again. The only limit to the palette in this new adult coloring book is your imagination...and whatever pens or pencils you have on hand. Celebrate well-known Ann Arbor and U-M landmarks and unearth hidden treasures in the pages of Color Me Michigan, while celebrating the University’s 200-year history. Get a glimpse here, where U-M Arts & Culture shares "Color Me Michigan" coloring contest winners.


Always Leading, Forever Valiant
Stories of the University of Michigan, 1817–2017
Always Leading, Forever Valiant gives a fascinating look at the history of the University of Michigan on its 200th birthday. The engaging, well-illustrated stories in this book celebrate the progressive vision, dedicated individuals, and groundbreaking moments that helped forge the life-changing institution that the University is today.


The University of Michigan Museums, Libraries, and Collections 1817–2017
Object Lessons and the Formation of Knowledge explores the museums, libraries, and special collections of the University of Michigan, 1817-2017. The book is beautifully illustrated with color photographs of U-M's world-renowned collections, which include a wide variety of objects: biological and geological specimens; ethnographic and archaeological artifacts; photographs and artistic works; encyclopedia, textbooks, rare books, and documents; and more.
Medicine at Michigan
A History of the University of Michigan Medical School at the Bicentennial
A trailblazer in American medical education since 1850, the Medical School at the University of Michigan was the first program in the United States to own and operate its own hospital and the earliest major medical school to admit women. Medicine at Michigan explores how the School has dealt with changes in medical science, practice, and social climates since its inception and illuminates the complicated interactions between economic, social, and cultural trends and medical education at the University of Michigan and across the nation.
The University of Michigan Papyrus Collection
Extensively illustrated with some of the papyrus collection’s more spectacular pieces, this volume describes what the collection is, what kinds of ancient texts it contains, and how it has developed from when it was founded in the early part of the 20th century to the present as the widest and deepest resource of its kind in the Western hemisphere. It also describes in detail how people who study papyri carry out their work, and how papyri contribute to our understanding of various aspects of the ancient Greco-Roman world.



Exhibit Opening for The Student Experience
January 19, 4-7pm
Third Thursday in the Clark Library, Open House

This was the official opening for the exhibits The Student Experience: Flappers, Mappers, and the Fight for Equality on Campus and "Women in War: Wartime Posters of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (1950s-1970s)."


But Not the Loud Offensive Type
February 2, 4-6pm
Lecture & Exhibit Reception

Karla Goldman, Sol Drachler professor of Social Work and professor of Judaic Studies at U-M, spoke about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at the University of Michigan during the Era of Jewish Admissions Quotas, 1925-1939. Kosher reception to follow.


Faculty Author Recognition
February 22, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

This event honored faculty who wrote books that were published in 2016. Remarks were by bestselling author and commentator John U. Bacon.


Soundings: A Cartographic Celebration of Marie Tharp
March 16, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Reading/Lecture/Open House

Hali Felt, author of “Soundings: the Story of the Remarkable Woman Who Mapped the Ocean Floor," reads from and discusses the book at 4:00 p.m. Hear about the fascinating life of Michigan alumna and Ypsilanti native, Marie Tharp, whose work led to the acceptance of the theories of plate tectonics and continental drift. After the presentation, explore samples of Tharp’s work and the exhibit The Student Experience: Flappers, Mappers, and the Fight for Equality on Campus, which features Marie Tharp.


"Color Me Relaxed" Coloring Book Event
April 19, 12:00-5:00 p.m.
Bert's Lounge (Lobby), 1st Floor Shapiro Undergraduate Library

Drop by for some fun and relaxation as we invite you to color your cares away! We'll have colored pencils, markers, and crayons on hand to color pages from the adult coloring book, Color Me Michigan: A University of Michigan Coloring Book.


Preserving History: Pass it on to the next two centuries
April 27, 4:00-7:00 p.m.
Information Clinic
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

Preservation and conservation experts from U-M Library give one-on-one consultations about caring for your U-M memorabilia and more at this drop-in clinic.


Book Launch: Object Lessons
September 26, 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Gallery, Hatcher Graduate Library

The book "Object Lessons and the Formation of Knowledge: The University of Michigan Museums, Libraries, and Collections 1817–2017" presents a full color journey through the treasures of the University’s collections. Join us for a panel discussion with a focus on items from library collections. Panelists include Martha Conway, director of the Special Collections Library; Kevin Graffagnino, director of the Clements Library; and Terry McDonald, director of the Bentley Historical Library.


LibrarySpace 2020
Fall, 2017
Envisioning the library's presence into the future.


Social Media

University of Michigan Library Facebook and Twitter

Follow the University of Michigan Library on Facebook or @UMichLibrary on Twitter for #TBT photos! We send them out on Tuesdays and Thursdays.


Blog Posts

Library bloggers are authoring bicentennial posts throughout the year. We'll list posts here as they are published, plus you can browse all of the library blogs.

Books for the Bicentennial: Women at the University of Michigan lists books -- available from the Shapiro Undergraduate Library -- about women's experiences at U-M.

Tweeting 200 years of University of Michigan images introduces the library's U-M Bicentennial Bot that tweets images from the past 200 years of the university's history.

Rare Books and the Bicentennial: Part I partly answers the question: where do our rare book collections come from? Read about an 1862 acquisition from a grateful alum.

Student Story: U-M, Jewish Students, and Belonging acknowledges that, in many ways, U-M really was the 1925-1939 “Harvard of the West” for Jewish students. Yet Jewish students were still stereotyped and discriminated against.

Michigan Football History gives a sampling of history books about Michigan football — the Big House, Bo Schembechler, and our famous rivalries — that you can locate by searching Mirlyn.

The Growth of the Computer & Video Game Archive: An 8 Year History offers memories and press articles that chronicle the growth of the archive.

Sounded to bits: Digital preservation of U-M Library’s audio collections shares what the library is doing to preserve decaying media.

Two Snapshots of Engineering and Student Activism at U-M profiles 1970 and 2017 student protests, and notes that library materials can closely connect today's student movements to those of the past.

Michigan Daily - From Newspaper Prints to Digital Archives explains how the Library IT team developed a robust discovery interface to provide searchable access to 125 years of The Michigan Daily student newspaper.

Establishing the University Library's Collection: Asa Gray's Purchase gives the book-collecting history of Asa Gray, the professor commissioned to purchase books for the new University of Michigan — books that became the nucleus of the University Library's collection.

Rare Books and the Bicentennial: Part II | Audubon’s Birds of America tells the story of the first "official" purchase for the University of Michigan Library in 1838.

New Exhibit: Storied Acquisitions introduces an exhibit that answers the question, "How did we get this?"

Call for Submissions: UpstART 200 asks students and alumni to create a work that responds to or reflects on a creative item from U-M collections.

Following the peregrinations of Isl. Ms. 350 | Part 1: From Delhi to Istanbul tracks the first part of the journey of a volume of Persian poetry (Ganj al-maʻānī, or Treasure trove of Sublimities, 1744) to the University of Michigan.

Following the peregrinations of Isl. Ms. 350: Part 2, From Istanbul to Ann Arbor explores how the manuscript (Ganj al-maʻānī, or Treasure trove of Sublimities, 1744) continued its journey to Ann Arbor by way of Italian and Egyptian book dealers.