Office of the Provost

Cultural Collections Council Member Organizations


Bentley Historical Library

History class researching at the Bentley.

History class researching
at the Bentley.

Serves as the repository for the Michigan Historical Collections (MHC), an extensive collection of archives and materials in all media relating to the history of the state of Michigan dating back to the territorial period, and the University Archives and Records Program (UARP), containing university records dating from 1817. The UARP is currently engaged in addressing the challenges of archiving material on campus that is born digital. In addition, the reference division services a very diverse set of users of the collections. The Bentley Library also administers the Detroit Observatory, built in 1854.

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Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum (observer status)

Gerald R. Ford, photo courtesy Gerald R. Ford Library

Photo courtesy
Gerald R. Ford Library

The Library (Ann Arbor) and Museum (Grand Rapids) is part of the system of presidential libraries run by the National Archives and Records Administration. The White House and National Security Council records of the Ford presidency, 1974-77, are the core holdings. The Library also holds the personal, Congressional, Vice Presidential and other papers of U-M alumnus Gerald Ford (BA, 1935) and many of his associates in government and politics.

These research collections are open to all, attracting scholars and others worldwide and providing superb opportunities to University of Michigan students. The north campus Library, in partnership with the Ford Presidential Foundation, also offers public programs, exhibits, research grants, and a rapidly-growing Ford Digital Presidential Library. The Museum in Grand Rapids has more extensive exhibits regarding President Ford’s life and career, and offers a wide array of feature exhibits, nationally known speakers, educational programs and public events.

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Kelsey Museum of Archaeology

Photo credit to Randal Stegmeyer

Photo credit
to Randal Stegmeyer

The Kelsey Museum houses a collection of nearly 100,000 objects from civilizations of the Mediterranean and the Near East; it sponsors research and educational programs, oversees fieldwork projects, and serves as the home for the Interdepartmental Program in Classical Art and Archaeology.

A new exhibit wing, which opened in fall 2009 enables interactive teaching and research programs that greatly enhance the quality of teaching at U-M and the sharing of the results of this work with the larger community in ways never before possible.

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Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

U-M students working on a class project at the Botanical Gardens.

U-M students working on a class project at the Botanical Gardens.

These include culturally significant collections such as the Peony Garden and the bonsai and penjing collection; diverse ecosystems representing many native flora; a conservatory with unusual and exotic plants from around the world; and over 700 acres of gardens, trails, wetlands, prairie, and woodlands. Matthaei-Nichols welcomes more than 200,000 visitors yearly. Both sites provide teaching and research support for University faculty and students and a wide range of community-oriented programs and events. Increasingly, the Botanical Gardens and Arboretum have become centers for hands-on learning in horticulture and environmental stewardship for the University and broader community.

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Museum of Anthropological Archaeology

Beer was important in ancient Peru, during life and in the afterlife.  This ceramic jar (which dates to ca. AD 1100) shows a man – as a possible bundle burial – holding the kind of cup used for drinking beer.  He was probably an elite individual, judging from his headdress, ear spools, and facial tattoos.

Beer was important in ancient Peru, during life and in the afterlife. This ceramic jar (which dates to ca. AD 1100) shows a man—as a possible bundle burial—holding the kind of cup used for drinking beer.

The collection includes more than three million archaeological, ethnographic, mineralogical, and plant and animal specimens along with associated documentation and more than 60,000 photographic images. Together these artifacts, specimens, and databases constitute an invaluable resource for scholarship dedicated to explaining and transforming our understanding of human evolution and long-term social change from the Paleolithic to the present.

The museum’s curators are archaeological anthropologists dedicated to communicating the knowledge garnered from excavations, surveys, and lab work conducted in many corners of the world to our University of Michigan undergraduate and graduate students who also work with us in the field, in the laboratory, and in the classroom, as well as to visiting scholars and the public.

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Museum of Art

Pablo Picasso, Two Girls Reading, 1934, Oil on canvas, Gift of The Carey Walker Foundation, 1994/1.67

Pablo Picasso, Two Girls Reading, 1934, Oil on canvas, Gift of The Carey Walker Foundation, 1994/1.67

One of the leading university art museums in the country, the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) is a meeting place for the arts, bridging visual art and contemporary culture, scholarship and accessibility, tradition and innovation. The museum’s renowned near-universal collections include 19,000 objects that span cultures, eras, and media.

UMMA presents an ambitious schedule of special exhibitions and diverse educational programs featuring the visual, performing, film, and literary arts that contextualize the gallery experience.

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Museum of Natural History

A young student investigates a model head of the dinosaur Allosaurus fragilis.

A young student investigates a model head of the dinosaur Allosaurus fragilis.

Promotes the understanding and appreciation of the natural world and our place in it through exhibits on prehistoric life, including Michigan’s largest display of dinosaur fossils, Michigan wildlife, geology, anthropology, and a planetarium with a new digital projection system. A favorite destination for families and K-12 field trips, the Museum also offers educational programs for the benefit of the university communy, highlighting the latest scientific research at U-M.

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University Library

An illustration from Isl. Ms. 199, an 18th century copy of a book of prayers and devotions for the Prophet Muhammad composed by al-Jazuli (d.1465)

From Isl. Ms. 199, an 18th century copy of a book of prayers and devotions for the Prophet Muhammad composed by al-Jazuli (d.1465)

One of the largest university library systems in the United States, the U-M Library holds more than 11 million volumes in locations all over campus. Our collection encompasses ancient documents written on papyrus, electronic journals reporting on the latest advances in science and medicine, and material from nearly every period, culture, and way of thought in between. We also offer technological and multimedia facilities, and the requisite expertise to support the instruction, research and service activities of the University and the community.

The Library is open to everyone. Our holdings are available for on-site use, and our digital collections—including the HathiTrust Digital Library, which holds more than 10 million volumes—can be searched by anyone with a connection to the Internet. We also host exhibits and events, all of them free and open to the public, to showcase our collection and to foster the thoughtful exchange of ideas.

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William L. Clements Library

Great Room, William L. Clements Library

Great Room,
William L. Clements Library

The Clements is a remarkable library of primary sources on North American history from 1492 to 1900. The holdings of 80,000 printed books and pamphlets, 2,500 manuscript collections, 40,000 maps, and more than 100,000 prints and photographs are rich in rare materials on America’s early heritage. A unique resource for U-M faculty and students, the Clements also attracts scholars from around the world for research here. In the nine decades since the Library’s opening, more than 500 noteworthy scholarly books based on the Clements collections have appeared in print. When Augustine Birrell wrote, “A great library easily begets affection, which may deepen into love,” he captured the way several generations of American historians have felt about the Clements.

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