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Museums & Libraries


Waterways to Motorways: Traversing the Great Lakes
January 9th-March 9th, 2020- @ Clark Library

The Stephen S. Clark Library’s newest exhibit, Waterways to Motorways: Traversing the Great Lakes, is a visual tribute to the famed lakes, celebrating their unique role in the history and development of the surrounding areas. The exhibit delves into the history of exploration and cartography in the Great Lakes, allowing audiences to witness the changing depictions of the lakes through historical maps. Similarly, the exhibit examines the modern role of tourism and motorized travel through pictorial and road maps, as well as artistically explores the lakes themselves.


Creating the Great Lakes: Selections from the U-M Library 
January 14 - February 27, 2020 @ Hatcher Graduate Library, North Lobby

Explore the people, environment, history, and literature of the Great Lakes region through the Library’s collections. Beginning with the indigenous peoples who settled after the glaciers receded, people across time have made Michigan and the Great Lakes their home. This exhibit highlights how living in the Great Lakes has inspired a wide range of scholars, writers, and artists.


Lake Superior to the sea: an inland water voyage on the Great Lakes and far-famed St. Lawrence and Saguenay Rivers (1910). Special Collections Research Center.

Exploring the Great Lakes
January 27th- March 6th, 2020 @ Hatcher Graduate Library, Special Collections Research Center, 6th Floor

Come see a selection of materials from across our collections related to the Great Lakes, including children’s literature, transportation history, the Janice Bluestein Longone Culinary Archive, and the Joseph A. Labadie Collection. The range of material on display, including travel guides, recipe books, stickers, children’s books, a flour sack, and a zine, gives a sense of the Great Lakes’ impact on the communities surrounding them through culture, economics, and politics.

This exhibit is offered in celebration of the U-M College of LSA’s Great Lakes Theme Semester.

This exhibit is available for viewing during the regular hours of the Special Collections Research Center.


Illustration from The Boy Who Ran to the Woods by Jim Harrison, illustrated by Tom Pohrt. New York : Atlantic Monthly Press, 2000.

Special Collections After Hours: The Great Lakes in Children's Literature
Tuesday, March 10th, 2020,  4:00 pm- 6:00pm
Special Collections Research Center (6th Floor, Hatcher Graduate Library)

Growing up in the Great Lakes Region means growing up anchored to a landscape shaped by water, and to a social and economic environment built on a history of using (and often abusing) this abundant water source. This open house event, in the Special Collections Research Center on Tuesday 10 March between 4:00pm and 6:00pm, looks at the Great Lakes region through the perspective of children's literature, with a particular focus on Michigan authors including Tom Pohrt, Nancy Willard, and Joan Blos. In addition to published works, we will have selected archival materials and artwork on display. 

Be sure to come at 3pm to hear Dr. Elizabeth Goodenough's lecture, Growing Up Near the Great Lakes, see the "lecture" tab for more info!


Survivor: The Long Journey of the Lake Sturgeon

Temporary exhibit through May 2020
UM Museum of Natural History

Explore the role of this endangered, ancient fish and the efforts to revive it.


Exploring Michigan 

Permanent Exhibit
UM Museum of Natural History

Celebrate our state's rich geological formations, awe-inspiring prehistoric life forms, and diverse ecosystems in the Exploring Michigan exhibit. Life-size dioramas highlight Michigan’s varied habitats and wildlife, and hands-on activities engage kids—and curious people—of all ages



Ash Baskets and Ash Borers: Cultural Resiliency in the Face of Ecological Change
Saturday, March 21st, 1:00PM - 3:00PM ; U-M Museum of Natural History

For Indigenous peoples of the Great Lakes, called Anishinaabek, making baskets is a tradition that weaves together the past, present, and future. Families worked together to create beautiful baskets from the wood of Black Ash trees and share traditional knowledge, including sustainably ways to harvest the trees. However, an invasive beetle, the Emerald Ash Borer, has devastated the Black Ash trees in Michigan. Many Great Lakes Indigenous communities are concerned about the wellbeing of these trees that are so essential for the future of their vibrant cultural traditions.

At this event, Josh and Sarah Homminga, award winning Anishinaabek artists, will demonstrate black ash basket making and share teachings they learned from their elders.  Scientists from Michigan State University will also share their research on the impact of the Emerald Ash Borer in the Great Lakes and views about the future of Black Ash trees. Guest Speaker: Toby Petrice from The U.S. Forest Service to speak on the Ecology & Management of Invasive Species and Forest Ecosystems, including the Emerald Ash Borer  Families can also participate in hands-on learning activities.