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March 29, 2004

New materials added to U-M Special Collections Library

ANN ARBOR, Mich.—The University of Michigan Special Collections Library is celebrating new additions to existing collections—including items related to transgender issues—with an exhibition running through May 29.

The Spotlight on New Arrivals exhibit showcases some of the highlights from newly acquired books and archival material. Among the new items are those added to the National Transgender Library and Archive (NTL&A). The University Library's Labadie Collection was awarded the NTL&A in 2000 after a rigorous competition with other institutions.

The NTL&A now has been catalogued and is ready for public use. It is the largest known catalogued collection of books, pamphlets, magazines, catalogs, comic books, films, legal cases, flyers, personal papers and ephemera about transexualism and transgenderism.

It was awarded to the University Library because of the institution's commitment to preservation and access for research materials on controversial subjects, its geographic accessibility, clearly defined anti-discrimination policies regarding both sexual orientation and gender identity, and sponsorship of the Comprehensive Gender Services Program, a center offering a variety of transgender-related care services.

"This archive represents an extensive addition to our collections, and will greatly assist scholars who are investigating the significant issues in this field," President Mary Sue Coleman wrote in a letter to Julie Herrada, curator of the Labadie Collection. "The efforts of all of you are helping us become a campus community that is more aware of the diversity of experience and perspective that contributes to an intelligent and compassionate environment."

Provost Paul N. Courant read the letter during an event at the Labadie Library March 25 in honor of the acquisition.

Some of the other collections for which additional material has been received are: the Beat and Post-Beat Poetry Collection; The Janice Dohm Collection of children's books; the Jewish Heritage Collection; and the Gregory Mutz Archive of diaries, reports, correspondence, photographs, maps and captured Viet Cong materials.

The Tom Pohrt Archive includes sketches, drawings, drafts of stories, research notes and other information related to his books for children. The Lee Walp Family Children's Literature Collection contains many samples of original illustrations for children's books by a variety of artists.

"Acquiring additional materials enabling scholars and students to study the creative process for children's books is a high priority for the library," says Peggy Daub, director of the Special Collections Library.

The Transportation History Collection also has benefited from new acquisitions, including those on railroads and the Pierce-Arrow automobile.

The library has received an unusual collection, the Col. Henry Tufts Archive. As the first head of the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, Tufts administered the investigations of felony cases involving U.S. Army personnel in bribery and misconduct, murder, drug trafficking and possession, racketeering, corruption, and war crimes such as the My Lai and Son My massacres.

Before he died in 2002, Tufts left instructions to donate his records to an academic institution. They were accepted by the Labadie Collection later that year. The records consist of histories, reports, investigations, summaries and correspondence relating to Tufts's command.

The Spotlight on New Arrivals can be viewed on the seventh floor of the Hatcher Graduate Library 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday. The exhibition is closed Sundays. Admission is free.

For more information about the exhibition and the Special Collections Library, visit http://www.lib.umich.edu/spec-coll/.

Contact: Joanne Nesbit
Phone: (734) 647-4418
E-mail: mjnesbit@umich.edu