Clarke Historical Library

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The Clarke Historical Library is enclosed on the campus of Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. It is located within the Charles V. Park Library on the campus. The library was founded in 1954 by Norman E. Clarke, Sr. His library and collections were given to the school, which he attended previously as a young man. The library began with the 1,500 books, 60 groups of manuscripts, 150 maps, 400 visual item and 50 broadsides, also including a few early papers. His collections included numerous, but not limited to memoirs, works of scholarship, treasures, opinion pieces and works of fiction.

This library is special in the fact it houses the Michigan Historical Review, which is published twice per year. The journal is noted as the publication dedicated to Michigan and its history. “The Clarke,” as it is known by, also houses a variety of Ernest Hemingway publications, a well-known Michigan born writer. The collection also shows Hemingway’s papers, and photographs from his cottage on Walloon Lake, Michigan. This rare collection sets the Clark Historical Library apart from other Michigan-bound universities. The mission of the Clarke Historical Library sets itself above the rest by evidently encouraging individuals, groups and organizations to use the focus of the library for research and undergraduate study. By expanding the information to the public, the libraries website was created in 1996.

The Clarke is home to a children’s literature section with collections of books that range from the 17th to the 20th century, which ultimately consists of first editions. The Clarke Historical Library also gives home to the archives of Central Michigan University. There are also over 2500 articles recording the history of Michigan, its writers and other topics involving Michigan and everything it has to offer. The Clarke highlights the importance of preserving the documents for the history of Michigan and the Old Northwest Territory, for which he collected over the years. Public programs are consistently ongoing, varying in exhibits and speakers, twice a year.