Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan

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The Bentley Historical Library as a repository of Michigan-based materials has accumulated from different sources a collection of motor truck catalogs. These catalogs are an important source for the study of the development of the truck manufacturing industry in Michigan.

From the guide to the Catalogs of Michigan-based motor truck companies, 1900-1946 and undated, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

The Bentley Historical Library early in its history began developing a collection of commercial trade catalogs. These catalogs have been drawn together from many sources to aid researchers interested in a specific industry or product.

From the guide to the Commercial catalog collection, 1870s-2000s, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

The origins of the Bentley Historical Library (BHL) can be traced to two related projects initiated in the 1930s at the University of Michigan. In early 1934, Professor Lewis G. Vander Velde successfully applied for a $700 grant to locate and collect primary source material relating to the history of Michigan. Approximately a year later, in November 1935, University of Michigan President Alexander Ruthven appointed a Committee on University Archives and authorized it to gather together the university's historical records. Vander Velde served as secretary to this committee. Space was set aside in the William L. Clements Library for both projects, and Vander Velde, with the assistance of a single graduate student, undertook both projects. In June 1938, the two enterprises moved into three rooms of the newly completed Rackham Building. That same year the Regents named the endeavor the Michigan Historical Collections (MHC). In 1973, the library moved from its quarters in the Rackham Building into the newly completed Bentley Historical Library on the university's north campus. For the first time, the MHC had for a home a facility designed and built for the processing and use of the manuscript and archival materials that it had been collecting for nearly forty years.

In the formative years of the MHC, Vander Velde supervised a surprisingly large staff. Funds from the Works Progress Administration made possible the hiring of a large number of special assistants. In 1939, twenty individuals were packing, processing, and cleaning records as they were collected. Although World War II quickly drained away the funds used to pay these many employees, a great deal of work was accomplished and Vander Velde retained some professional assistance. In 1938 or 1939, Vander Velde hired a full-time assistant primarily to collect historical records. In 1951, he added a permanent printed works librarian to the staff.

In 1947, Vander Velde was appointed chair of the university's history department. To lighten his administrative burden at the MHC, F. Clever Bald was appointed to the newly created post, assistant director. Vander Velde retained the title of director of the MHC until 1960, when he retired and was succeeded by Bald. In 1966 Bald retired and was succeeded by Robert M. Warner. In 1980, Warner resigned as director to become head of the National Archives. Richard Doolen served as acting director until 1981 when Francis X. Blouin, Jr. became the fourth director of the BHL. Blouin would serve as director until 2013.

In 1979, a separate program for the administration of the university archives was formally established. The University Archives and Records Program (UARP) became a separate division alongside the MHC, which continued to focus on documenting the state of Michigan. Reference services and conservation were reconfigured as divisions providing the current structure of four divisions (MHC, UARP, Reference and Access, and Preservation and Conservation) under the broader designation of the Bentley Historical Library (BHL). A fifth division, Digital Curation was added to the BHL in April 2011 to handle the preservation and archiving of digital records.

Issued in 2004 on the occasion of the dedication of an addition to its building, The Bentley Historical Library Its History and Purpose provides a more complete history of the Bentley Historical Library. There is further detail about the Bentley and its functions on its home page at http://bentley.umich.edu .

From the guide to the Bentley Historical Library publications, 1935-2012, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

The origins of the Bentley Historical Library (BHL) can be traced to two related projects initiated in the 1930s at the University of Michigan. In early 1934, Professor Lewis G. Vander Velde successfully applied for a $700 grant to locate and collect printed material relating to the history of Michigan. Approximately a year later, in November 1935, University of Michigan President Alexander Ruthven appointed a Committee on University Archives and authorized it to gather together the university's historical records. Vander Velde served as secretary to this committee. Space was set aside in the William L. Clements Library for both projects, and Vander Velde, with the assistance of a single graduate student, undertook both projects. In June 1938, the two enterprises moved into three rooms of the newly completed Rackham Building. That same year the Regents named the endeavor the Michigan Historical Collections (MHC). In 1973, the library moved from its quarters in the Rackham Building into the newly completed Bentley Historical Library on the university's north campus. For the first time, the MHC had for a home a facility designed and built for the processing and use of the manuscript and archival materials that it had been collecting for nearly forty years.

In the formative years of the MHC, Vander Velde supervised a surprisingly large staff. Funds from the Works Progress Administration made possible the hiring of a large number of special assistants. In 1939, twenty individuals were packing, processing, and cleaning records as they were collected. Although World War II quickly drained away the funds used to pay these many employees, a great deal of work was accomplished and Vander Velde retained some professional assistance. In 1938 or 1939, Vander Velde hired a full-time assistant primarily to collect historical records. In 1951, he added a permanent printed works librarian to the staff.

In 1947, Vander Velde was appointed chair of the university's history department. To lighten his administrative burden at the MHC, F. Clever Bald was appointed to the newly created post, assistant director. Vander Velde retained the title of director of the MHC until 1960, when he retired and was succeeded by Bald. In 1966 Bald retired and was succeeded by Robert M. Warner. In 1980, Warner resigned as director to become head of the National Archives. Richard Doolen served as acting director until 1981 when Francis X. Blouin, Jr. became the fourth director of the BHL.

In 1979, a separate program for the administration of the university archives was formally established. The University Archives and Records Program (UARP) became a separate division alongside the MHC, which continued to focus on documenting the state of Michigan. Reference services and conservation were reconfigured as divisions providing the current structure of four divisions (MHC, UARP, Reference and Access, and Preservation and Conservation) under the broader designation of the Bentley Historical Library (BHL).

Issued in 2004 on the occasion of the dedication of an addition to its building, The Bentley Historical Library Its History and Purpose provides a more complete history of the Bentley Historical Library. There is further detail about the Bentley and its functions on its home page http://www.umich.edu/~bhl

  • 1935 - 1960 : Lewis G. Vander Velde
  • 1960 - 1966 : F. Clever Bald
  • 1966 - 1980 : Robert M. Warner
  • 1980 - 1981 : Richard M. Doolen (acting)
  • 1981: Francis X. Blouin, Jr.

From the guide to the Bentley Historical Library records, 1935-2013, (Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn William H. McNitt papers, 1968-1976 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf Bentley Historical Library,. Michigan Historical Collections, 1849-to date. Western Michigan University, Dwight B. Waldo Library
referencedIn Stellanova Osborn papers, 1907-1988 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Robert M. Warner papers, 1958-1992, 1980-1992 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Hobart Taylor, Jr. Papers, 1961-1981 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
creatorOf Commercial catalog collection, 1870s-2000s Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Post Family Papers, 1882-1973 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Michigan Historical Collections. Michigan Historical Collections records, 1935-[ongoing]. University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Bentley Historical Library records, 1935-2013 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Warner, Robert Mark, 1927-. Robert M. Warner papers, 1958-1992 (bulk 1980-1992). University of Michigan, Bentley Historical Library
creatorOf Bentley Historical Library publications, 1935-2012 Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
referencedIn Levin, Harry. Harry Levin Papers. 1920-1995. Houghton Library
referencedIn Cornell, Theo A., Mrs. Jim Fisher collection, 1973. Clarke Historical Library
referencedIn Kimball, Donald A., 1907-1998. Architectural Papers, 1907,1998. Clarke Historical Library
creatorOf Catalogs of Michigan-based motor truck companies, 1900-1946 and undated Bentley Historica Library University of Michigan
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Bald, F. Clever (Frederick Clever), 1897-1970 person
associatedWith Blouin, Francis X. person
associatedWith Catholic Church corporateBody
associatedWith Chevrolet Motor Car Company corporateBody
associatedWith Chrysler Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Cornell, Theo A., Mrs. person
associatedWith Dodge Brothers corporateBody
associatedWith Durant Motors, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Electric Truck Company corporateBody
associatedWith Fargo Motor Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith Federal Motor Truck Company corporateBody
associatedWith Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006 person
associatedWith Ford Motor Company corporateBody
associatedWith General Motors Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith General Motors Truck Company corporateBody
associatedWith Geneva Wagon Company corporateBody
associatedWith Grabowsky Power Wagon Company corporateBody
associatedWith Graham Brothers corporateBody
associatedWith Holson Motor Patents Company corporateBody
associatedWith Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies. corporateBody
associatedWith Hudson Motor Car Company corporateBody
associatedWith International Harvester Company corporateBody
associatedWith J.L. Clark Manufacturing Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Kimball, Donald A., 1907-1998. person
associatedWith Levin, Harry, 1912-1994 person
associatedWith Martin-Parry Corporation corporateBody
associatedWith McNitt, William H. person
associatedWith Metropolitan Body Company corporateBody
associatedWith Michigan Historical Collections. corporateBody
associatedWith Motor Wagon Company corporateBody
associatedWith Mulder, Arnold, 1885-1959. person
associatedWith Osborn, Stellanova, 1894-1988 person
associatedWith Packard Motor Car Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Post Family family
associatedWith Pugh, Mary Jo. person
associatedWith Rapid Motor Vehicle Company corporateBody
associatedWith Reliance Motor Truck Company corporateBody
associatedWith Reo Motor Car Company corporateBody
associatedWith Taylor, Hobart, 1920-1981 person
associatedWith University of Michigan corporateBody
associatedWith Vander Velde, Lewis G. (Lewis George), 1890-1975 person
associatedWith Warner, Robert Mark, 1927- corporateBody
associatedWith Warner, Robert Mark, 1927- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Michigan--Kalamazoo
North Campus (University of Michigan)
Greenland.
Subject
Archives--Michigan--Ann Arbor
Archival institutes and workshops
Libraries--Michigan--Ann Arbor
Trucks--Catalogs
Schools
Occupation
Activity

Corporate Body

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