The Pioneer Americanists: Early Collectors, Dealers, and Bibliographers
Eight Generations of Treasures
This PowerPoint presentation, based on the William L. Clements Library’s 2017 book of the same title, is a captivating look at the lives and careers of eight generations of outstanding Americanists prior to 1900. The lecture course for those 50 and over blends material from autobiographical and contemporary biographical sketches of White Kennett, Isaiah Thomas, James Lenox, Joseph Sabin, John Carter Brown, Lyman Copeland Draper, George Brinley Jr., and the other noteworthy specialists who created and nurtured the Americana field from the late seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries. Illustrations from the collections of the Clements Library and other leading institutional archives provide a panoramic window on the early story of Americana appreciation, collecting, and description. Anyone with a professional or avocational interest in antiquarian Americana will find The Pioneer Americanists a treasury of information, enlightenment, and inspiration. Instructor J. Kevin Graffagnino has been director of the University of Michigan’s William L. Clements Library since 2008 and will be retiring after 11 years at the end of December.
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