Thanks for the Shout-Out BooksaleFinder.com!

Thanks for the Shout-Out BooksaleFinder.com!

Booksalefinder

BookSaleFinder.com

https://www.booksalefinder.com/MI.html#X15138

 

Special thank you to Helen & Tom Oram and the team in Massachusetts at BookSaleFinder.com for listing our event!

Helen & Tom created BookSaleFinder.com in 1994.

Their website is a phenomenal resource for locating over 10,000+ book sales in the USA.

 

BookSaleFinder.com

 

Detroit Bookfest @ BookSaleFinder.com

https://www.booksalefinder.com/MI.html#X15138

 

Booksalefinder

 

Bookfest Explorer Series # 1: Boston, Massachusetts

Bookfest Explorer Series # 1: Boston, Massachusetts

Boston waterfront (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Here at Detroit Bookfest we are starting a new series called the Bookfest Explorer Series.

This will be a collection of travel experiences whereby we will periodically document our literary travels, both domestic and abroad, to help highlight the global community of books.

First up, Boston.

Founded in 1630, Boston is the 7th oldest city in the United States. Featuring sunken red brick sidewalks and beautiful old buildings aplenty, the city is loaded with history and rows of opulent townhouses for blocks.

Heading from Logan Airport to the Park Plaza Hotel (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

Boston Athenæum

10 ½ Beacon Street

https://www.bostonathenaeum.org/

Open since 1807, non-members can tour the first floor of this exceptional private library for $10.00. All 12 floors are open to members.

The focus of the collection is arts and humanities. World-class paintings grace the walls and there are marble busts of philosophers on stands.

Through the rear window, you can see the grave of Paul Revere in the Granary Burying Ground! This old cemetery opened in 1660 and there are several historical grave sites here.

Also, as a bonus, check out the Paul Revere House (19 North Square). Built in 1680, it’s Boston’s oldest building. Paul Revere’s famous 1775 Midnight Ride started here.

Boston Athenæum (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Boston Athenæum (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Boston Athenæum (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Image courtesy of James Cole

Boston Athenæum (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Paul Revere’s Grave @ Granary Burying Ground (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Paul Revere’s Grave @ Granary Burying Ground (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

old grave @ Granary Burying Ground (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Granary Burying Ground (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

 

 

Brattle Book Shop

9 West Street

http://www.brattlebookshop.com/

Open since 1825, this great three-story used & rare bookstore also features an outdoor open-air courtyard full of books.

The third floor is the Rare Book Room. Marvelous stuff. Owner Ken Gloss is impressively knowledgeable.

Brattle Books (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Brattle Books (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Brattle Books (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

 

Boston Public Library

700 Boylston Street

https://www.bpl.org/

Open since 1848 and smartly situated in beautiful Copley Square, the BPL was the first large free municipal library in the United States.

Be sure to check out the gorgeous 2nd floor Bates Hall reading room.

Also located on the 2nd floor, the Abbey Room, looks medieval European ornate, walls adorned with giant murals of the Holy Grail tale and 150 life-size figures from Arthurian legend ring the room, staring down at you. Who says paintings can’t talk?

Boston Public Library (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Bates Hall reading room @ BPL (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Abbey Room @ BPL (image courtesy of BPL)

 

Parker House Hotel

60 School Street

https://www.omnihotels.com/hotels/boston-parker-house

This beautiful 14-floor hotel opened in 1855. Charles Dickens lived here on the 3rd floor from 1867-68. He read ‘A Christmas Carol’ in the Last Hurrah Bar inside the hotel for the first time in America. They have his original door (view it in the basement) and gigantic mirror (view it on the mezzanine level) here.

Also, of note, Ho Chi Minh was a pastry chef here 1911-13, Malcolm X was a busboy, the Boston Cream Pie was invented here, and President JFK was a frequent guest!

Parker House Hotel (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Parker House Hotel (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Parker House Hotel (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Parker House Hotel (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Parker House Hotel (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Parker House Hotel (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

 

Ars Libri

500 Harrison Ave

https://www.arslibri.com/

Cool bookstore specializing in academic library collection development. You can buy books from the private research libraries of art scholars.

I bought a book called ‘Ancient Roman Monuments’ by Pignatorre with 61 beautiful hand drawn plates, very mild foxing and spotting.

Ars Libri (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Ars Libri (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Ars Libri (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

 

The Mapparium @ Mary Baker Eddy Library

200 Massachusetts Ave

https://www.marybakereddylibrary.org/project/mapparium/

Located next to the worldwide home of the Christian Science Church (which also houses the world’s 9th largest pipe organ), the Mary Bakery Eddy Library features a one-of-a-kind experience inside The Mapparium.

For only $6.00, you can tour The Mapparium for a delightfully psychedelic experience. The Mapparium is a 30-foot stained glass globe built in 1935 and features 608 glass panels. A walkway bisects the center of it.

At one point, they turn the lights off and there’s a light show around the world. Crazy how sound travels in here, sounds like every whisper is microphone-amplified, incredible.

Please note that photography is not allowed inside The Mapparium.

Mapparium (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Mapparium (image courtesy of Mary Baker Eddy Library)

Hope you get to check out Boston!

Boston (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

200+ Photos from the 3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books @ Eastern Market!

200+ Photos from the 3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books @ Eastern Market!

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

Huge THANK YOU to everyone for making Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) fun and successful!

And to Eastern Market Manager Lonni Thomas. Without her love & support, this festival would not exist.

 

These photos are courtesy of Detroit photographer Emily Rose Bennett.

Emily takes outstanding photos and we were very grateful and honored to have her capture Bookfest this year.

Emily is a Louisville native who now lives in Detroit. She has worked for the Augusta Chronicle and Grand Rapids Press and she also contributes to The New York TimesWall Street Journal and Washington Post.

She also kicks butt on the Detroit Roller Derby Allstars team.

Thank you, Emily Rose!

 

Emily Rose Bennett

http://www.emilyrosephoto.net/

 

Instagram

https://www.instagram.com/erose_/

 

And get out your calendars…..

4th Annual Detroit Festival of Books!

 

Sunday, July 19th, 2020

 

Eastern Market, Shed 3, Detroit

Facebook event page

 

https://www.facebook.com/events/363995340977221/

 

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

 

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

 

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

3rd Annual Detroit Festival of Books (aka: Detroit Bookfest) photo by Emily Rose Bennett

 

Exclusive: Two Military Research Libraries are Hidden Gems at Detroit’s Fort Wayne, a circa 1840’s military fort!

Exclusive: Two Military Research Libraries are Hidden Gems at Detroit’s Fort Wayne, a circa 1840’s military fort!

Fort Wayne

Detroit is a mysterious city.

Filled with hidden gems galore and deeply laced with history, Detroit is like some kind of unexplored video game realm awaiting a protagonist whom, swept up in the spirit of adventure, eagerly unearths its treasures to win the game.

One such beautiful example of Detroit’s fascinating history lies in the oft overlooked neighborhood of Delray in the Southwest part of the city, near the cavernous underground salt mines.

Between spooky Zug Island and the old Boblo Docks, stretched out along the Detroit River in an area soon to be populated by the nearly 2-mile long Gordie Howe International Bridge, is historic Fort Wayne.

Fort Wayne aerial photo c. 1980 (photo courtesy of Historic Fort Wayne Coalition)

This beautiful national treasure is also located down the street from Flor-Dri (5450 W. Jefferson), which was once the original site of Michigan’s first printing press in 1809, thanks to Gabriel Richard.

Fort Wayne is an old military fort comprised of around 40 buildings and sits on 96 acres.

87 acres are owned by the City of Detroit Recreation Department & run by the all-volunteer Historic Fort Wayne Coalition (HFWC).

9 acres are owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and is referred to as the Detroit Boatyard.

 

Exploring the HFWC’s Two Military Research Libraries

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

I’m exploring the libraries at Fort Wayne with Will Eichler and Tom Berlucchi.

Will and Tom are the two fearless leaders of the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition, a non-profit group of around 20 volunteers who run weekend operations at the fort and whom have been fixing up the fort and fighting to save it from neglect and decay, since Tom founded the coalition in 2001.

Will and Tom are historians and historical preservationists. They are Civil War reenactors and passionate about Living History and honoring the richness of Detroit’s military history, which is why they’re created and curated two outstanding (and growing) military-themed libraries here at the fort.

Will

The two military reference libraries here are not lending libraries, they’re private appointment-only and designed for research. We’re currently accepting donations of military books and we’re hoping to open the libraries up to the general public sometime in the next five years.”

“I would say our largest concentration of books is Civil War material. Our next largest segment is World War II. Beyond that, we have military-related books, maps and ephemera from all over the world and all different time periods.”

Tom

“These libraries help deepen and expand our appreciation of the tremendous amount of history here at Fort Wayne.”

In 1812, the British landed at Fort Wayne on the spot where kids play soccer nowadays.”

“1838 was the Patriot War. Some Detroiters sailed from here into Amherstburg, Ontario on a schooner and shelled Fort Malden and they also took the barracks in Windsor. At the time, there was a revolution going on within Canada. Officially, the USA stayed neutral, except for some private individuals who got involved. Some were executed, some were sent to the Hudson Bay Barges.”

“Then in 1840, there was an initiative by the government to build a series of Northern Frontier forts and the property of Fort Wayne was acquired at that time.”

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Will

“Fort Wayne was designed by Lt. Meigs and construction began in 1843. It was finally completed in 1852. The fort was actually dormant until the Civil War erupted, then it reopened. In the interim, an old Irish couple were the caretakers.”

“We’ve been trying to fix up the fort and bring it alive with military reenactments in ways that are as historically accurate as possible. It’s difficult to generate revenue for preservation. The Fort Adams Trust in Rhode Island might be a good model to follow in terms of making Fort Wayne sustainable long-term.”

What I love is that everybody has a different reason for wanting to visit Fort Wayne. Part of the joy of interpreting this place is finding out for yourself the best way you personally connect with history.”

Tom

“In terms of maintenance, we’re looking to establish a professional service agreement with the City of Detroit. This would provide much needed funds for our ongoing restoration efforts.”

“And for the record, Fort Wayne is not a star-shaped fort.”

“It’s a four-bastioned square fort with an external fortification, which is the 5th part, thus, it’s technically not a true star-shaped fort.”

 

Who are Will and Tom?

Will Eichler & Tom Berlucchi @ Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Will

“Being apart of the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition is my passion.”

“My interest in Living History started when I was 15. I read a book called ‘Rifles for Watie’, a fantastic kid’s book about the Civil War. I read it and I’ve been hooked ever since.”

“I attended the James Madison College of International Affairs at Michigan State University, where I studied political theory. I have a 1,000-volume personal library at home, mainly Civil War and political books.”

“Currently I work in television as camera and Steadicam operator on NBC’s Chicago Fire.”

“I also shoot a bi-weekly video series called Civil War Digital Digest where we cover all aspects of Civil War History.”

Tom Berlucchi @ Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Tom

“My first exposure to Fort Wayne was back in 1974 when I started doing Civil War reenactments here with the Loomis Battery.”

“In 2001, I founded the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition, a non-profit of which I’m chairman. In 2003, we were granted our 501(c)(3) status on Christmas Eve.”

“Prior to that I served in the U.S. Navy from 1979-83.”

“I’m most interested in documenting the history of the Red Scare in Detroit during the 1920’s-30’s. We held 300 Communist prisoners right here at Fort Wayne from 1920-21. It’s a largely unknown history lesson.”

 

Why is Fort Wayne Historically Important?

Fort Wayne historic aerial (photo courtesy of Historic Fort Wayne Coalition)

The land that Fort Wayne sits on used to be known as the Springwells Mounds, a series of old Native American burial mounds dating to at least 1,000 AD. Only one mound still exists at Fort Wayne.

During the 1700’s, the area was a Potawatomi Indian village until around 1780, when they moved away. At the time, the area was prized for being a large sand hill and thus, a good vantage point.

In 1781, Irish fur trader, John Askin, moved to what is now Fort Wayne. He traded furs here until he became Justice of the Peace in Detroit from 1789-1802. Then he moved to Canada.

Shortly after the War of 1812 started, the British entered the US via Sandwich, Canada and landed where Fort Wayne is now and stayed here for over one year.

In 1815, the Treaty of Spring Wells, a 6-foot long parchment roll, was signed here by eight Indian tribes and future president Gen. William Henry Harrison, formally establishing peace between the native tribes and the new occupiers of the Michigan Territory.

old Fort Wayne (courtesy of Historic Fort Wayne Coalition)

Then in 1841, Congress wanted to build fourteen Northern Frontier Forts as a barrier against potential British attacks. Based on the survey of Lt. Macomb, they selected this spot for Fort Wayne, because it was the closest point on the Detroit River to Canada.

Fort Wayne was constructed over an eight-year period from 1843-51. It was named in honor of American Revolutionary War hero Gen. “Mad Anthony” Wayne.

During this time, future president Ulysses S. Grant lived nearby at 253 East Fort Street, Detroit from 1849-51. It is not officially known if Grant spent any time at Fort Wayne but the general consensus is that he most likely did due to his military involvement and close proximity to the fort.

On April 12, 1861, the Civil War exploded when the Confederates fired on Fort Sumpter, South Carolina. Two days later, President Lincoln began mobilizing the Union into action.

Fort Wayne immediately became a training center and infantry garrison for Michigan’s 1st Infantry Regiment, including the Coldwater Cadets, some 780 men, who fought in the First Battle of Bull Run.

Several other regiments, totaling an estimated 14,000 troops, passed through Fort Wayne during the Civil War.

old Fort Wayne schematic (courtesy of Historic Fort Wayne Coalition)

In 1885, Springwells Township, where Fort Wayne was located, was annexed to the city of Detroit.

During World War I, over 500 African American troops were stationed at Fort Wayne.

In the 1930’s, the Great Depression hit the country hard and hundreds of homeless families lived in the old Civil War-era limestone barracks.

During World War II, the city of Detroit was the “Arsenal of Democracy.” Some 2,000 people moved to Fort Wayne and helped coordinate the supply of military vehicles and tanks to the U.S. military overseas via the Fort Wayne Ordinance Depot.

Fort Wayne was also used as a training and induction center. POW’s from Italy were housed here. Several of them, including Eduardo Barbieri, became permanent residents of Detroit after the war ended.

Fort Wayne (courtesy of Historic Fort Wayne Coalition)

In 1949, the U.S. Federal Government officially transferred ownership of Fort Wayne to the City of Detroit and the property was run by the City of Detroit Historical Commission.

During the Cold War, Nike Ajax missiles were installed here in 1957 and replaced by Nike Hercules missiles in 1959.

The Fort served as an induction center during the Vietnam War.

In 1967, Fort Wayne was officially deactivated.

From 1967-71, families whose homes were burned down in the Detroit Riots, lived in the old limestone barracks.

Over 200 years after its construction, the fort was officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

The empty fort fell into decline and decayed for almost four decades before the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition stepped in in 2001. Then in 2006, the City of Detroit Recreation Department assumed ownership.

 

Unknown Facts about Fort Wayne

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Will

“Fort Wayne still has the original limestone barracks from 1845 and also the original 1880’s houses on Officer Row.”

“There used to be a cemetery here. Over 150 graves were moved to nearby Woodmere Cemetery (9400 W. Fort St, Detroit) around 1896.”

“Also, not many people know this, but there were three jails, called Guard Houses, on-site here at Fort Wayne. They weren’t here all at once, so it depends on the decade.”

Tom

“In 1887, a man named Arthur Stone tried escaping Fort Wayne and Sgt. Clark shot him dead here.”

“A woman named Elsie Woline committed suicide in Building 108, the Commandant’s Building. She was African American in the employ of Captain French and was jilted by a lover. She took her own life by drinking carbolic acid.”

“One of the most incredible things about Fort Wayne is that we’ve had somewhere between 23-27 Medal of Honor recipients tour the fort, including Surgeon Irwin, a U.S. Army surgeon during the Apache Wars, whom had one of the first ever-issued.”

My personal goal is to obtain copies of all of these medals and display them here with stories.”

Tom Custer, George’s little brother, was in the 6th Michigan Cavalry and was the only person in the entire Civil War to win two Medals of Honor.”

 

Annual Civil War Reenactments @ Fort Wayne

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo courtesy of Historic Fort Wayne Coalition)

Will

“Tom and I are both huge Civil War fanatics. I follow Michigan’s 5th Infantry and the 3rd Regiment the most.”

“In the library here, we have a framed photo of Texans retreating from Maryland to Virginia after the Battle of Antietam, which was the single bloodiest day in American history.”

“We also have a ton of great Civil War books in the reference library, including a series of pamphlet-size blue books, which talk about small arms used by Michigan troops in the Civil War.”

Tom

“Our reenactments are extremely specific recreations. The soldiers even stay in the original barracks and pay in period script, not modern money.”

What does it for me, what brings history alive, is getting to walk on the same floors, the same stairways that those soldiers did. Thinking of how many thousands of people have passed through here over the years, it’s incredible.”

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Will

“During our reenactment, Maj. Gen. Israel Richardson, killed during the Battle of Antietam and whose grave is under a big oak tree at Oak Hill Cemetery in Pontiac, Michigan, his original jacket was here in the museum inside our Visitors Center.”

“The 2nd Michigan Regiment is here and we garrison the fort the way it was in the 1860’s.”

“I’m also hoping to have my documentary about Fort Wayne completed at some point this year. The documentary is produced by my own company, Ravelin Films.”

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Tom

“I cried back when we opened the barracks for the very first time and the Union reenactors marched through. It was a touching moment.”

“I also cried when we fired a salute with real canons here in honor of a man named Luiz who drowned in Lake Erie back in 2008. Luiz went to Southwest High School and played soccer here and a ton of his friends and family came out for the memorial.”

“As for the fort, I’m a preservationist but I’m also realistic. It’s not all going to be saved. We still have WWII-era electrical here, no insulation on the power lines. The plumbing needs updating. There’s probably $250 million dollars’ worth of restoration needed. But we’ll continue doing what we can.”

Will

“If you haven’t been to Fort Wayne yet, make plans right now to come visit us. It’s a must-see destination!”

 

To donate your military books to Fort Wayne, please contact:

Info@HistoricFortWayneCoalition.com

 

Fort Wayne

6325 West Jefferson Ave.

Detroit, MI 48209

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

 

Historic Fort Wayne Coalition

https://www.historicfortwaynecoalition.com/

 

HFWC Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/HistoricFortWayneEvents

 

Annual Civil War Reenactment (2nd weekend in June)

https://www.historicfortwaynecoalition.com/cwdays.html

 

Civil War Digital Digest (bi-weekly; run by Will Eichler)

https://www.youtube.com/civilwardigitaldigest

 

Hold My Horse: A Short Film about Israel Richardson by Will Eichler

https://www.facebook.com/groups/HoldMyHorseMovie/?ref=group_header

Hold My Horse: A Short Film about Israel Richardson by Will Eichler

 

Detroit Parks & Rec

https://detroitmi.gov/departments/parks-recreation/fort-wayne

 

National Register of Historic Places (Fort Wayne tracking # 71000425)

https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/AssetDetail?assetID=7edfca5e-4fb0-4644-95fd-912173c5d0f4

 

Civil War Medal of Honor database (1,522 recipients)

https://www.battlefields.org/learn/medal-of-honor

Historic Fort Wayne Tours

Flor-Dri (5450 W. Jefferson, Detroit), which was once the original site of Michigan’s first printing press in 1809, thanks to Gabriel Richard (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Fort Wayne Research Library (photo by Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Civil War Days @ Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Detroit’s historic Fort Wayne (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

 

 

Exclusive Interview: Touring the World’s Largest Library Comic Book Collection of 350,000 items @ Michigan State University with head honcho RANDY SCOTT!

Exclusive Interview: Touring the World’s Largest Library Comic Book Collection of 350,000 items @ Michigan State University with head honcho RANDY SCOTT!

Aerial photo of MSU (photo courtesy of: Michigan State University)

Michigan State University is a sprawling and beautiful campus of leafy trees, ubiquitous green & white team colors, and intriguing experiences, such as visiting the World’s Largest Library Comic Book Collection.

Located in East Lansing, about 1hr 30mins west of Detroit, the school was founded in 1855 as a prototype land-grant university and renamed MSU in 1964.

MSU currently sits on 5,200-acres dotted with 566 buildings. Over 50,000 students attend here. There are 27 resident halls and over 900 registered student groups on campus. Yes, this place is massive. It’s one of the largest universities by population in the USA.

MSU’s Nuclear Physics graduate program ranks # 1 in the nation. Magic Johnson & Sam Raimi attended MSU simultaneously in the late 1970’s. Fun factoids abound.

I’m here visiting the MSU Library, the building which contains the main portion of the comic collection.

Red Cedar River (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

You park on the north side of Spartan Stadium in Lot # 62 W (99 Red Cedar Road, East Lansing). You ‘pay by plate’ by the hour. Then, use the footbridge to cross the beautiful Red Cedar River and enter the library doors straight ahead.

Once inside, the Special Collections Reading Room is on your left. This is where you’ll read the comics.

As the world’s largest library/academic comic book collection, the MSU Comic Collection is a true world resource.

Sure, Mile High Comics in Denver has a self-estimated eight million comic books in three warehouses and a single individual, Bob Bretall, in Mission Viejo, California has over 105,000 comics.

But the MSU Collection is catalogued, indexed, available to the general public free of charge and managed by comic book expert, Randall W. Scott.

Randall W. Scott, or “Randy” as he prefers to be called, is an MSU Special Collections Librarian, Comic Art Bibliographer, and head curator of the MSU Comic Art Collection. Working here almost 50-years, Randy has one of the greatest jobs on the planet: reading and archiving comic books.

Yes, a state university had the foresight to bankroll Randy’s unique expertise and thus, help fund a world-class collection of pop culture artifacts in the form of comics books. We’re so jelly. Randy, I want your job.

MSU’s Comic Book Curator and Head Honcho: Randy Scott

Randall W. Scott, aka: Randy, head of the MSU Comics Collection (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

I’ve always enjoyed comic books. I like the format of blending words and pictures. I also read a lot of books without pictures. Mainly, I like thinking about how the literary form of comic books works and is evolving. Comic books are different from every other kind of storytelling. And I like the theoretical questions associated with comics and collecting comics.”

“I grew up on a farm in Alpena County in a little town called Hubbard Lake. I like to practice reading in other languages like French, German, Spanish. My foreign language level is fair. But my level of reading comics is pretty good.”

“In the late Sixties, I migrated to Lansing and attended MSU while working at Curious Book Shop, a used & rare bookstore run by Ray Walsh. I was Ray’s first employee and the comics buyer there back when Curious had an upstairs that was all comics. Stan Lee did a signing there once! I met Ray while we were both students at MSU. He was famous for riding his bike around campus in a trench coat.”

The Paper (image courtesy of: Michigan State University)

“As a student here at MSU, I worked as a writer and editor on an underground paper aptly called ‘The Paper’ and toward the end of its lifespan, it became absorbed into SDS, Students for a Democratic Society. There was a national movement for underground papers at that time. Detroit had The Fifth Estate, Ann Arbor had The Sun and so on. In June 1969, we had a convention in Chicago where SDS split and The Weathermen became one of the splits, so I briefly became an original Weatherman before it became the Weather Underground.”

“I have a B.A. from MSU and an M.S. in Library Science from Columbia with a concentration in cataloging and indexing.”

I started working in the MSU Library back in 1971. I had various jobs, including being a preorder typist, whereby I would send out orders to jobbers to order books. I started cataloging the Comic Art Collection in 1974 when I developed a system for indexing and cataloging them and I’ve been here ever since.”

“In 1975, a high-school student stole our Amazing Spider-Man # 1 comic book. We knew who it was but couldn’t prove it. Today, in good condition, that comic is worth around $100,000.”

“After that happened, I decided to take on the job of looking after the Comic Collection, during my lunch hours, as a volunteer.”

 

MSU Comic Collection: At 350,000 items, it’s the World’s Largest Library Comic Book Collection

MSU Comic Collection (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Randy and I head downstairs, one floor below the Reading Room.

The Comic Collection is housed in long rows of electronic Spacesaver mobile storage units. The lights are on 120-second timers, thus, if there’s no movement for 120 seconds, the lights go off.

We have the main core of the collection here. Then we have about 700 shelves of international comics at an offsite, remote storage warehouse.”

 

Russell Nye: Creator of the MSU Comic Collection

Russell B. Nye circa 1978 (photo courtesy of: Michigan State University)

The MSU Comic Collection started in 1969-70 when MSU professor Russell Nye donated 6,000 comic books, mostly 60’s-era Marvel superhero comics, to the university.”

“Around 100 of the comics were his, the rest were from some of his senior students who donated their collections to him for his new Pop Culture course.”

“Nye taught in the English department from 1941-79. He was an early proponent of Pop Culture Theory and I had him as a teacher. Nye was a gentleman, always wore a suit, taught 19th century American Literature and had an inquiring mind.”

“At the time, comics were deemed ‘inappropriate material’ by academia. However, Nye was respectable, he had also won a Pulitzer Prize in 1945, so they couldn’t deny this pop culture scholar’s donation of comics.”

Comic Buyer’s Guide issue # 1 (1971) image courtesy of: Michigan State University

“Comic books had already been around for over 100 years and it took them that long to get academic recognition. I did Independent Study with Nye and wrote a paper called ‘Comics in Libraries’ where I argued for their inclusion.”

“Prior to this, academic libraries had been reluctant to collect and study comics, which they foffed off as ‘subliterature’. It was revolutionary times. The spirit of the time was to open things up and do what hadn’t been done before.”

“Nye wasn’t thought of as a radical but being a proponent of putting comic books in libraries was definitely a radical idea at the time. It’s hard to fathom now because it’s more commonplace. Now over 50 libraries have permanent comic book collections.”

 

It’s a Midwest thing: Michigan and Ohio Lead the Charge

Bowling Green University’s Popular Culture dept. (image courtesy of Bowling Green University)

“Ohio’s Bowling Green University started a Pop Culture department around the same time. The Journal of Popular Culture started in 1967 at Bowling Green and was edited by Ray Browne. They now have the Browne Popular Culture Library, which is the world’s largest collection of pulps, dime novels and ephemera.”

“In 1977, Lucy Caswell started the Billy Ireland Cartoon Library & Museum at Ohio State University, which is now the world’s largest repository of original cartoon art.”

It was a Midwest thing. We started putting comic books in libraries, then NYPL followed suit after a few years and now it’s a global thing.”

“In 1978, the Russell B. Nye Popular Culture Collection was officially titled as a branch of the Special Collections. This collection includes the Comic Art Collection, 10,000 volumes of sci-fi (mostly monographs), probably 5,000 books, magazines & fanzines, and loads of Popular Fiction (ie: dime novels, pulps, detective, westerns, etc).”

MSU Library’s Carolyn Blunt (c. 1973)

 

A Taste of the Goodies

Young Allies # 1 (1941) photo by: Ryan M. Place

The hardest part of being a Comics Librarian is cataloguing. Cataloguing is a daily, ongoing process. On January 1st, 1981, we stopped using the filing index card system.”

“Every year we get deliveries of 12 to 20 boxes of comics sent via UPS. Gerber invented mylar comic sleeves. I order these babies 5,000 at a time. Cataloguing all this stuff takes time.”

“We have 7 copies of the original Obadiah Oldebuck here, the first comic ever created.”

Obadiah Oldebuck, the first comic book ever printed (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

“We have the personal microfilm collection of Detroit comics guru Jerry Bails and the #1 CAPA-Alpha (1964).”

“We have all sorts of comics: Young Allies # 1 (1941), Walt Disney Comics and Stories No. 1 (1940), Wonder Woman # 1 (1942), R. Crumb’s Zap # 1 (1967), etc.”

“We have about 600 Underground comics, 10,000 volumes of Manga, 1 million comic strips donated by Dick Webster, and large holdings of Eclipse, Marvel, DC, Fantagraphics.”

“We have the King Features proof sheet collection from NYC (1930’s-1990’s).”

Rodney Ford scrapbooks (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

“We have 530 scrapbooks of daily newspaper strips. They came all at once from Rodney Ford in Sacramento, California. Over 100 titles from the 1920’s-1970’s. He made the scrapbooks meticulously by hand.”

“We have 17,000 Golden Era comics (1938-52), the first 1,000 of which came from Jim Haynes, a Connecticut racetrack owner who grew up in Port Huron, Michigan.”

“We have the Lexikon der Comics, the only copy in North America. It’s a German language encyclopedia of comics.”

“The list goes on and on. MSU has a tradition of keeping the best two copies of each item. Our triplicates we give to the MSU Surplus Store to be sold, and proceeds of these sales come directly back to the library to continue supporting the collection.”

Lexikon der Comics: German language encyclopedia of comic books (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

MSU’s International Comics @ the Remote Storage Warehouse

MSU International Comics inside Remote Storage warehouse (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

After touring the main collection, Randy drives us to an offsite warehouse in Lansing, about 15 minutes away from the main library. The facilities coordinator, Josh Maki, lets us in.

The warehouse is divided into two massive rooms.

One room contains international comic books on 10 and 12-foot-high steel shelving. The other room is a high-density storage bay of 800,000 books and bound journals. Big blue-box air scrubbers clean the air.

This is but one warehouse in a complex of warehouses. The others are: Folio, Special Collections and RSA. The comics warehouse is RS-F and called ‘remote storage’. Spread across the complex, there are around 1.7 million items.

MSU Remote Storage warehouse (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

“Here we have about 700 shelves of international non-American comics from all over the world. For instance, we have 1,800 comics catalogued from India alone.”

“We have shoe boxes full of two million daily comic strips, plus big boxes of proof sheets, Sunday sections, etc.”

“The most we ever paid was $130,000 for 13,000 European comics in the 1990’s.”

“We get about one international visitor per month, mostly from Europe and Asia.”

“When visiting, please remember that international comics must be requested at least three full days in advance.”

Funding: Where does the money come from?

“I get a little slice of the annual MSU Library book budget. I also have a couple of endowments which provide funding. Our total annual budget is around $40,000.”

“In regard to acquisitions, I have a Collection Development statement that I follow when we want to acquire new material for the collection.”

In addition to the budget Randy receives from MSU, generous supporters also lend a hand by giving funds in support of this collection.

For more information on ways you can support the collection, contact:

MSU Libraries’ Development Office

517-432-0708

giving@lib.msu.edu

 

MSU Special Collections

MSU Special Collections Rare Book Collection (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Established in 1962, the MSU Special Collections department contains 450,000+ printed works, several manuscript and archival collections, a huge stash of ephemera, and more.

MSU has a massive collection of Sixties Radicalism pamphlets and papers. You can find these in the American Radicalism Vertical File (ARVF).

The Special Collections Rare Book Collection is at the end of the comics collection, behind a vault door, inside a temperature-controlled room.

It contains the Charles Schmitter Fencing archives. And the oldest printed book at MSU: Scriptores Rei Rusticae (1472, Venice). They even have a Book of Hours here.

 

Randy’s Final Thoughts

Randy Scott at work in the MSU Library basement (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Well, I’ll need to retire one day, I suppose.”

“My replacement will need to be enthusiastic about comic scholarship, knowledgeable in the field of comics books and care deeply about growing the collection and understanding how important it is.”

The MSU Comic Collection is always open to donations of comic books. If you or someone you know wants to donate their collection, they can email or call the MSU Libraries’ Development Office.”

“Personally, I think it would be cool if the library put a little more recognition into the comics, such as the graphic novels. We have a ton of graphic novels, including the first-ever, Will Eisner’s ‘A Contract with God’ from 1978.”

Randy Scott at work in the MSU Library basement (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

“There’s a future in academic comic study. It just depends on administrative attitudes. Currently, MSU offers two minor degrees in Comics.”

“Every February, we host a two-day long MSU Comics Forum here on campus.”

“Visiting scholars with an MSU netID can apply to stay overnight at the Owen Hall Grad Dorm here on campus.”

Plan a trip. Let us know you’re coming. We look forward to seeing you.”

MSU Comics Forum (courtesy of MSU)

 

Donate your comic collection to MSU by emailing Randy Scott and the library development office:

scottr@msu.edu

giving@lib.msu.edu

 

Search the MSU Comic Collection here

https://lib.msu.edu/findbooks/

 

Randy’s Comic Index

http://comics.lib.msu.edu/index.htm

 

Russell B. Nye Popular Culture Collection

https://lib.msu.edu/spc/collections/nye/

 

MSU Comics Forum

http://www.comicsforum.msu.edu/

 

Map of MSU Campus

https://maps.msu.edu/

 

Library of Congress has 150,000 comic books

https://www.loc.gov/rr/news/comics.html

MSU logo (image courtesy of: Michigan State University)

Ryan’s Final Thoughts

Having toured the collection multiple times, I feel it necessitates its own building.

Due to the size, importance and future growth potential of the collection, MSU should consider centralizing the entire collection under one roof exclusively.

You could also add a museum component to this, complete with display cases, regular events and periodic in-person signings.

 

Ryan’s Recommendations on Visiting the MSU Comic Collection

While visiting MSU, you might want to make time to check out the following:

 

1.) Brody Square (241 Brody West) campus food hall

Brody Hall (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Brody Hall (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Park in the Kellogg Conference Center parking garage (219 S. Harrison Rd.) for $1.50/hr. Walk directly across the street to Brody. Up on the 2nd floor is one of the most ingenious campus food hall concepts ever created.

Brody features 9 to 12 food stations. For $10.00 per person it’s all you can eat, all day long. And yes, this is open to the general public.

They have a wondrous array of food featuring things like:

Burritos, sushi, spicy crab soup, Cajun fish with mashed potatoes and gravy, Hudsonville ice cream (get the Cake Batter with chocolate syrup), 15 breakfast cereals, pepperoni pizza, vegetable spring roll, miso soup, mango slush drink, pasta with spinach and alfredo, breadsticks, and more.

Also impressive is their automated tray system. You walk over to a moving wall of empty metal racks and slide your tray in and it disappears into the back for the cleaners. Every university in the country should replicate this food hall model.

 

2.) MSU Dairy Store @ Anthony Hall (474 South Shaw Lane) 9am-8pm

MSU Dairy Store (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

MSU Dairy Store (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

MSU Dairy Store grilled cheese (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Park out front at the meters. 8 minutes per quarter or use your credit card.

This is an ice cream parlor open to the general public and run by the MSU Department of Food Science. All the ice cream is made right here at MSU. You can even buy half-gallon tubs!

I recommend trying a double scoop of the Sesquicentennial Swirl and Dantonio’s Double Fudge.

Also try the Grilled cheese on sourdough with a cup of soup.

 

3.) Curious Book Shop (307 East Grand River Ave)

Curious Book Shop (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Curious Book Shop (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Park directly behind the store. $2.25 for 90 minutes maximum.

Opened in 1969, this is a used & rare bookstore with a large sci-fi section.

The store is owned by Randy’s friend Ray Walsh. Ray has done a tremendous number of good things for the book community over the past several decades.

Ray puts on the annual Michigan Antiquarian Book & Paper Show.  You can usually find Ray himself a half mile down the road, running his other bookstore, Archives Book Shop (519 W. Grand River).

 

Some Other Cool stuff in Lansing:

Potter Park Zoo (1301 South Pennsylvania Ave, Lansing)

Zoobie’s Old Town Tavern (1200 North Larch Street, Lansing)

Lansing Brewing Company (518 East Shiawassee St, Lansing)

Meat BBQ (1224 Turner Rd, Lansing)

Randy Scott (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Adventures of Obadiah Oldbuck (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

MSU Special Collections gift of Jim Haynes (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

MSU Comic Collection cataloguing (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

MSU Library basement (photo by: Ryan M. Place)

Comics Librarianship Handbook by Randy Scott

Comics Librarianship Handbook by Randy Scott

Randy Scott at work in the MSU Library basement (photo by: Ryan M. Place)