The 1,000-Mile Great Lakes Adventures

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Michigan Rare Book Room's 10th Anniversary

Michigan Library in Lansing, MI

I was delighted to be invited to the 10th Anniversary Celebration for the Martha W. Griffiths Rare Book Room at the Michigan Library in Lansing, Michigan.

Program for the celebration

This is a beautiful library in Michigan's capitol, and the rare book room holds many rare and historic books and maps. 

The evening began with an amazing lecture by Randy Asplund who is an internationally known Book Artist. He creates books and art the way they were made in Medieval times. He gathers natural materials to create his inks using methods from hundreds of years ago. In his presentation, he showed photos of gathering rocks or flowers or even the gall from animals (from the gall bladder) and how he then created vibrant colors from these materials. 

He uses the same types of quills and instruments to do the calligraphy of his books on pages made from handmade paper or animal skins. 

Tools of the Medieval Trade

Randy Asplund's exceptional work

Painstakingly done by hand with colors derived from natural sources

The evening then progressed to the 4th floor of the library where the Martha W. Griffiths Rare Book Room is located. Martha Griffiths was the only woman from Michigan to serve in all three branches of government.

The Martha W. Griffiths Michigan Rare Book Room

A map of the Great Lakes basin from the mid-1700s

Some rare books

Interior of the Michigan Library

 It was a lovely celebration and I will return to this library to research the history of the islands of the Great Lakes for my upcoming book: 

A 1,000-Mile Great Lakes ISLAND Adventure 
[to be released in 2015].