SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2019 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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The Library: 1901

The Library: 1901

"University of Michigan library reading room, Ann Arbor, 1901." Detroit Publishing Company glass negative, Library of Congress. View full size.

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My wife's aunt has a similar circular radiator at the top of the staircase in her home, in a town about 20 minutes from Buffalo, NY. The house is about 100 years old. I've never seen one anyplace else before now. It must be a fairly efficient way to heat a large space, such as this reading room. Though I can't quite figure out why it was installed in a house, where it dominates the top floor landing.

From the outside

Here's the history of the building (1881 - 1918), which sat on the southern side of what is now known as the "Diag" at the center of the campus, where the Hatcher Graduate Library is now.


No commenting in the library! Reading only, please!

O Warlike Pallas

That is Athena, Goddess of Wisdom.

Heroic Figure of Michigan

The sad end of the plaster statue of Michigan is described here. The library is gone, too.

Communal Spaces

You can tell a lot about what a culture values by its public and communal spaces. Shorpy keeps reminding us that the signals we send today don't measure up very well against a century ago.

Steam Heat

What a unique shape for the radiator that's in the foreground


Who does that well-armed statue represent, and what does the subject have to do with Michigan? Go Blue!!!

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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