New Digital Collections: Completed July 2018 - June 2019

Section 3 of the Mushi scroll

The Digital Content & Collections (DCC) department grows and maintains nearly 300 digital collections that contain images, texts, and more. The digital collections receive upwards of 60 million hits each year. DCC is deeply involved in all discussions regarding the suitable, long-term preservation and appropriate access to our content, at the digital object level and at the repository level.  

Over the past fiscal year (July 2018 - June 2019) DCC has collaborated with stakeholders within libraries, museums, and more, across campus and beyond, to create the following new digital collections, adding to the full list of digital collections found online at Thank you to all of our stakeholders involved in each collection, the Library Copyright Office for their role in every new digital collection, and the many individuals within Library Information Technology who also assisted in the creation of these collections!

Please contact me ( with any questions. We hope that communicating about these digital collections will encourage people to spread the word about these fabulous new collections and reach the audiences who will use them for research, education, and other uses.


Mushi no Utaawase EmakiMushi scroll case 

Created in collaboration with the Asia Library.

The Mushi no Utaawase Emaki is a 160 cm long scroll consisting of 15 panels of text and color paintings. An utaawase (literally, "poem match") is a kind of competition in which pairs of poems composed by two teams on assigned themes are judged on the basis of their literary merit. The Mushi no Utaawase Emaki is a scroll over five feet in length in which the participants in the competition are depicted as insects. The creator of the scroll is unknown, but we do know that the scroll was created during the Edo period (1600-1868) in Japan, and the accompanying text was probably composed in the first half of the 17th century. The text was written by 木下勝俊, Kinoshita Katsutoshi (1570-1650), who is also known as 木下長嘯子, Kinoshita Chōshōshi.


DAAS students sittingDepartment of Afroamerican and African Studies (University of Michigan) Records

Note: This collection is restricted to authenticated users. 

Created in collaboration with the Bentley Historical Library.

This record group pertains to the University of Michigan Department of Afroamerican and African Studies and to campus, regional, and national organizations devoted to political and civil rights causes from the 1960s to the 1990s. The collection includes print documents, photographs, and audio-visual material that document racial harassment incidents, political protests, scholarly conferences and symposia, MLK Day celebrations and black student life on the U-M campus. There are also materials about the civil rights movement of the 1960s and the anti-apartheid and divestment movements of the 1980s. Originally a Center, the unit was formally recognized as a department of the College of Literature, Science and the Arts in 2011.


Significant Updates to Several Bentley Historical Library Digital Collections' Interfaces

Though the following digital collections are not new, they went through significant interface updates improving usability and accessibility. The work was done in collaboration with the Bentley Historical Library and several units within Library Information Technology.

Among the changes, we were able to extend the repository IIIF API to support the text collections, letting us offer thumbnails in page listings (search results / contents), and provide a similar experience to that found in the Michigan Daily Digital Archives digital collection: zoom-able/pan-able image views are presented with the OCR text. For more information about the project, please see the separate, more in-depth blog post discussing the project.


Delta Delta Delta houseDelta Delta Delta, Iota Chapter Scrapbook

Created in collaboration with the Bentley Historical Library.

Scrapbook from the Delta Delta Delta sorority at the University of Michigan. The scrapbook was originally created in 1914 by residents of Hilary House (a Women’s League house, a precursor to modern dormitories) as a petition to the national Delta Delta Delta sorority for the formation of a local chapter (Iota) at the university, which was installed in 1915. The volume includes photographs of prospective sorority members and campus facilities as well as supporting documentation.


The Detroit Jewish News Digital ArchivesCover of an issue of Detroit Jewish News

Created in collaboration with the Bentley Historical Library.

Established in 1942 by noted journalist Philip Slomovitz, the independent Detroit Jewish News is one of America’s leading Anglo-Jewish media outlets and the primary information source for the Detroit metropolitan area’s Jewish community. It strives to reflect the diverse views within the community while advocating positions of Jewish unity and continuity. The Jewish News also includes a robust digital and social media presence.


Photo of people living in China from the Blydenburgh digital collectionGeorge and Marion Blydenburgh Papers

Created in collaboration with Bentley Historical Library.

The George and Marion Blydenburgh Papers includes correspondence, photographs, and lantern slides from the Blydenburghs' missionary work in China as well as topical writings (by the Blydenburghs and others), news clippings, reports from the Nanchang Hospital, and publications from the Nanking Language School. The George and Marion Blydenburgh Papers document the work of American missionaries and doctors in China during the 1920s and early 1930s. The collection provides a first-hand account of life in pre-revolutionary China and its increasingly turbulent relationship with Japan in the run up to World War II.


Photo of Harry WatkinsThe Diary of Harry Watkins: Digital Edition

Created in collaboration with Michigan Publishing, the City University of New York (CUNY), and others to accompany a book publication by Michigan Publishing.

Hardworking actor, playwright, and stage manager Harry Watkins (1825–94) was a prolific diarist. For fifteen years (1845–60), Watkins regularly recorded the plays he saw, the roles he performed, the books he read, and his impressions of current events. Performing across the United States, Watkins collaborated with preeminent performers and producers, recording his successes and failures as well as his encounters with celebrities such as P. T. Barnum, Junius Brutus Booth, Edwin Forrest, Anna Cora Mowatt, and Lucy Stone. His is the only known diary of substantial length and scope written by a U.S. actor before the Civil War—making Watkins, essentially, the antebellum equivalent of Samuel Pepys.

This searchable digital edition includes the entire uncorrected text of Watkins’s diary, encoded in XML, prepared in accordance with guidelines established by the Text Encoding Initiative ( It is archived by the University of Michigan Library as a companion to the University of Michigan Press volume: A Player and a Gentleman: The Diary of Harry Watkins, Nineteenth-Century US American Actor, eds. Amy E. Hughes and Naomi J. Stubbs (University of Michigan Press, 2018),


Photograph of a snake from the Predator & Prey digital collectionUniversity of Michigan Museum of Zoology, Herpetology Predator & Prey Collection

Created in collaboration with the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology.

The University of Michigan, Museum of Zoology’s Division of Reptiles and Amphibians maintains the second largest collection of preserved reptile and amphibian specimens in the world. Of the nearly half million specimens, nearly 40,000 specimens are snakes. PhD student Mike Grundler’s research involves characterizing diets of neotropical colubrid snakes through the dissection of fluid-preserved snake specimens in the UMMZ herpetology collection. During his work at the Research Museum Center, well over 500 specimens were dissected to recover nearly 200 prey items. Documenting these predators and prey items with high resolution photography is part of Mike’s ongoing research characterizing ecological patterns in the evolution of neotropical snake diets. Many of the dissections made proved fruitful in this respect by yielding further data on poorly known snake diets. At present, there are 459 images of snake predators (over 100 species) and their prey. The museum vouchers for these images are curated in our research collections.


Image of an archeological image from the Kelsey Museum of Archeology digital collectionSignificant Updates to the Kelsey Museum Artifacts Database

Created in collaboration with LSA Museums.

Many more images were added to this existing collection. Over 20,000 images along with about 40,000 additional records of physical items were added. More images are planned for deposit over the next few years, and this significant deposit of images is a great start! The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology now has a nightly updated data-feed, which automatically updates the collection, and a shared network storage space for transferring images to DCC. This project has helped DCC create a model for similar agreements and content refreshes in the future.

This collection contains an online version of the catalog of objects from the ancient world (coins, textiles, pottery, sculpture, etc.) that are held by the University of Michigan's Kelsey Museum of Archaeology. It includes descriptions of over 98,000 objects and fine art photographs. The database is being expanded to include images of many of the artifacts.


Drawing of Samuel Latham MitchillSamuel Latham Mitchill Papers, 1801-1829

Created in collaboration with William L. Clements Library.

The Samuel Latham Mitchill Papers consist of 522 letters or fragments dating between 1801 and 1829, but largely dating between 1801 and 1813. Most of the letters are from U.S. Congressman Samuel Latham Mitchill to his wife, Catharine Akerly Cock Mitchill, with the exception of four letters written by him to other recipients and 15 letters written by other senders. These letters touch on a wide variety of topics, including domestic politics and foreign affairs, relations with European powers, the Barbary Wars and other naval matters, the Aaron Burr conspiracy, Washington, DC, society, Mitchill's scientific endeavors and sample collection, and and his family life and travel plans.

Please see the Samuel Latham Mitchill Papers: Partial Subject Index for additional information about the contents of the collection.


Partial photograph of a letter from the German Auxiliaries Muster RollsGerman Auxiliaries Muster Rolls, 1776-1786 Digital Collection

Created in collaboration with William L. Clements Library.

This collection is comprised of seventy muster rolls and 15 additional letters and documents of the German regiments employed by the British to fight in the American Revolutionary War.


Part of a letter from the Elizabeth Camp JournalsElizabeth Camp Journals, 1819-1825 Digital Collection

Created in collaboration with William L. Clements Library.

Elizabeth Camp's two journals detail her time spent with the Stockbridge Indians as a schoolteacher and unofficial Congregationalist missionary.


Part of a letter from the Jonathan Chase PapersJonathan Chase Papers, 1775-1797 Digital Collection

Created in collaboration with William L. Clements Library.

The Jonathan Chase papers contain letters and documents relating to the services of Colonel Jonathan Chase, of the 13th and 15th New Hampshire Militia regiments, during the Revolutionary War. These record Chase's involvement with recruiting soldiers and providing supplies for the army during the war.

The Jonathan Chase Papers are part of the James S. Schoff Revolutionary War Collection.


Part of a letter from the Samson Adams PapersSamson Adams Papers, 1767-1794 Digital Collection

Created in collaboration with William L. Clements Library.

The Samson Adams papers are the estate and business documents of Adams, a free African American man living and working in Trenton, New Jersey, in the late 18th century. Adams worked as a carpenter and laborer, and produced and traded in a variety of items, including soap, milk, corn, and construction materials.

The Samson Adams papers are part of the William L. Clements Library's Ewing Family Papers. They have been catalogued, described, and digitized separately because of their historical importance and completeness.


University of Michigan Herbarium Catalog CollectionPhoto of a specimen from the herbarium collection

Created in collaboration with the University of Michigan College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (LSA) and the University of Michigan Herbarium (MICH).

The University of Michigan Herbarium (MICH) includes approximately 1.75 million specimens of vascular plants [ferns, gymnosperms, and flowering plants (~1.1 million)], algae (96,000), bryophytes (163,000), fungi (~280,000), and lichens (57,000). Herbarium MICH is known worldwide for the teaching and research conducted here in systematic botany and biodiversity studies and serves as a resource for the wider botanical community. The depth and breadth of our collection often enables us to provide assistance available nowhere else.

Organismal and genetic resource collections such as those in the Herbarium provide the best tangible record we have of life on Earth and constitute a crucial resource for use in research and education benefiting science, society, and the university. Working collaboratively within the highly regarded Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, our goal is to make UM a leading center for training and research in studies of the history, the change mechanisms, and the conservation of Earth’s diverse life forms.

Support for digitizing and databasing specimens at MICH was provided by UM funding as well as the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (digitizing most type specimens), the Hanes Fund (digitizing Michigan ferns and bryophytes), and ten awards from the National Science Foundation.