The Bentley Historical Library is a place both of rich heritage and new discoveries. Those who use our collections—historians, students, the avidly curious, and more—know that there are stories behind every photograph, every letter, every book. Come read about our treasures: in the archive, on display, and on stage through talks and lectures.
In 1867, a committee of students from the University of Michigan’s Literary Department was appointed to recommend colors emblematic of the school. They decided on “azure blue and maize,” now known as maize and blue. But what do these colors look like? The answer has historically depended on whom you ask — and when.
The Bentley has digitized the collection of William B. Mershon, a Michigan lumberman in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, who also hunted and fished in Michigan. He became a witness first to the bounty of Michigan’s wilderness, and then to the dramatic loss of species.