Bentley Historical Library

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Original draft of act to establish the Catholepistemiad
1817 Seal of the University
U-M mace
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The Bentley Historical Library of the University of Michigan on North Campus is home to many objects and artifacts from the University’s early history that demonstrate its strong commitment to its classical roots from the very start. One can find the original draft of the act to establish the “Catholepistemiad” in 1817 (that’s right, the original name of the University of Michigan was in Ancient Greek),  or even images of U-M’s first seal, which depicts a classically styled “Temple of Wisdom” with a dome, six Doric columns, and word “EPISTEMIA” inscribed up on it. In fact, the office of the library’s Director still houses the official “mace” of the University of Michigan, which is topped with a temple-like structure that recalls the original seal. (For more information please visit:

Next: Lorch Column