Presentation – Red Sports on Lake Superior: The Labor Sport Union in the Upper Peninsula, Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, 1928-1935

Gabe Logan LSU

 

Please join us for a presentation by travel grant recipient Gabe Logan at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, November 15 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Logan will discuss the Labor Sport Union and its influence in the iron ranges of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. From 1928 through 1935 the United States Communist Party developed the Labor Sport Union. This athletic organization united left wing politics and athletics in an alternative vision of sport and society. The LSU drew much of its membership from the urban cities whose immigrant populations sought recreation beyond the schools and company teams. However, the LSU also found an appreciative audience in the rural iron ore region of Lake Superior. This presentation explains the significance of the LSU in the region and how its members embraced the “red sports” ideology.

Gabe Logan, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of History and the Director for the Center of Upper Peninsula Studies at Northern Michigan University. Logan’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Tech Archives has partnered with the FMTL to help scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the archives.

For more information, feel free to call the Michigan Tech Archives at (906) 487-2505, email at copper@mtu.edu, or visit on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.

Presentation – The Strength of Steel: Life, Labor, and Politics at the Rouge, 1941-1991

Ford's Alberta complex in Baraga County, Michigan.
Ford’s Alberta complex in Baraga County, Michigan.

 

Please join us for a presentation by travel grant recipient Gordon Andrews at 4:00 pm on Thursday, November 3 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Andrews will discuss unionization efforts at the Ford Motor Company’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Company was the last of the “Big Three” automakers to unionize. There were serious attempts to organize beginning in the 1930s, but it was not until the workers at the Rouge plant organized a sit-down strike in 1941 that they were successful. The “Industrial Colossus on the Rouge” employed over 100,000 workers, and once organized, it became the largest local in the nation. The presentation will address the parameters of UAW Local 600’s history, from its leadership role in organizing the successful unionization of Ford Motor Company, to the myriad ways in which Local 600 impacted the quality of life, and also the politics of its membership over a half-century. An integral part of that story is understanding the relationships among labor and resources from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the way those affiliations inform what we know about the organization of Ford, especially as employees confronted a brutally oppressive system in the hopes of establishing democracy in the workplace.

Gordon P. Andrews is an associate professor in the Department of History at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan. He has taught at the secondary and post-secondary levels since 1986, and his research fields include history education, modern United States history, and 20th-century labor history. His recent publications include, Undoing Plessy: Charles Hamilton Houston, Race, Labor and the Law, 1895-1950 (Newcastle upon Tyne, London: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014), Collaboration and the Future of Education: Preserving the Right to Teach and Think Historically, New York: Routledge, 2015, co-authored with Wilson Warren, and James Cousins.

Andrews’ research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Tech Archives has partnered with the FMTL to help scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the archives.

For more information, feel free to call the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505, email at copper@mtu.edu, or visit on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.

Michigan Tech Archives and HKCGS to Present a Family Papers Workshop

Documents from a family papers collection being rehumidified at the Michigan Tech Archives, 2015.
Documents from a family papers collection being rehumidified at the Michigan Tech Archives, 2015.

 

The Houghton-Keweenaw County Genealogical Society is teaming up with the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections to present a home archiving workshop at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 11 at the Portage Lake District Library.

Lindsay Hiltunen, university archivist at the Michigan Tech Archives will discuss tips and tricks for taking care of family papers and photographs. Topics will include proper handling techniques, storage solutions, digitization and preservation concerns.

The meeting is free and open to the public. For further information, contact the HKCGS at 369-4083 or email. You can also contact Michigan Tech Archives at 7-2505 or email.

Michigan Tech Archives Wins State History Award for “Black Voices in the Copper Country”

BlackVoices Blog Piece

The Historical Society of Michigan has named the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections winner of its 2016 Special Programs/Events Award, for its “Black Voices in the Copper Country” project. “Black Voices” was recognized for its “dynamic series of programming, exhibits and social media campaigns relating to African American social history in the Copper Country.” The award will be presented at the historical society’s annual State History Conference in Alpena, Michigan, Sept. 23-25, 2016. The project team consisted of University Archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen, Project Researcher, Martin Hobmeier, and Graphic Designer, Mike Stockwell of Cranking Graphics.

University Archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen presenting the Black Voices project at the National Council on Public History Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD, March 2016.
University Archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen presenting the Black Voices project at the National Council on Public History Annual Conference in Baltimore, MD, March 2016.

The society presents the State History Awards every year to individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation and/or promotion of state and local history. The awards are the highest recognition from the Historical Society of Michigan, the state’s official historical society and oldest cultural organization. There were 15 other awards in categories including a lifetime achievement award, distinguished volunteer service, books, magazine articles, media and restoration projects.

Project Researcher, Martin Hobmeier discussing the Black Voices project for TV6 news in May 2016.
Project Researcher, Martin Hobmeier discussing the Black Voices project for TV6 news in May 2016.

For more information about the award please visit the Michigan Tech News site.

For more information about “Black Voices in the Copper Country” or the Michigan Tech Archives, e-mail copper@mtu.edu or call (906) 487-2505. Find us on Twitter @mtuarchives.

Announcing Saturday Research Hours This Fall

1football

 

In an effort to provide more options as you make your research game plan, the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections will be open the second Saturday of each month starting on September 10, 2016. The reading room will be open to the public from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. and the full range of research support services and genealogy assistance will be available during Second Saturday hours.

The Michigan Tech Archives is also offering prizes for the inaugural Second Saturday. Simply visit us on Saturday, September 10 and answer the following question:

The Michigan Tech football coaches were busy planning strategy in early September 1958. What team were the Huskies preparing to play on Saturday, September 13, 1958?

Second Saturday at the Michigan Tech Archives fall semester dates: September 10, October 8, November 12, and December 10.

For more information about Second Saturday or the Michigan Tech Archives please call (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu. Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter: @mtuarchives!

Welcome To Our New Assistant Archivist

Our new team member, Emily Riippa, poses in the stacks at the end of her first week.
Our new team member, Emily Riippa, poses in the stacks at the end of her first week.

 

On behalf of the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, a department of Michigan Tech’s Van Pelt and Opie Library, we hope you will help us welcome the newest member of the team, Emily Riippa. Emily is our newest assistant archivist which is a one year term position to help us with special projects and various public services and outreach initiatives. Below, please take a moment to get to know Emily as she introduces herself in her own words.


My name is Emily Riippa, and I’m delighted to join the staff of the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections as Assistant Archivist for the next year. I am twice a graduate of the University of Michigan, earning degrees in history (bachelor’s, 2014) and archives and records management (master’s, 2016).

You’ve heard the term “dream job,” and that’s exactly what working at the Michigan Tech Archives is for me. While I was born and raised downstate in Grand Rapids, my family’s roots in the area are very deep: my ancestors first arrived in the 1870s, and my parents grew up in Winona and Hancock. Little did they know what they had started when they brought me to visit the Keweenaw at three weeks old! I fell in love with the Copper Country and its remarkable history during annual childhood vacations, which prompted me to write my undergraduate honors thesis on women’s experiences in the region between 1880 and 1930. Last summer, I was an archives technician intern at Keweenaw National Historical Park, which I enjoyed tremendously. I have also worked part-time at the Bentley Historical Library and the Ada Historical Society in the Lower Peninsula for the past several years, learning more about how to keep history alive through our documents and artifacts.

When I’m not at work, you’ll find me engrossed in my own genealogical research, respectfully exploring local cemeteries and historic sites, enjoying a frigid swim in Lake Superior, biking around the Copper Country, or with my nose buried in a good book. I also intend to learn a little Finnish, a language of my heritage, while I’m here.

I’m thrilled to give back to this community I love in my new role and to experience my first Keweenaw winter. Please feel free to come by the archives and say hello. I hope you’ll find what we have to offer as exciting as I do.


Welcome aboard Emily! We are so happy to have you join our team at Michigan Tech!

For more information about the Michigan Tech Archives please call (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu. You can find us on Twitter: @mtuarchives

Summer Intern Farewell

 

Fitz Photos of the Archives Crew
The Michigan Tech Archives crew posing on the beach outside of the Fitz in Eagle River, Michigan after the farewell dinner for our summer intern and student assistant. Lake Superior always provides a glorious backdrop! From the left, public services intern, Allyse, summer intern, Ryan, student assistant, Caleb, archivist, Allison, archives assistant, Georgeann, university archivist, Lindsay

 

We said goodbye to our Summer Intern, Ryan Welle, on Friday. Over the course of seven weeks he made a major impact on our customer services and tackled a fairly large processing project, with some interesting results! Please take a moment to hear about Ryan’s experiences in his final blog update.


It is so strange to think that my time as an intern for the Michigan Tech Archives has come to a close. I cannot say enough about how awesome this experience has been. I feel that I have learned a lot about what happens in an archive and how to work with a wide range of patrons.

Some of the notable experiences that I had during my time here are working on processing a collection. Even though I was not able to complete the processing of the collection I was working on because of the random curve balls I found in it (any archivist reading this can understand what sort of curve balls might be found when working on a collection), I was able to make a significant contribution to the processing of the collection. I was also able to identify materials in the collection that were more suited in an already existing collection. This was great because I was able to experience the process of separating materials out of a collection and adding them to another, as well as editing the finding aid with new information.

I also had great experiences working with and helping patrons. I even had the opportunity to help a patron that came to the archive from Canada, so now I am honestly able to say that I have helped international researchers. Other groups that I had the opportunity to work with are students, alumni, faculty and university staff, as well as community patrons of all types. I even had the great experience of interacting with children at an outreach program the archives hosted relating to the Pokemon Go trend that has swept the nation.

A great success story of providing reference was helping a patron who was looking for any information on a miner, but only had the company and employee number, and did not know the name or years they worked. Since the collection does not include an index of employees based upon employee number, this required some sleuthing through the collection. It just so happened that I was able to locate the employee number in a box of employee ID badges that had a photo of the miner! When I showed this to the patron, he was very pleased, couldn’t thank the archives enough, and everyone had a great day because of it.

I would also like to thank the wonderful staff that I had the pleasure to work with. The staff has been truly amazing, and I don’t think I could ask for better co-workers. They were all truly helpful and encouraging. They were willing to jump in and give me a hand when I needed it, as well as give me the independence to work on some things on my own to really build my skills. They always asked me if I had any questions and made me feel welcome and a part of the team. I will surely have fond memories of working with all of you.

On a side note, I am very glad that I had the chance to be in the Keweenaw Peninsula and Copper Country for the summer. This area is truly gorgeous and I loved spending time on all the trails, chasing waterfalls, and visiting the historic sites of the region. There is so much that I did not have time to see in these short seven weeks, and would gladly take another trip to the area to see some more of it.


Thank you Ryan for all of your efforts! Best wishes for the road ahead!

For more information about the Michigan Tech Archives please call us at (906) 487-2505 or by e-mailing copper@mtu.edu.

Alumni Reunion Is Almost Here!

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections joins the rest of the Michigan Tech community as we get ready to welcome alumni and friends to campus for Alumni Reunion 2016! The Michigan Tech Archives invites all alumni and guests to catch a glimpse of the Michigan Tech experience through the years. We will have an exhibit about the student experience at Michigan Tech on the main floor of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Afterwards, visitors are encouraged to come see us on the garden level of the library to view a campus history exhibit as well as yearbooks, photographs, newspapers and memorabilia.

The Michigan Tech Archives will be open Thursday, August 4 and Friday, August 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Behind-the-scenes tours will be available to individuals and small groups during the campus-wide open house on Friday, August 5 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Tours last 20-30 minutes. Walk-in visitors are encouraged, but please feel free to make a tour appointment by calling (906) 487-2505 if you wish. We hope to see you visit us during Alumni Reunion! Welcome Huskies, one and all!

For more information about Alumni Reunion 2016 and other campus events during the campus-wide open house, please visit the reunion website.

Pokémon Go Back in Time with the Michigan Tech Archives!

Pokemon Go

 

Calling teams Valor, Mystic and Instinct!

Since early July, Pokémon have been roaming all over campus thanks to Pokémon Go, a new location-based mobile game developed by Niantic. People of all ages have been joining the fun, exploring various Pokéstops and Gyms around Michigan Tech and the Copper Country. The augmented reality game is causing players to see the local landscape in a whole new way.

Taking a break from catching wild Pokémon in the stacks, the staff of the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections would like to invite players to Pokémon Go Back in Time on Wednesday, July 27. From 2:30-3:30 p.m. the Michigan Tech Archives will set up a refreshment table on the John Rovano Plaza, the garden patio adjacent to the Van Pelt and Opie Library. We will set some lures at nearby Pokéstops to attract as many Pokémon as possible. In addition, we will be giving away our newly developed brochure which advertises several Pokéstops at Michigan Tech and offers a little bit of historic information about each stop. Catch Pokémon and catch a glimpse of the past at the same time!

This event will take place rain or shine. We will be located indoors, near the Library Café, if it is raining next Wednesday. We hope to see you there!

For more information about this event or the Michigan Tech Archives in general, please call (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu. You can find us on Twitter: @mtuarchives.

Welcome to Our New Archivist!

Our newest team member, Allison Neely, poses in the reading room on her first day.
Our new team member, Allison Neely, poses in the reading room on her first day.

 

On behalf of the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, a department of Michigan Tech’s Van Pelt and Opie Library, we hope you will help us welcome the newest member of the team, Allison Neely. Allison is our newest archivist and she will be responsible for various public services and behind-the-scenes projects. She will be an important part of our research support services and reference team as well as share responsibilities for the arrangement and description of recent manuscript acquisitions. We are very excited to have Allison on board. Below, please take a moment to get to know Allison as she introduces herself in her own words.


Hello! My name is Allison Neely and it is my pleasure to be the new archivist at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections. Having grown up in Minnesota and living in the Midwest most of my life, I’m excited to learn more about the Copper Country and Keweenaw region of Upper Michigan, particularly the people, places and events that make this part of the world so unique.

I found my way into the library and archives field mostly by accident, though in retrospect it seems almost inevitable. As an undergraduate history and film studies student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities I worked in the main campus library as a library aide, fostering my love of learning. Following graduation I found myself taking a summer internship in the Steven Spielberg Film and Video Archive at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., a position that eventually rolled into a career-changing, year-long appointment. With the encouragement of USHMM staff I enrolled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies and received my MA with a specialization in archives and records management in 2008. I had the fortune of working for the next couple of years in some great archival institutions, including gigs at the Wisconsin Historical Society, the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, and the Minnesota Historical Society before making my way north to the Houghton/Hancock area.

I’m very excited to be making the Copper Country and Michigan Tech my home. When I’m not in the archive you might find me outside hiking, fishing and generally traversing the region with my husband; exploring the local food scene or trying a new recipe at home; or more than likely I’m in the gym catching a Zumba or yoga class. I hope you’ll feel free to stop by the department at any time to say hi and perhaps pursue a research project of your own using our collections.


Welcome aboard Allison! We are so happy to have you join us at Michigan Tech!

For more information about the Michigan Tech Archives please call (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu. You can find us on Twitter: @mtuarchives