Mine Memories Oral History Project Update

We are currently in the thick of the interview portion of our Mine Memories project. The Michigan Tech Archives’ oral history team has successfully completed interviews with six community members and has another interview schedules in the upcoming weeks. There are many more who have expressed interest in participating, though there is still room for more participants.

Even more work has been going on behind the scenes, as we transcribe and digitally process the resulting audio files from our interviews.

Keep an eye out for more blog updates about this project – as well as an upcoming student assistant’s accounts of working on the team.

If you have any questions about this project, or if you would like to share your mine-related histories, please contact the Michigan Tech Archives at copper@mtu.edu or at 906-487-2505.

The Mine Memories project is funded in part by a Heritage Grant from the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission.

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Michigan Tech Archives Seeking 2016 Summer Intern

The Michigan College of Mines library reading room,  1920s or 1930s.
The Michigan College of Mines library reading room, 1920s or 1930s.

 

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections is currently seeking applicants for the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Graduate Internship for summer 2016. The archives provides a high level of service to scholars, students and a wide range of visitors, especially in the summer through our role as part of the Keweenaw Heritage Site network, a partnership with the Keweenaw National Historical Park, a member of the National Park Service. Areas of emphasis include manuscripts, maps, print and digital images which document the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula (U.P.) and university history. Partnerships with faculty and collaborative initiatives within the Van Pelt and Opie Library expose archivists to leading edge projects. Current projects include the Keweenaw Digital Archives migration to Preservica, implementation of a new oral history program and a research study and exhibit of African American social history in the U.P.

The intern selected will receive substantial experience in both public service and collections handling. The intern will assist in (day-to-day) public service activities, including greeting and assisting researchers, retrieving and shelving collections, and assisting university and community patrons with use of materials and equipment. The intern will also gain experience in organizing, describing, and processing archival collections. This includes researching people or events covered by a collection, cleaning, arranging, boxing and creating finding aids.

Preference will be given to applicants currently enrolled in a graduate archival studies program, but consideration may be given for equivalent education and experience. The following skills are required:

  • Knowledge of contemporary archival practices, policies, and procedures, including arrangement and description, and familiarity with DACS, MARC, LCSH and AAT.
  • Demonstrated analytical and research skills.
  • Ability to work independently and exercise initiative, discretion and judgment.
  • Ability to work collegially and effectively in a team-based environment.

This is a 35 hour per week, part-time summer position to span seven weeks. The preferred start date is June 27, to coincide with the university’s second summer session. There are no benefits included with this position and the successful candidate will be expected to cover travel expenses to Houghton, Michigan. The intern will be compensated in the form of a $5000 stipend to be paid out biweekly throughout the duration of employment. Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed. Housing options in the Copper Country include independently requesting a single occupancy dorm room and included meal plan (depending on availability) or making off-campus housing arrangements. In addition to a great working environment you will enjoy exquisite scenery, moderate temperatures and outdoor activities near the shores of Lake Superior!

To learn more about us, please visit our website: http://www.mtu.edu/library/archives/

Applications are due by May 1, 2016. Direct any questions, or submit your cover letter and resume to:

Lindsay Hiltunen, Senior Archivist
Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections
Attn: Graduate Student Summer Intern Position
Van Pelt and Opie Library
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
copper@mtu.edu
(906) 487-2505

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. 

“Oral Histories and Archives” Talk to be Held at the Calumet Public Library

The Friends of the Calumet Public Library is sponsoring a presentation next week by Sawyer Newman, Communications and Research Assistant at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections.

During this talk, Newman will discuss the value that archives can have as active members of their respective communities and the benefit that oral histories add to archival collections. The talk will utilize examples of oral history from the current Mine Memories project and other oral history collections held by the Michigan Tech Archives.

The talk will take place on Wednesday, April 6 at 6:30 P.M. at the Calumet Public Library (located on the C-L-K campus, 57070 Mine Street, Calumet). The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

If you have any questions about this project, or if you would like to share your mine-related histories, please contact the Michigan Tech Archives at copper@mtu.edu or at 906-487-2505.

The Mine Memories project is funded in part by a Heritage Grant from the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission. 

 

Calumet and Hecla Photograph Collection
Calumet and Hecla Photograph Collection

African American History Presentation to be Held on March 2

Dr. Michelle S. Johnson, a Community Historian with the Michigan Historical Center, will be presenting a talk on African American history in Michigan on Tuesday, October 27 at 4:00 p.m. at the Van Pelt and Opie Library. This photograph is courtesy of Kzoo Uncaged. See there website for a great interview with Dr. Johnson.
Dr. Michelle S. Johnson, a Community Historian with the Michigan Historical Center, will be presenting a talk on African American history in Michigan on Wednesday, March 2 at 4:00 p.m. at the Van Pelt and Opie Library. This photograph is courtesy of Kzoo Uncaged. See their website for a great interview with Dr. Johnson.


As part of the “Black Voices in the Copper Country” project, the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections will be hosting a talk by Dr. Michelle S. Johnson, a Community Historian with the Michigan Historical Center in Lansing.

The talk will be held at 4pm on Wednesday, March 2 in the Van Pelt and Opie Library’s East Reading Room. The presentation, “Exhibits for a New Century: Researching the African American Experience in Michigan from the Copper Country to the Capital,” will explore the historical center’s Exhibits for a New Century project, which is an interpretive exhibit documenting the African American experience across the state. Johnson will also discuss the methods and meaning behind the exhibit as well as a statewide research initiative to uncover and share African American narratives in Michigan history, such as the grant-funded project taking place at the Michigan Tech Archives.  This event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Johnson has executed extensive work on securing and promoting spaces where socially marginalized people express their autonomous and authentic selves. As co-founder and executive director of Fire Historical and Cultural Arts Collaborative, she collected and oversaw the collection of numerous oral histories around issues of place, community, race, ethnicity, class, gender, sexuality and history. Johnson served as the Freedom Trail coordinator for the State of Michigan from 2000-2008 and consults on 19th century history projects in the state and the mid-west region, especially the Underground Railroad. She researches, writes and lectures for academic and public settings on aspects of African American culture in Michigan. Her scholarship includes a community project in Loughman, Florida researching, interpreting and performing the work of Zora Neale Hurston. Named WIDR’s “most beloved DJ,” Johnson has appeared as a weekly host for Slip Back Soul for 9 years as DJ Disobedience.

This talk is made possible in part by a grant from the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

 

MHC Publicity

Michigan History Day District 1 Competition to be held at Michigan Tech this Saturday

Michigan History Day 2016

The Michigan Technological University Department of Social Sciences and the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections are pleased to announce that the Michigan History Day district 1 competition will be held at the Memorial Union Building at Michigan Tech, Saturday, February 20, 2016 from 9am to 1pm.

Five secondary schools from MI-District 1 (the 6 western counties of the UP) will be sending nearly 100 students with over 40 History Day projects to Michigan Tech for a district competition. Top entries in each category — exhibits, documentaries, websites, papers, and performances — will be eligible to go to State competition in April. Winning entries will also be on display in May at the Carnegie Museum on Houghton.

History Day is a competition for middle and high school students who develop historical research projects based on an annual theme that highlight people, events, and ideas in history.  This year’s national theme is “Exploration, Encounter, Exchange in History” and projects are on local, state, national, and even world history.  Michigan History Day is sponsored and coordinated by the Historical Society of Michigan, which coordinates 13 state districts.  Each school in the district has initial competitions and sends up to three entries (individual or group) in each category to a district competition, which then sends on top projects in each category to state finals in May.

ABOUT MHD-district 1: Assistant Professors Steven Walton and Jonathan Robins, both historians in the Dept. of Social Sciences, and Senior Archivist Lindsay Hiltunen of the Michigan Tech Archives are the coordinators for Michigan District 1 (Houghton, Keweenaw, Baraga, Ontonagan, Iron and Gogebic counties). The Department of Social Sciences offers a B.A. degree in history with particular strength in industrial and environmental history and archaeology.  The Michigan Tech Archives holds unparalleled historical resources on the Copper Country and its mining history. Michigan Tech has been hosting the district conception each February or early March for nearly a decade.

Website: http://www.mtu.edu/social-sciences/undergraduate/history/mhd.html

For more information, contact: Steven Walton, 906-487-3272 (office) or 906-370-3877 (cell) or sawalton@mtu.edu

Love Letters From the Archives

We send you a message of love and good cheer as we approach Valentine’s Day, 2016. While I was processing a collection this afternoon it just so happened there was a folder of vintage greeting cards. Please enjoy a few samples inspired by Cupid!

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The sunbeams of my heart shall shine
This day on you My Valentine.

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This Valentine is bringing
A message of good cheer,
Wishing joy, success, prosperity
Through all the coming year
Signed, Leo

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Valentine Greeting
To My True Love

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To My Valentine
Valentine, with charms so sweet,
I lay this offering at your feet.

 

The cards in this post are part of MS-943: Nash and Siira Families Papers. The cards are from 1920-1940.

 

Open Archivist Position at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections

Students reading and researching in the Michigan College of Mines Library Reading Room, circa 1920s.
Students reading and researching in the Michigan College of Mines Library Reading Room, circa 1920s.

 

We would like to announce we are currently looking to fill an open Archivist position.

The Archivist is responsible for key public services and archival collection processing and description in the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, a department of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. This position is instrumental to providing and developing robust and innovative services and resources for the campus and community from an archives focused on the history, culture and people of Michigan’s Copper Country. For more information about the position, please visit the Michigan Technological University Human Resources website or by clicking this link: https://www.jobs.mtu.edu/postings/4040

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Michigan Tech Archives Installs New Exhibit at the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw

Image of the Michigan Tech Afro-American Society, 1973.
Image of the Michigan Tech Afro-American Society, 1973.

 

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections recently partnered with the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw to launch a photograph installation documenting moments in local African American history. This exhibit is part of the Black Voices in the Copper Country project, a research and outreach series developed by the Michigan Tech Archives. This project was designed to illuminate black social history in Michigan’s northwestern Upper Peninsula, especially Houghton and Keweenaw counties. The primary goal of this project will be to inform and engage the public about the existence of historic black residents in the Copper Country and to explore how themes of community, belonging and identity evolved and changed over time, from the late 1800s into the present day. These themes are being explored in both a historical context and a modern context, with sights set on exploring the region generally as well as on activities and student life at the Michigan Technological University campus.

A reception and presentation to discuss the exhibit, the project and the mission of the Michigan Tech Archives will take place at the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, in downtown Houghton, on Tuesday, February 23 starting at 6:30 p.m. A short reception will be immediately followed by a presentation at 7:00 p.m. in the museum’s downstairs Community Room. Refreshments will be served.

The Black Voices exhibit is curated by Lindsay Hiltunen, Senior Archivist at the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections. This project is funded in part by the Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For more information about the project or the Michigan Tech Archives, please contact Lindsay Hiltunen at (906) 487-2505 or by e-mailing copper@mtu.edu.

For more information about other programs and exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, please contact Elise Nelson at (906) 482-7140 or by e-mailing elisen@cityofhoughton.com

 

MHC Publicity

Holiday Cooking, Archives Style

[A man, a woman and a child stand around a decorated Christmas tree, a present table and small child size furniture. From the Herman Gundlach Collection.
A man, woman and child stand around a decorated Christmas tree. From the Herman Gundlach Collection.
 

The holidays are nearly here so there is no time like the present to start preparing for the festivities! For a vintage spin on your holiday preparations, we’ve ventured into the stacks to find some recipes from cherished cookbooks. We hope one of these scrumptious vittles will make it onto your holiday menu. For a glimpse at other vintage recipes, stop down to the Archives and see what is cooking in the stacks. Please take note that the Michigan Tech Archives will be closed to the public from December 21-25 and December 31-January 1. We will be open, with limited service hours of 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., on December 28-30. We will resume normal business hours on Monday, January 4, 2016.

For your holiday cocktail party or open house, why not try these savory meatballs in a red wine reduction.

Hot Meatballs in Burgundy Sauce (serves 10-12)

1 pound lean ground beef                                              ¼ tsp. pepper
½ pound ground veal                                                     ¼ tsp. allspice
½ pound lean ground pork                                           ¼ cup milk
2 x 2” piece suet                                                                ¼ cup drippings
2 cups crumbled stale bread crumbs                       1 ½ tbsp. flour
2 eggs, beaten                                                                     ½ cup water
1 cup burgundy wine                                                       1 beef bouillion cube
1 medium onion, diced                                                   garlic, fresh or powdered to taste

Grind meats and suet together, running through food chopper three times. This prevents the meat balls from breaking so easily. Mix with bread, eggs, onion, garlic, seasonings, and milk. Make meat balls about ½” in diameter and brown on all sides in hot drippings. Remove from pan; blend flour, water, burgundy, and bouillion cube in pan, cook stirring constantly until thick and smooth. Return meat balls to pan; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Transfer to chafing dish to keep warm.

Two men demonstrate how to use the Clouthier tree stands. This photograph is part of the Daily Mining Gazette Photograph Collection.
Two men demonstrate how to use the Clouthier tree stands. This photograph is part of the Daily Mining Gazette Photograph Collection.

 

To replenish after chopping down your tree or for a little nip around a roaring fire, try this classic egg nog recipe.

Egg Nog

To make a quart take three eggs, nearly a pint of good fresh milk, sugar and spice to suit the taste. Put these in a pitcher; add hot water to make a quart; then stir or change from one vessel to another until thoroughly mixed; then add a wine glass or more of the best whiskey. Wine may be used in place of whiskey. The eggs and sugar must be thoroughly beaten before being put with the hot water. Drink hot.

A family scene in the living room. The photograph is part of the William Brinkman Collection.
A family scene in the living room. The photograph is part of the William Brinkman Collection.

 

Nothing beats warm Kropsua and berries for your holiday breakfast to get you ready for an afternoon of sledding or snowshoeing.

Kropsua (Finnish Oven Pancake)

2 eggs                                                                   ½ tsp. salt
2 cups milk                                                          ¼ cup butter or oleo
1 cup flour                                                           1 tbsp. sugar (optional)

Melt butter in 8×12” pan. Set aside to cool. Mix all other ingredients in a deep bowl and beat with rotary egg beater until smooth. Last of all, add melted butter. Pour batter in same pan as butter was melted in. Bake in hot, 400 degree oven, for 1 hour. Serve hot with berries or plain.

Goods collected for the Salvation Army's 1958 holiday food drive.
Goods collected for the Salvation Army’s 1958 holiday food drive.

 

The following recipe requires some patience, so perhaps start now and it will be ready for your New Year’s Eve festivities!

Fine Cucumber Pickles

Make a brine that will bear an egg, and drop in the cucumbers; cover them with grape leaves; weight them down, and let them stand ten or more days. Then take them out, drain well, and a day or two in plenty of clear water, frequently changed. Afterward, put them in a kettle with grape and cabbage leaves and a lump of alum. Cover with weak vinegar, and let them stand until they turn green. Then take out, drain, and put into stone jars. For each three gallons of pickles use one gallon of cider vinegar, and place into it one ounce each of mace and celery seed, two ounces of ginger, three ounces each of cloves and stick cinnamon, four ounces each of mustard seed (black and white mixed), choice black pepper and allspice, two tablespoons of ground mustard, a handful of chopped horseradish, two pods of red pepper, four onions, and two pounds of sugar. Boil, and pour it hot over the pickles. More sugar can be added to suit the taste. Cover the jar very closely, and expose to the sun every day during hot weather.

The recipes above were transcribed from The Blend of a Century, a cookbook compiled by the Iron County Historical and Museum Society in 1981 and Did They Really Eat That?: A 19th Century Cookbook That Acquainted Immigrants With Northwoods Pioneer Fare, a volume reprinted by Copper Sun Publications in 1992.

Mining Memories Project to Start this Winter

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections is pleased to announce that its staff will be initiating an oral history project this winter. This project, funded in part by the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission, aims to collect first hand accounts from Copper Country mine workers and their families in an effort to preserve local mining heritage.

Calumet and Hecla Photograph Collection
Calumet and Hecla Photograph Collection

 

Why are we doing this?

The Michigan Tech Archives has hundreds of cubic feet of mining company records within its collections but does not have nearly the same bulk of primary source materials characterizing mine workers and their families on a personal level. By reaching out to individuals who have stories to tell about the mines, the archives will give people agency over their own local history and will capture memories that would otherwise be forgotten.

Personal accounts of working for the local mines and of living in the local mining community will add so much to our historical narrative

Do you have a story to tell?

If you have worked for a Copper Country mine, or were close with a family member who worked for a mine, we would love to schedule an interview with you. We will be interviewing 15 people between January and May 2016.

Interviews will be scheduled for 45 minute blocks in the Michigan Tech Archives. The interviews will follow a predetermined set of questions, but will allow for freeform discussion as well. If you are interested in participating, but are not able to travel to the Michigan Tech Archives, please let us know. We may be able to set up another centralized location for interviews within our community.

Further Questions?

If you would like to learn more about this project or would like to schedule an interview, please email the archives at copper@mtu.edu or call us at (906)-487-2505.