Category Archives: Travel Grants Program

People’s Parks: Tracing Radical Environmental Activism from Berkeley to Michigan

This image shows two students planting flowers at Michigan Tech's People's Park. Built by MTU students, the park was the result of a four-day strike which occured in connection with the Cambodian Invasion and subsequent slayings of students at Kent State and Jackson State. The park was built as a peaceful expression of Tech students' outrage over the above mentioned incidents.
This image shows two students planting flowers at Michigan Tech’s People’s Park. Built by MTU students, the park was the result of a four-day strike which occured in connection with the Cambodian Invasion and subsequent slayings of students at Kent State and Jackson State. The park was built as a peaceful expression of Tech students’ outrage over the above mentioned incidents.

 

Please join us for visiting scholar Kera Lovell at 4:00 pm on Thursday, August 13 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, Lovell will present a portion of her dissertation which examines the devices and material construction of activism after World War II. In particular, Ms. Lovell will trace the history of the “People’s Park” movement. These coalitions of activists and students spread across the United States from Berkeley, California to Houghton, Michigan, and in places abroad, including South Africa. These spaces protested environmental and socioeconomic injustices. Ultimately, the protests took form through the creation of public parks in vacant lots, signifying a permanent occupancy that was visible to the public.

This talk will examine the visual and rhetorical strategies these activists used to equate their peaceful occupancies with territorial reclamation, and frame their creations as public memorials to colonized peoples. By examining some essential case studies of People’s Parks and situating Michigan Tech’s own People’s Park within this global movement, the talk will shed light on how activists saw space not as property, but as a symbolic representation of power.

Kera Lovell is a PhD candidate and Instructor in American Studies at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. She received her Master’s degree in American Studies from Purdue in 2011, and her Bachelor’s in History and Spanish from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia. She has received several awards from institutions to conduct and present her research, including Purdue University, Boston University, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Michigan Tech. Her dissertation, titled “Radical Manifest Destiny: Urban Renewal, Colonialism, and Transnational American Identity in the Urban Spatial Politics of the Postwar Left” traces the global popularity of a particular post-World War II protest tactic in which activists permanently occupied vacant lots by converting them into politicized urban green spaces they called “People’s Parks.”

Lovell’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped 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 athttp://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.

2015 Travel Grant Recipients Announced

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.

 

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections has selected three outstanding recipients for the 2015 Travel Grant Award, a competitive research grant generously funded by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. The recipients of the award will be visiting the Michigan Tech Archives to conduct research on a wide variety of topics using resources in our collections.

David Brown is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky, studying Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation. He will be visiting the Archives to explore the history of Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival and the student culture surrounding it. Mr. Brown will examine what Winter Carnival means to students, both past and present, and discover why it holds such a special place in their hearts. He has observed that alumni have a very strong fondness for their days at Michigan Tech and suspects that cherished traditions like Winter Carnival are at the root of those memories. Mr. Brown will no doubt find a wealth of resources in the Archives documenting the history of the Winter Carnival tradition including the Michigan Technological University Winter Carnival Collection, Michigan Technological University Winter Carnival Photograph Collection, Michigan Tech Lode Binding Collection, and Michigan Technological University Reminiscences.

Philip Hartmeyer is a Maritime Archaeologist conducting research at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan. His research at the Michigan Tech Archives will center on the Keweenaw Peninsula’s maritime history. Although the Great Lakes, Lake Superior specifically, were vital to the copper industry, not much has been written about the Keweenaw’s maritime identity. Mr. Hartmeyer will primarily use the Roy Drier Collection, which contains important primary sources such as lighthouse journals and mining company shipping records. These resources will provide firsthand insight into the maritime practices of the Copper Country mining companies and the ships that transported the copper. The Archives is very fortunate to have a comprehensive, complete collection of daily reports from the Portage River Lighthouse which contributes detailed information about the ships passing through.

Kera Lovell is a PhD candidate and Graduate Instructor in American Studies at Purdue University. While at the Michigan Tech Archives, Ms. Lovell will focus on researching Michigan Tech’s People’s Park. A People’s Park is a unique method of protesting in which activists permanently occupy vacant lots and convert them into public parks rather than participate in violent or disruptive rallies. Michigan Tech students created a People’s Park in response to the incidents at Kent State University in 1970. Ms. Lovell will use many of the Archives resources during the course of her research, most notably the Keweenaw Digital Archives, Raymond L. Smith Papers, Michigan Tech Lode Binding Collection, and Michigan Technological University Archives’ Photographic print files.

Since its inception, the Travel Grant Program has enabled more than twenty-five researchers to travel to Houghton from the United States, Canada, and Europe, to examine the unique social and cultural resources housed at the Michigan Tech Archives. Past grant recipients have studied a wide variety of topics, such as the use of images and models by mining engineers to manage complex work sites; the role that fraternal orders have played in Lake Superior mining communities; the adoption of the English language by European transplants to Michigan’s Copper Country; and the part played by various immigrant populations in the 1913-1914 Copper Strike. This year’s awards continue a tradition of supported research using the manuscript collections curated by the Michigan Tech Archives.

The grant program is financially supported by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. This year’s award committee members were Don Durfee, Larry Lankton, Susan Martin, and Lindsay Hiltunen.

For further information about the awards program or about the Michigan Tech Archives collections, please call 487-2505 or visit our website at http://www.mtu.edu/library/archives/.

2015 Travel Grant Program Call for Proposals

An early photograph of the library at the Michigan Mining School, now Michigan Technological University. Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Digital Archives.
An early photograph of the library at the Michigan Mining School, now Michigan Technological University. Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Digital Archives.

 

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections is currently accepting applications for its annual Travel Grant Program, which brings outside scholars and researchers to Michigan Technological University to work with the Archives’ collections. Financial support for the Travel Grant Program is provided by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, a support organization for the Library and Archives of Michigan Tech. Grants are awarded for up to $750 to defray the costs of travel to visit and research in Houghton, Michigan.

The Michigan Tech Archives houses a wide variety of historical print, graphic and manuscript resources related to the Copper Country and Michigan Technological University. Subject coverage includes university and campus life, regional towns and cities, local industries and businesses, as well as social organizations, events and personalities of the Copper Country and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Primary topical research areas include the western Upper Peninsula, industrial history, particularly copper mining and its ancillary industries, social history, community development along the Keweenaw Peninsula, transportation and the environment. Finding aids for some of the collections can be found here: http://www.mtu.edu/library/archives/collections/.

To apply for funding through the Travel Grant Program please visit the program website: http://www.mtu.edu/library/archives/programs-and-services/travel-grants/

Applications are due on March 15, 2015. Award recipients will be notified by March 31. The successful candidate must complete their travel by December 11, 2015. Electronic submission is preferred.

For further information, please contact:
Lindsay Hiltunen, Senior Archivist
Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections
J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI  49931
Phone: (906) 487-2505
E-mail: copper@mtu.edu

Culture, Immigration and Identity: A Book Talk about Serbians in Michigan

Please join us for visiting scholar Paul Lubotina at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, January 14 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, Lubotina will give a research talk on his new book Serbians in Michigan, published by the Michigan State University Press as a part of its Discovering the Peoples of Michigan series. The talk will examine the lives of Serbian immigrants from lowland areas of the Balkans and the distinct highland culture of Montenegro. Lubotina will provide cultural background to Serbian society that serves as a benchmark for the changes that occurred amidst the population after arriving in Michigan. A key theme in Lubotina’s book is how the Serbian Orthodox Church has maintained Serbian heritage and nationalism through several generations in America. The talk will conclude with a discussion of Serbian cultural contributions, including music, religion, dancing and food.

Lubotina was born into a third generation iron mining family of Serbian and Finnish heritage on Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range. He has studied at the University of Minnesota, the University of Helsinki, the Renvall Institute and Saint Louis University. His studies of Finnish diplomatic history led him to cultivate relationships with Vatican scholars, who helped him complete his master’s thesis on Finnish-American relations in the World War II era. These Jesuit scholars also supported his admittance to the graduate history program at Saint Louis University. While in Saint Louis, his focus on European history began to examine the integration process of immigrants who came to the United States. In his doctoral dissertation, he wrote about the role conflict played in restructuring Nordic, Slavic and Latin communities in Minnesota mining districts. He currently teaches at Middle Tennessee State University where he has published articles on ethnicity, integration, immigrant labor organizations and racism.

Lubotina’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped 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 athttp://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.

 

Copper, Cords and Cabbage: The Story of the Mineral Range Railroad’s South Range Branch

Some railroad employees pose with Mineral Range Railroad Engine #4. (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)
Some railroad employees pose with Mineral Range Railroad Engine #4. (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)

 

Please join us for visiting scholar Mark Worrall at 4:00 pm on Monday, November 10 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, Worrall will explore the history of the section of the Mineral Range Railroad that extended from Keweenaw Bay, through Mass City, to Riddle Junction. Many aspects of the line’s tenure will be examined, from its construction at the beginning of the twentieth century to its final abandonment in the 1930s. Major topics include the railroad’s connection to local industries, driving factors behind the line’s installation, complications faced during construction of the branch, passenger train operations and the influence that local Finnish culture had on the railroad.

Mark Worrall is a railroad historian whose research interests include the Duluth South Shore & Atlantic, historic interactions between Michigan’s railroads and the mining industry, Michigan rail wrecks and disasters, and late nineteenth and early twentieth century imagery of Michigan railroads. He is the current president of the Michigan Railroad History Conference and chaired the last two conferences. Mark’s research goals are to promote awareness and interest in Michigan’s rich railroad history.

Worrall’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped 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 athttp://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.

Passengers, Packages, and Copper: The Steamer Pewabic, Its Archaeology, Management, Material Culture and the Development of the Keweenaw Peninsula

steamer bon voyage
The S.S. Bon Voyage, a passenger steamer ship similar to the Pewabic. (Photo courtesy of the Keweenaw Digital Archives)

 

Please join us for visiting scholar Philip Hartmeyer at 4:00 pm on Thursday, November 6 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, Hartmeyer will examine the passenger/package freighter Pewabic and speak to the multiple roles it played in the development of the Keweenaw and its copper industry. The hybrid steamer was a popular vessel to bring downstate tourists to the Copper Country and it also filled its hold with native copper on return trips, an important component of the Detroit mineral market. Pewabic embodies the mid-nineteenth century Great Lakes economic and cultural zeitgeist, having tapped into two profitable enterprises. Historical sources and underwater archaeological data will be used to unearth the identities of Pewabic afloat as well as the new identities it has adopted as an archaeological site, mass grave site, and salvage training ground.

Philip Hartmeyer is a maritime archaeologist currently working at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan. Originally from San Francisco, California, Hartmeyer’s passion for maritime heritage has taken him all over the world to conduct surveys and excavations of shipwrecks. He received his masters in maritime archaeology from East Carolina University, where he wrote his thesis on the passenger/package propeller Pewabic, a middle 19th-century vessel that was instrumental to the copper industry and the settlement of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Hartmeyer’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped 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/.

Environmentalism at the Point of Extraction: Viewpoints, Politics, and Memory in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula during the Environmental Movement

A glimpse of activity at Gregoryville Sawmill on Torch Lake, near Lake Linden.  (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)
A glimpse of activity at the Gregoryville Sawmill on Torch Lake, near Lake Linden, Michigan. (Photo available on the Keweenaw Digital Archives)

 

Please join us for a presentation by visiting scholar Camden Burd at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 14 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, Burd will address an environmental approach to the history of natural resource extraction in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Where once the Upper Peninsula was a booming industrial region, it is now a draw for vacationers to experience its sprawling forests and apparent wilderness. Between this era of environmental degradation and natural appreciation, there were disputes over the future of the U.P.’s environments. In the midst of the environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s many voices attempted to understand, define, and direct how the Upper Peninsula would be perceived by future generations. This talk examines the different voices of the environmental movement and show the complexities behind today’s UP environmental identity.

Camden Burd is a PhD student at the University of Rochester where he studies American Environmental History. He earned his MA in History from Central Michigan University and BA of History from the University of Utah. He has received numerous travel funds from Central Michigan University and was the recipient of the Grace H. Magnaghi Visiting Research Grant at Northern Michigan University to study the environmental perceptions of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Originally from Grand Rapids, Michigan he is especially interested in the environments of the Great Lakes Region and the connection between people and place.

Burd’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Technological University Archives Travel Grant program has helped 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 athttp://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.

Female Spaces, Working Class Communities, and the Labor Movement

Please join us for visiting scholar Shannon Kirkwood at 4:00 pm on Thursday July 17 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, Kirkwood will address the politics of female space in a male-dominated labor movement, as well as class consciousness based home, kin and neighborhood networks. These themes will be discussed in the contexts of the Copper Country, Seattle and Glasgow.

Kirkwood is a doctoral student at Central Michigan University and a recent presenter at “Retrospection and Respect: the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014”. Her research has focused on the participation of miners’ wives in the 1913-14 Copper Strike and the indirect relationship these women had with the mining companies, their relationships with their men, and their relationships with each other.

Kirkwood’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant program has helped 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 them on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.

Travel Grants Awarded to Five Scholars

The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections has selected five recipients for the 2014 Research Travel Award. This year’s grant recipients take a fresh approach to the rich array of material housed in the Archives.

“]
Forests - Estivant Pines [Image #:MS051-040-007-002
Cameron Burd, a graduate student at Central Michigan University will explore environmental activism in the Lake Superior region during the modern environmental movement of the 1960s and 1970s and document those who attempted to control the natural fate of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Philip Hartmeyer is a graduate student pursuing maritime studies at East Carolina University.  Hartmeyer will focus his research on the vessel “Pewabic” and the crucial role shipping played in the lives of the Keweenaw’s population, its copper mines, and its civil development in the 1860s.

“]
Ships - Osceola [Image #:ACC-220-1984-007-030-403-003

Shannon Kirkwood is a doctoral student at Central Michigan University and a recent presenter at “Retrospection and Respect: the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014.   She will continue her research in the participation of miners’ wives in the 1913-1914 Copper Strike and the indirect relationship these women had with the mining companies, their relationships with their men, and their relationships with each other.

Paul Lubotina, visiting assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University and also a participant in the symposium will examine the role Croatian immigrants played in the 1913-1914 Copper Strike.  He will examine the Seeberville murders and try to shed light on whether mining officials had a more compelling reason other than trespassing for the death of two immigrant laborers.

Mark Worrall is an independent researcher working on the history of the Mineral Range Railroad’s South Range Branch.  He will examine the geographical and anthropological setting of the line, its history, its operations, notable events on the line, and the eventual abandonment of the line.

Since its inception over ten years ago, the grant has enabled more than twenty researchers to travel to Houghton from the United States, Canada, and Europe, to examine the unique social and cultural resources in the Archives collections. Past grant recipients have studied a wide variety of topics, such as the use of images and models by mining engineers to manage complex work sites above and below ground; the role that fraternal orders have played in Lake Superior mining communities; and the adoption of the English language by European transplants to Michigan’s Copper Country. This year’s awards continue a tradition of supported research using the manuscript collections curated by the Michigan Tech Archives.

“]
Mineral Range Railroad [Image #:MS042-999-T-264
The grant program is financially supported by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. This year’s award committee included Larry Lankton and Susan Martin, retired professors from the Michigan Tech Department of  Social Sciences, Don Durfee, also from the Department of Social Sciences and the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, and Beth Russell, representing the Michigan Tech Archives.  For further information about the awards program or about the collections of the Michigan Tech Archives, call 487-2505.

Symposium Travel Grant Awards Announced

the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014
Join us April 11-12, 2014.

The University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections has selected nine recipients for the 2014 Symposium Travel Award. These grant recipients will be among the many scholars and researchers participating in “Retrospection & Respect: Michigan’s 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium,” to be held in Houghton, Michigan, April 11-12, 2014, on the occasion of the centennial of the cessation of the 1913-1914 Western Federation of Miners labor strike against copper mining companies in the Copper Country of Upper Michigan.

John Beck, from Michigan State University, will explore Father Dietz and the Catholic Church within the history of the 1913-1914 Copper Miners’ Strike.  Thomas Mackaman, from Kings’ College (PA), will look at new immigrants and American industry in 1914 and Erik Nordberg, from the Michigan Humanities Council and formerly Michigan Tech’s University Archivist, will present a paper on company houses along the picket line.

Roger Burt, from the University of Devon (UK) will present on the role of fraternal organizations in mining communities.  Peter Krats, from Western University (Ontario), will explore ethnic identity in the Keweenaw and Nickel Belts to 1930.  Peter Lubotina, from Middle Tennessee State University will profile Teofilo Petriella, a Marxist revolutionary.

Shannon Rebecca Kirkwood, from Central Michigan University, will explore gender and feminine strategies in the 1913 copper strike.  Patrick Allan Pospisek, from Grand Valley State University, will present on federal authority and the development of corporate mining from 1807-1847 and Ryan Driskell Tate, from Rutgers University, will present on cross-class cooperation in the 1916 Iron Range strike.

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Banner from the 1913-1914 Copper Miners' Strike [Image #:Acc-400-12-13-1988-01-08-15

Funded by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library since its inception over 10 years ago, the grant has enabled more than 20 researchers to travel to Houghton from the United States, Canada, and Europe, to examine the unique social and cultural resources in the Archives collections. Past grant recipients have studied a wide variety of topics, such as the use of images and models by mining engineers to manage complex work sites above and below ground; the role that fraternal orders have played in Lake Superior mining communities; and the adoption of the English language by European transplants to Michigan’s Copper Country. This year, the Friends of the Library provided generous support for competitive travel awards for the symposium.

The award committee included Larry Lankton, Professor Emeritus from the Michigan Tech’s Department of Social Sciences, Susan Martin, Professor Emerita from the Department of Social Sciences, Don Durfee, Friends of the Van Pelt Library and Social Sciences, and Beth Russell, University Archives. For further information about the awards program or about the collections of the University Archives: 906- 487-2505; www.mtu.edu/library/archives/ or copper@mtu.edu