Category Archives: Travel Grants Program

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Call for Papers: 1913 Copper Miners’ Strike Symposium

Retrospection & Respect: Michigan’s 1913-14 Copper Miners’ Strike

A symposium to be held April 11-13, 2014 on the campus of Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, USA

Banner from the 1913-14 Copper Miners' Strike (Acc-400-12-13-1988-01-08-15)

The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections of the Van Pelt Library of Michigan Technological University announces a symposium to be held in Houghton, Michigan, April 11-13, 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.  The symposium is co-sponsored by the Archives, the Department of Social Sciences, and the Department of Humanities at Michigan Technological University, the Keweenaw National Historical Park, and the Finnish American Historical Archive at Finlandia University.  The symposium is being held in conjunction with the 2014 meeting of Finn Forum, a professional association of researchers who investigate northern European migration to the United States.

We anticipate paper submissions from a range of disciplinary perspectives in the following and other topical areas:  analyses of labor organization in the historical and contemporary American and European mining industries, the impact of historical European immigration on labor organization, the impacts of early twentieth century labor organizational practices and strikes on American managerial practices in mining and other industries, the impact of women’s activism on early twentieth century labor organization in mining and other industries, comparisons between labor activities and organizational practices over a range of mining commodities, the impacts of labor organizational and strike strategies on historical and current mining communities, contemporary remembrance and collective memory pertaining to labor/strike histories, as well as other topics connecting issues of ethnicity, identity, class, gender, and other cultural divisions to civic discourse and the historic struggle for civil liberties within industry.

Abstract submission is now open and will close on December 16, 2013.  Submitters will be notified of the acceptance of papers on January 16, 2014.  Please direct all inquiries regarding paper topics and presentation details to Dr. Sam Sweitz (srsweitz@mtu.edu).  We will consider proposals for mini-symposia, consisting of three to five papers, organized around a central theme or project as part of this symposium.  Please contact Dr. Sweitz regarding any such proposals.

Abstracts should be submitted via email to copper@mtu.edu, with the subject line “Symposium Proposal.” Abstracts should be no more than 250 words.  Accepted paper presentations will be 20 minutes in length.

The Michigan Tech Archives is offering funding for up to $750 through its Travel Grant Program for scholars to travel to the Archives to research its collections in order to submit a proposal for the symposium. Grant recipients whose papers are selected will be eligible for a second stipend to help allay the cost of travelling to the symposium in April. Please contact the Archives at copper@mtu.edu to apply for grant funding.

The conference proceedings will be published through Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech, an open access platform. The creator(s) of papers shall retain their copyright, but will agree to a non-exclusive license to distribute and preserve their work in Digital Commons @ Michigan Tech.

Archival Speaker Series: Austro-Hungarian Immigrant Identity

This photograph of a Hungarian immigrant laborer was included with the Declaration of Intention application for United States citizenship.

The Michigan Tech Archival Speaker Series will feature visiting scholar Dr. Robert Goodrich at 7 PM on Thursday, June 13 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

Goodrich will talk about the complexities acting to make Habsburg-influenced national identity in Austro-Hungarian immigrants to Michigan so difficult to identify, despite the large numbers that came to America in the 19th and 20th centuries. His presentation will highlight how modern concepts of ethnic heritage and identity do not always fit neatly into our ideas of fixed national traits.

Dr. Robert Goodrich is an Associate Professor of History at Northern Michigan University. His teaching focuses on broad themes in modern Europe. He earned his PhD from University of Wisconsin – Madison, where his dissertation addressed identity formation of working-class Catholics in the Rhineland of Germany. He is working on a book on the construction of Habsburg emigrant identity in the United States.

Goodrich’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, 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 call the Michigan Tech Archives at 487-2505, e-mail to copper@mtu.edu, or visit them on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/

Travel Awards Provided to Three Scholars

The "almost ghost town" of Winona includes company houses built by the Winona and King Philip mining companies in 1909. The story of Winona will be the topic of a new documentary film by Michael Luokinen, with research support from a Michigan Tech Archives travel grant. Image MS807-MS04-33-15-002.

The Michigan Tech Archives is pleased to announce three recipients of awards in its 2013 travel grant program. Funding for the program is provided by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, and encourages out-of-town scholars to visit Houghton to undertake research using the collections of the Michigan Tech Archives.

Robert Goodrich, associate professor of history at Northern Michigan University, will research the significant role of ethnic Slovenes in Michigan’s Copper Country. Part of a larger research initiative examining emigration from the former Habsburg Empire to Michigan, Goodrich will explore the important Slovene presence in the Keweenaw, including missionaries such as Frederic Baraga and the development of a large Slovene immigrant community in the mining town of Red Jacket. Goodrich, who holds a PhD in European history from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is currently under contract with Michigan State University Press for book tentatively entitled Austro-Hungarians in Michigan scheduled for publication in 2014.

Michael Loukinen, professor of sociology at Northern Michigan University, will undertake historical research in support of a documentary film project about the “almost ghost town” of Winona. Located 30 miles southwest of Houghton, Winona was a prospering copper mining community in the early Twentieth Century. Although mining and timber industries faded from this remote landscape in the 1920s, the town site continues to support a small community including a school and a church. Archival research will provide the necessary historical background for recorded interviews with current and past residents of Winona. Luokinen holds a PhD in Sociology from Michigan State University and is the writer and producer of more than a dozen documentary films including the critically acclaimed Good Man in the Woods, Medicine Fiddle and a series of films documenting traditional Ojibwe culture and teachings.

Patrick Pospisek, a recent graduate of the doctoral program in history at Purdue University, will explore early federal mining policy in Michigan’s copper mining district.  While silver and gold mining in the American West had significant impact on the federal government’s approach to mineral legislation, earlier experiences in mining regions before the Civil War were equally important to defining federal authority in developing mining districts. Pospisek’s research will examine the collapse of an early federal leasing policy in Michigan’s copper district which encouraged the development of a private, corporate mining industry. The Michigan study will form one component of a larger book-length study of United States mining history in the Mississippi Valley and Midwest.

As part of their research visits, travel award recipients will present a public presentation – either on their research in progress or on a topic from their previous work. Information about these events will be distributed as they are scheduled.

Since 1998, the Friends of the Van Pelt Library have supported more than 30 scholars and researchers from across the United States, Canada, and Europe to access the Archives’ collections. Books, articles, presentations and web content have resulted from the work of travel grant recipients, helping to draw attention to the holdings of the Michigan Tech Archives and the history of Michigan’s Copper Country and Upper Peninsula.

2013 Travel Award Program Accepting Applications

The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections is currently accepting applications to its annual travel grant program, which brings outside scholars and researchers to Michigan Technological University in Houghton to study the Archives’ collections. Financial support for the travel award program is provided by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, a support organization for the Library and Archives of the University. Grants are awarded for up to $750.

The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections houses a wide variety of print, graphic and manuscript resources. Subject coverage includes University and campus life, towns and cities in the Keweenaw, and the companies, social organizations, events and personalities of the Copper Country and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Topical research areas include: Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula; industrial history, particularly copper mining and its ancillary industries; social history, including workforce issues, immigration and ethnicity; urban and community development along the Keweenaw Peninsula; transportation; and the environment.

A completed application (Application2013) and current resume are required for application. Information about the Michigan Tech Archives is online here, with instructions on searching the Archives manuscript collections is available here.  Applicants are encouraged to contact archives staff to discuss projects and identify specific collections relevant to their research.

Review of applications begins on March 1, 2013, with selection announcements made by March 15. The successful candidate must complete their travel by December 13, 2013. Electronic submission is encouraged.

Questions may be directed to Erik Nordberg, University Archivist,  at 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu.

Archival Speakers Series: U.S. Navy ELF Transmitter

An extra low frequency (ELF) transmitter to communicate with nuclear submarines is one of the topics of interest to recipients of 2012 archives travel awards. This graphic is taken from a United States Navy report in collection MS-037 U.S. Navy Seafarer Program / Project ELF Collection.

The Michigan Tech Archival Speaker Series will feature visiting scholar Dr. Louis Slesin at 6:30pm on Thursday, October 18 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Dr. Louis Slesin, editor and publisher of Microwave News, will discuss scientific research and local response to two United States Navy radio transmission installations in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and northern Wisconsin. Dr. Slesin’s research visit is supported by a travel award from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, a program which encourages out-of-town scholars to visit Houghton to undertake research using the collections of the Michigan Tech Archives.

Developed under the project names “Sanguine” and “Seafarer,” the U.S. Navy sites operated extra low frequency (ELF) transmitters for communication with naval submarines from 1989 to 2004. Concerns about potential ecological and health effects of electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation prompted a series of scientific studies, some conducted by researchers at Michigan Technological University. Slesin, who holds a PhD in environmental policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, intends to produce a book-length study of ELF-EMF effects from the submarine transmitter as well as power lines providing electricity to the facilities.

Since 1998, the Friends of the Van Pelt Library have supported more than 25 scholars and researchers from across the United States, Canada, and Europe to access the Archives’ collections. Books, articles, presentations and web content have resulted from the work of travel grant recipients, helping to draw attention to the holdings of the Michigan Tech Archives and the history of Michigan’s Copper Country and Upper Peninsula.

The event is free and open to the public. Contact the Michigan Tech Archives for more information at 906-487-2505 or copper@mtu.edu

Researcher to Speak about 1913 Strike

Members of the Western Federation of Miners held a meeting June 8, 1913, at the Calumet Theatre to discuss possible strike action. Dr. Aaron Goings will give a public presentation on July 17 at Michigan Tech about events leading up to the 1913 Michigan Copper Miners' Strike. Image #Acc-400-12-13-1988-01-08-01. Click on photograph for more information.

The Michigan Tech Archival Speaker Series will feature visiting scholar Dr. Aaron Goings at 6:30pm on Tuesday, July 17 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus. The event is free and open to the public.

Goings’ presentation, entitled “Class Struggle in the Copper Country: The Long View,” will discuss labor history in Michigan’s Copper Country. His work focuses on working conditions, labor unions, and labor struggles in the years leading up to the 1913 Michigan Copper Miners’ Strike. His presentation will highlight earlier labor disputes, as well as the day-to-day struggles between workers and employers in the Copper Country during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Dr. Aaron Goings is Visiting Assistant Professor of History at Saint Martin’s University in Washington State. He earned his PhD from Simon Fraser University, where his dissertation addressed class and community issues in Grays Harbor, Washington. Goings is currently working with co-author Gary Kaunonen on a book to be published in 2013 by Michigan State University Press which argues that the 1913-1914 strike was the culmination of decades of regional labor struggles. The talk will conclude by discussing the national significance of this important labor event and reasons it has drifted from public memory outside of the Copper Country.

Going’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, 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 call the Michigan Tech Archives at 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu.

Here are some photographs from the event, which attracted more than 75 attendees (click on individual photographs for larger versions).

Historian Discusses Life of Pioneer Resident Lucena Brockway

Lucena Brockway was one of the first white female settlers in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Visiting historian Kathleen Warnes will discuss her pioneer experiences at a public presentation on July 28. Image No Neg 2007-12-13-03 (click on image for full record).

The life and experiences of Lucena Brockway will be the topic of a public presentation at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 28 in the East Reading Room of the J.R. Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie library at Michigan Tech. The presentation is part of the “Archival Speakers Series” and is free and open to the public.  

Dr. Kathleen Warnes, an independent scholar based in Allendale, Michigan, will discuss her research into the life of Lucena Brockway, an early pioneer resident of Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. A native of New York State, Lucena arrived in the Lake Superior region in 1843 with her husband Daniel Brockway as one of the first white families to settle the area. Initially living in L’Anse, where Daniel worked as a government blacksmith, the Brockways moved to Copper Harbor in 1846 and remained linked to the Keweenaw until their deaths in 1899.

Details of Lucena’s life are captured in a series of personal diaries, photographs, and family and business papers preserved at the Michigan Tech Archives. As her children matured and left home, and as her husband spent more and more time at his various business ventures, Lucena found herself increasingly isolated and alone. Brockway’s diaries document her daily activities and struggles, pointing out the type of independent character required of women along the copper mining frontier.

Warnes’s research is supported by a Michigan Tech Archives travel grant, with funding provided by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant has assisted more than 25 scholars advance their work through research in the department’s varied historical collections.

For more information on the July 28 presentation, call the Michigan Tech Archives at 487-2505 or e-mail to copper@mtu.edu.

Lucena and Daniel Brockway on the porch of their home in 1898. Image MS019-05-04-03 (click on photo for full record).

 

Update: Here are some photographs from the event, which drew more than 60 participants. Click on individual photographs for larger image: