Category Archives: Speakers and Presentations

Calumet Visitor Center Hosts Archives’ Exhibit

J.W. Nara documented many aspects of life in Michigan's Copper Country, including the underground work of miners. Nara's photography is the topic of an exhibit visiting Calumet through June 24. Nara image 42-142 courtesy Michigan Tech Archives. Click on the image for additional information.

 

A traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, is open to the public at the Calumet Visitor Center of Keweenaw National Historical Park at 98 Fifth Street in Calumet, Michigan. The exhibit, “People, Place, and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara. The exhibit continues through June 24 and is open during the Visitor Center’s normal public hours, severn days per week, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photographic studio in Calumet, Michigan, in the heart of America’s most productive copper mining region. In addition to posed studio portraits, J. W. Nara’s lens also captured the people, place, and time he experienced in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the Keweenaw’s rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses, and pastoral back roads. 

Keweenaw National Historical Park will host a public program at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 in conjunction with the exhibit. Erik Nordberg, University Archivist at Michigan Technological University, will give an illustrated presentation, “Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara.” The presentation features dozens of historical photographs of the Keweenaw and explores themes of commercial photography, family, and recreation that are depicted in Nara’s photography. 

The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack Michigan, works from historical photographs held at the Michigan Tech Archives. Interpretive panels highlight the people, places, and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and include material on urban life, farming, and the 1913 Michigan copper miners’ strike. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection. 

The exhibit will remain on display at the Calumet Visitor Center through June 24. For more information on the exhibit, contact Keweenaw National Historical Park at 906-337-3168 or the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 / copper@mtu.edu.


Archives’ Traveling Exhibit Visits L’Anse

J.W. Nara produced thousands of studio portraits, such as this group of four Calumet miners. Nara's photography is the topic of an exhibit visiting the L'Anse Area School Public Library through April 6, 2012. Nara Image #42-117 (click on image for additional information)

“People, Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, has moved to the L’Anse Area School Public Library in L’Anse, Michigan. The exhibit explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and is open to the public through April 6, 2012 during the library’s normal hours, Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. The library is part of the L’Anse Area Schools campus at 201 North Fourth Street, L’Anse, MI 49946. 

John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photographic studio in Calumet, Michigan, in the heart of America’s most productive copper mining region. In addition to posed studio portraits, J. W. Nara’s lens also captured the people, place, and time he experienced in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the Keweenaw’s rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses, and pastoral back roads. 

The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack Michigan, works from historical photographs held at the Michigan Tech Archives. Interpretive panels highlight the people, places, and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and include material on urban life, farming, and the 1913 Michigan copper miners’ strike. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection. 

The exhibit will remain on display at the L’Anse Area School Public Library through Friday, April 6. For more information on the exhibit, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu

Some photographs of the installation in L’Anse:


Archives’ Exhibit Visits Marquette

John William Nara. A travelling exhibit of Nara's photography will be on display from January 13 through February 11 in Marquette. Nara photograph #Acc-05-097A-016 (click image for further information).

“People, Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, has moved to the Marquette Regional History Museum located at 145 W. Spring Street in Marquette, Michigan. The exhibit explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and will be open to the public from January 13, 2012 to February 11, 2012, during the museum’s normal hours Monday-Friday 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturdays 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. In addition, the museum remains open until 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday evenings.

The museum will host a public program at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 25 in conjunction with the exhibit installation. Erik Nordberg, University Archivist at Michigan Technological University, will give an illustrated presentation, “Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara.” The presentation features dozens of historical photographs of the Keweenaw and explores themes of commercial photography, family, and recreation that are depicted in Nara’s photography.

John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photographic studio in Calumet, Michigan, in the heart of America’s most productive copper mining region. Nara succeeded as one of the Keweenaw’s first and most successful commercial photographers, producing thousands of portraits of area residents. In addition to posed studio portraits, J. W. Nara toured the region, documenting the people, place, and time he experienced in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the area’s rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses, and pastoral back roads. 

The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack Michigan, works from historical photographs held at the Michigan Tech Archives. Interpretive panels highlight the people, places, and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and include material on urban life, farming, and the 1913 Michigan copper miners’ strike. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection. 

The exhibit will remain on display at the Marquette Regional History Museum through February 11. For more information on the exhibit, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu or the Marquette Regional History Museum 906-226-3571.

Photos from the exhibit, which included a wonderful array of historical artifacts from the collections of the Marquette Regional History Museum and items on loan from Jack Deo at Superior View studios:


November 17: Tuberculosis in the North Woods

The current Houghton County Medical Care Facility was originally built in 1951 as the Copper Country Sanatorium. It replaced an early building which was described as a "disaster hotel housing the sick." The history of tuberculosis treatment in the local area will be the topic of a November 17 presentation at Michigan Tech. Herman Gundlach construction photograph, courtesy Michigan Tech Archives. Click image for additional information.

The Michigan Tech Archival Speaker Series will feature visiting scholar Dr. Jennifer Gunn at 6:00pm on Thursday, November 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.

Gunn’s presentation, entitled “Tuberculosis in the North Woods: Public Health and Social Implications in the Early Twentieth Century.” will exmaine the history of tuberculosis in the Upper Great Lakes region, particularly the impact of the disease in Michigan’s historic Keweenaw copper mining district. In 1938, the Houghton County tuberculosis sanatorium had a 60% death rate—much higher than the tuberculosis mortality for Michigan as a whole. This talk will explore the intersections of occupation, geography, and poverty in the incidence of tuberculosis in the Copper Country and the strong efforts of the state and the Houghton-Keweenaw Health District to control the disease.

Dr. Jennifer Gunn is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in the History of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania, where her dissertation examined the history of graduate medical education in the United States. Currently researching a book regarding rural health and medicine in the Upper Midwest, 1900-1950, Professor Gunn’s interest in mining communities and rural health disparities in an urbanizing society is informed by her experience as a coal miner in Alabama.

Gunn’s presentation is 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/


Archives Exhibit Travels to Eastern U.P.

An immigrant to Michigan’s copper mining district poses for a portrait in J.W. Nara’s Calumet studio. The work of this early Twentieth Century photographer is featured in a travelling exhibit at the Brimley Area Schools Library from October 21 through December 16. Image Nara 42-121, courtesy of the Michigan Tech Archives (click image for additional details).

“People, Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, will be hosted by the Brimley Area Schools Library from October 21 through December 16, 2011. The exhibit explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and will be open to the public during the library’s regular hours, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.  The Library is located in the Brimley Area Schools complex at 7134 South M-221 in Brimley, Michigan.

The Library will host an exhibit opening program on Friday, October 21. Erik Nordberg, University Archivist at Michigan Technological University, will give an illustrated presentation, “Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara” featuring dozens of historical photographs of the Upper Peninsula. The presentation is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. in the Library, with the exhibit open extra hours that evening 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for the opening event.

John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photographic studio in Calumet, Michigan, in the heart of America’s most productive copper mining region. In addition to posed studio portraits, J. W. Nara’s lens also captured the people, place, and time he experienced in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the Keweenaw’s rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses, and pastoral back roads.

The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack Michigan, draws upon historical photographs held at the Michigan Tech Archives. Interpretive panels highlight the people, places, and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and include material on urban life, farming, and the 1913 Michigan copper miners’ strike. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection.

The exhibit will remain on display in Brimley through December 16. For more information on the exhibit, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu or the Brimley Area Schools Library at 906-248-3217, extension 529 / ewaters@eup.k12.mi.us


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:

 


Kicking and Screaming Into the 21st Century: Transforming Legacy Data

In April, Julie Blair and Beth Russell from the Michigan Tech Archives attended the Society of Indiana Archivists annual meeting in Indianapolis.  The two presented a session about the current grant the Archives is working on, an NHPRC funded “basic” grant to improve collection description and access, especially pertinent for a geographically remote location like Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula.  As the Assistant Archivist at Michigan Tech, Julie Blair discussed the grant application process and the software evaluation, especially the decisions made prior to the hire of the project cataloging archivist.  She described the lessons learned from the process and forecast the path forward.  As the Project Cataloging Archivist, Beth Russell outlined the challenges of transforming legacy data in multiple formats into DACS compliant records and creating MARC records for dissemination through OCLC’s WorldCat and Michigan Tech’s WebVoyage OPAC.  She also talked about problems encountered with the software and the challenges of changing software in the middle of a grant project.

A link on the Society of Indiana Archivists’ website includes their  PowerPoint presentation.  Click the link to “Kicking and Screaming Into the 21st Century: Transforming Legacy Data” to check out their presentation. Any questions or comments, contact either Julie, Beth, or the Archives.


Houghton Carnegie Museum Hosts Nara Exhibit

Warmer weather has more people out and about looking for places to visit. Why not plan a stop in Houghton and learn a bit more about Copper Country history?

“People, Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, has moved to the Carnegie Museum at the corner of Huron and Montezuma Streets in Houghton, Michigan. The exhibit explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and will be open to the public through July 5, 2011 during the museum’s normal hours:  Tuesdays 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. ,  Thursdays 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., and Saturdays 12:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The museum will host a public program at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 7 in conjunction with the exhibit installation. Erik Nordberg, University Archivist at Michigan Technological University, will give an illustrated presentation, “Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara” featuring dozens of historical photographs of the Keweenaw. 

John William Nara was born in Finland in 1874. He later immigrated to the United States and established a photographic studio in Calumet, Michigan, in the heart of America’s most productive copper mining region. In addition to posed studio portraits, J. W. Nara’s lens also captured the people, place, and time he experienced in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. Copper mining and industry are an important part of the story, but Nara also captured the Keweenaw’s rural landscape, including local farms, shorelines, lighthouses, and pastoral back roads. 

The traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack Michigan, works from historical photographs held at the Michigan Tech Archives. Robert and Ruth will be attending the reception.  Interpretive panels highlight the people, places, and times that J.W. Nara experienced during his lifetime and include material on urban life, farming, and the 1913 Michigan copper miners’ strike. A small exhibit catalog is available at no charge and includes three Nara photograph postcards from the collection. 

The exhibit will remain on display at the Carnegie Museum through Tuesday, July 5. For more information on the exhibit, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu or the Carnegie Museum at 906-482-7140 / history@cityofhoughton.com


Museum Exhibit Planning Workshop May 14, 2011

The Michigan Tech Archives continues to serve as coordinating agency for the Northland Historical Consortium, and is pleased to announce that the Consortium and the Heritage Sites of Keweenaw National Historical Park will convene a joint spring 2011 meeting on Saturday, May 14, 2011, in Houghton. The meeting will feature a day-long workshop entitled “Interpretation and Exhibit Planning for Small Heritage Organizations” in Ballroom A of the Memorial Union Building on the campus of Michigan Technological University. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. Central/8:30 a.m. Eastern, will run until 3:30 p.m. Central/4:30 p.m. Eastern, and will include lunch.

The workshop is specifically designed for small and medium-sized museums, and includes sections on developing institutional interpretive goals and constructing exhibitions for small museums with limited budgets. Participants will receive instruction on how to identify interpretive themes based on their museum’s location and collections, and how to select artifacts and write text for effective exhibits. Although the workshop is primarily designed for volunteers and staff at museums, members of the public are welcome to register for the event.

The workshop will be presented by Daniel Truckey, director and curator for the Beaumier Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University. Dan has over two decades of experience working in the museum and heritage field, is past vice president for programs with the Michigan Museums Association, and has worked in museums in Michigan, Iowa, and Connecticut.

The fee for this day-long workship will be $20.00 per person and will include lunch.   Pre-registration is required by Monday, May 9.

Copies of the program and registration form are available here.

The Northland Consortium is an informal association of local historical societies, archives and historians in Northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Central and Western Upper Peninsula.  The Keweenaw Heritage Sites include museums and historic sites affiliated with Keweenaw National Historical Park. For further information on the event, or to register to attend, contact Erik Nordberg or Julie Blair at the MTU Archives 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu


Visiting Scholar Speaks on the Black Campus Movement, 1965-1973

The Michigan Tech Archives invites students, faculty and staff to join us for a Lunch and Learn on March 22, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Memorial Union Ballroom B-3. Visiting scholar and Archives Travel Grant recipient Ibram H. Rogers will give a talk on “The Black Campus Movement and the Racial Reformation of Higher Education.” Cookies and beverages will be provided. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch.

The Black Campus Movement began about 1965 and ended by 1973. During that time, black college students, sometimes aided by white and Latino students, protested for a relevant learning experience. At traditionally white and historically black colleges and universities, black campus activists formed the nation’s first progressive black student unions and gained control of some student government associations. They utilized these pressure groups to advocate for a range of campus reforms, including an end to campus paternalism and racism, the addition of more black students and faculty, and Black Studies courses and programs. Their ultimate aim was to diversify and thus transform higher education. This presentation will provide an overview of the movement, which challenged the racial confines of upwards of 1,000 colleges and universities in 48 states, including Michigan Tech.

Ibram H. Rogers is a post-doctoral fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He is on leave as an assistant professor of African American history at SUNY College at Oneonta. He earned his doctorate in African American Studies from Temple University. Rogers has published seven journal articles on the black campus movement and black power. He is currently working on his first book, tentatively titled, The Black Campus Movement: A Historical Analysis of the Struggle to Diversity Higher Education, 1965-1972, which will be published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Rogers’ talk is sponsored by the Michigan Tech Archives and the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives. The program is intended to encourage research using the Archives’ lesser known collections or promote new methodological approaches to well-known collections. From this year’s competitive field of applicants, the grant committee selected three scholars whose research typifies the spirit of the grant program. They join the ranks of twenty-six past recipients in this most recent round of awards.

For information about the March 22nd Lunch and Learn, the Michigan Tech Archives, or its collections, email us at copper@mtu.edu, call us at 906-487-2505, or visit us on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.