Digital Archives “Add Your Comment” Feature

One of the innovative features of the Keweenaw Digital Archives site allows visitors to add information they know about photographs in our collections.  When you visit the site ( and conduct a search, the record for each image includes an area just below the photograph where you are invited to “Add Your Comments and Share Your Thoughts.”

This is an important role you can play in our work.  Very few of the historical photographs and negatives we receive as donations come with any descriptive information. And it isn’t feasible for our staff to undertake research to create descriptions about each and every image in the collection (we already have more than 7,000 images in the digital archives site).

Your comments help subsequent researchers to find and evaluate photographs in the collection. And don’t worry whether you have a PhD in history — we’re looking for any information that can be helpful in understanding the content of an image.  We do ask, however, that you include your name by either including it in the comment box or by creating and logging into an account that includes your name. 

Here are a couple of recent examples in which visitors have left interesting and helpful comments.


The photograph above is image #MS003-009-013-13 from Our Calumet & Hecla Photograph Collection (you can view the record by clicking this link:

Notes on the original print indicated that it was the assembly room and study hall at Calumet High School, but George Mackey added the following details: “This photo is taken from the senior side of the assembly. The assembly room was organized with the freshman on the left side when facing the stage and then the sophmores, juniors and seniors as one moves to the right.”


The photograph above is image #MS042-064-Z-616B from the Reeder Photographic Collection. (you can view the record by clicking this link:

Notes from Reeder’s personal photograph log indicated that this was a parade in the Houghton/Hancock area.  A comment from Nicholas Faller added some valuable information: “Based on the movie poster , I believe this is the June 6,1919 parade in downtown Houghton . The Movie ” When Girl Loves ” was shown on June 6 & 7, 1919.”



The photograph above is image #MTU Neg 03461, taken by Russell M. Magnahi on October 9, 1985 (you can view the record by clicking this link:

Magnahi was interested in the history of Italians in the Upper Peninsula and took the photograph as the building was once a store owned by the Campioni family.  A comment from Jan Campioni added more detail: “This was the original Campioni’s Market in West Hancock. It was established by Guido and Mabel Campioni in the late 1920’s. It was later run by Joseph and Margaret Campioni until their deaths. It was later run by their son Bill and then after his death by his sister Mary Anne Crooks. She sold it to the Keweenaw Co-op.”

We invite you to become “part of history” by browsing the thousands of images in the Keweenaw Digital Archives and sharing your thoughts, comments, memories, and other information.

Visit the Keweenaw Digital Archives at this address:

Michigan Tech Archives Awards Research Travel Grants

The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections announce winners of the 2009 Travel Grant. Two visiting scholars take a fresh look at mining communities on both sides of the Canadian border, and at the impact of Slovenian missionaries on Native American communities. The grant is funded by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library.

The grant has enabled researchers from the United States, Canada, and Europe, to examine the Archives’ outstanding resources. Past recipients have studied the use of models by mining engineers to manage complex work sites above and below ground, the role of fraternal orders in Lake Superior mining communities, and the cultural and linguistic identity of Yoopers. This year’s awards continue a tradition of supported research using the manuscript collections in the Michigan Tech Archives.

The Friends of the Van Pelt Library provide financial support for researchers from outside the area to explore the Archives’ collections. For further information about the Archives, visit

Research Travel Grants Program