All posts by Lindsay Hiltunen

Presentation – Red Sports on Lake Superior: The Labor Sport Union in the Upper Peninsula, Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota, 1928-1935

Gabe Logan LSU

 

Please join us for a presentation by travel grant recipient Gabe Logan at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, November 15 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, Logan will discuss the Labor Sport Union and its influence in the iron ranges of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. From 1928 through 1935 the United States Communist Party developed the Labor Sport Union. This athletic organization united left wing politics and athletics in an alternative vision of sport and society. The LSU drew much of its membership from the urban cities whose immigrant populations sought recreation beyond the schools and company teams. However, the LSU also found an appreciative audience in the rural iron ore region of Lake Superior. This presentation explains the significance of the LSU in the region and how its members embraced the “red sports” ideology.

Gabe Logan, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of History and the Director for the Center of Upper Peninsula Studies at Northern Michigan University. Logan’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Tech Archives has partnered with the FMTL to help 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/.

Travel Grant Presentation – The Strength of Steel: Life, Labor, and Politics at the Rouge, 1941-1991

Ford's Alberta complex in Baraga County, Michigan.
Ford’s Alberta complex in Baraga County, Michigan.

 

Please join us for a presentation by travel grant recipient Gordon Andrews at 4:00 pm on Thursday, November 3 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, Andrews will discuss unionization efforts at the Ford Motor Company’s Rouge plant in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford Motor Company was the last of the “Big Three” automakers to unionize. There were serious attempts to organize beginning in the 1930s, but it was not until the workers at the Rouge plant organized a sit-down strike in 1941 that they were successful. The “Industrial Colossus on the Rouge” employed over 100,000 workers, and once organized, it became the largest local in the nation. The presentation will address the parameters of UAW Local 600’s history, from its leadership role in organizing the successful unionization of Ford Motor Company, to the myriad ways in which Local 600 impacted the quality of life, and also the politics of its membership over a half-century. An integral part of that story is understanding the relationships among labor and resources from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and the way those affiliations inform what we know about the organization of Ford, especially as employees confronted a brutally oppressive system in the hopes of establishing democracy in the workplace.

Gordon P. Andrews is an associate professor in the Department of History at Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan. He has taught at the secondary and post-secondary levels since 1986, and his research fields include history education, modern United States history, and 20th-century labor history. His recent publications include, Undoing Plessy: Charles Hamilton Houston, Race, Labor and the Law, 1895-1950 (Newcastle upon Tyne, London: Cambridge Scholars Press, 2014), Collaboration and the Future of Education: Preserving the Right to Teach and Think Historically, New York: Routledge, 2015, co-authored with Wilson Warren, and James Cousins.

Andrews’ research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Tech Archives has partnered with the FMTL to help 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/.

2016 Travel Grant Program Call for Proposals

Arthur Edmund Seaman, former head of the Department of Geology and Mineralogy at the Michigan College of Mines (now Michigan Tech), conducting some research, circa 1905. Photograph is courtesy of the Keweenaw Digital Archives.
Arthur Edmund Seaman, former head of the Department of Geology and Mineralogy at the Michigan College of Mines (now Michigan Tech), conducting some research, circa 1905. Photograph is 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 in scholars and researchers external to Michigan Technological University to work with the Archives’ collections. Financial support for the Travel Grant Program is provided by the Friends of the Michigan Tech 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 conduct 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 February 29, 2016. Award recipients will be notified by March 31. The successful candidate must complete their travel by December 9, 2016. 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

Campus Traditions and Collective Meaning-Making: Exploring Student Life and Memory Building from Michigan Tech and Beyond

In his upcoming talk, visiting scholar David Brown will discuss campus traditions and their meaning, such as Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival. The photograph features Winter Carnival Queen Candidates from 1959.
In his upcoming talk, visiting scholar David Brown will discuss campus traditions and their meaning, such as Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival. The photograph features Winter Carnival Queen Candidates from 1959.

 

Please join us for visiting scholar David Brown at 4:00 pm on Monday, November 16 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, Brown will discuss his dissertation research which focuses on historical accounts of student life and the ways in which those accounts can inform scholarship and teaching in the modern era. He is especially interested in collective experiences and instances where student life has taken on distinctive character and expression, such as in the case of Michigan Tech’s Winter Carnival. In addition to meaning, methodology will also be an important component of the talk. Brown will show how archival research is a valuable tool for studying college student life and provide an example of an exercise that challenges students to consider campus history and their place in it.

David Brown is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation at the University of Kentucky. Under the guidance of noted historian of higher education Dr. John Thelin, Brown’s research focuses on historical and contemporary accounts of college student life and students’ meaning-making activities during their college years. In addition to his research, he also teaches at the University of Kentucky; last year he was a recipient of one of UK’s Outstanding Teaching Awards.

Brown’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/.

Talk To Be Rescheduled

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 Tuesday, October 27 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.

 

The talk that was to take place on Tuesday, October 27 at 4 pm has been postponed. We are trying to reschedule the talk for later this semester. Please check back or call the Michigan Tech Archives at (906) 487-2505 for more information.

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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, “Exhibits for  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

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/.

Fire, Miners and Elephants: Hancock in Photos and Words, 1860-1940

Local author, John Haeussler will discusses the research process and photographs used for his Images of America book about Hancock on Thursday, March 12 in the library’s East Reading Room.
Local author, John Haeussler will discuss the research process and photographs used for his Images of America book about Hancock at 5 pm on Thursday, March 12 in the library’s East Reading Room.

 

Please join us for a talk by local author John Haeussler at 5:00 pm on Thursday, March 12 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.

Haeussler’s presentation will begin with a brief overview of his recent work, Images of America, Hancock, from Arcadia Publishing, and progress to outline the importance of the Michigan Tech Archives’ role as a historic image repository for projects such as this one. After exploring his research process, the remainder of the presentation will be a discussion of pre-1940 images of Hancock from the Michigan Tech Archives. This exploration will include readings from contemporary newspaper accounts that pertain to some of the historic photos. There will be allotted  time for questions, answers and discussion following the presentation, though audience participation is encouraged throughout the talk.

Along with his authorship of Hancock, a part of Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series, Haeussler co-authored and co-edited Hancock’s sesquicentennial publication, Hidden Gems and Towering Tales: A Hancock, Michigan Anthology. This earlier text was published by the City of Hancock in 2013.  John, his wife Megan and their children Maggie and Jack have resided in Hancock since 2007.

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 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 at http://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/.