Hancock School Public Library Hosts Travelling Exhibit

A travelling exhibit from the Michigan Tech Archives is currently installed in the Hancock School Public Library, located in the Hancock High School complex in Hancock, Michigan. “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 and is open to the public through May 7, 2011 during the library’s normal hours, Mondays and Wednesdays, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.,  Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., and Fridays, 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 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. 

The travelling 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. 

For more information on the exhibit, contact the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu or contact Sue Zubiena at the Hancock School Public Library at 483-2544 (extension 5).