Category Archives: Staff

Intern Update 3

Angie standing under the Nordberg steam hoist in the 1917 hoist house on the Quincy Mine site. The Nordberg is the largest steam hoisting engine in the world.
Angie standing under the Nordberg steam hoist in the 1917 hoist house on the Quincy Mine site. The Nordberg is the largest steam hoisting engine in the world.

Alumni Reunion is here and we are busy as ever this week helping all sorts of patrons! That doesn’t mean we were so busy that Angie couldn’t provide her regular update though. Read on for an update in Angie’s words!

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Hi!

I hope everyone’s summer is going splendid, I know mine is! My summer internship is now past the halfway point and, while I am sad that it is going by so fast, I am excited to tell you all about the cool activities I am working on.

I recently started accessioning new materials into the archives, which means taking intellectual and physical control over the materials and then entering information into our database ArchivesSpace. This allows the archives to keep track of the materials in its repository and it serves as the first step of processing collections. I have had the opportunity to accession and then process five scrapbooks into the Brodeur and Banks Family Papers Collection (MS-920). These scrapbooks include photographs and newspaper articles from the family’s international and domestic vacations. It has been great getting hands-on experience using these archival skills.

I am also continuing to assist patrons with their reference requests both in-person and through email. I am getting better at finding the material patrons need and learning the tricks to genealogical research.

This internship has also provided the opportunity to visit other archives in the surrounding area. Taking fieldtrips to visit the Keweenaw National Historical Park Archives in Calumet and Finlandia University’s Archives in Hancock allowed me to see the variety of archival repositories. Each archive holds collections that focus on different aspects of the Keweenaw Peninsula, but together they create a rich history of the region.

Additionally, we took a fieldtrip to tour the Quincy Mine up in Hancock. The Michigan Tech Archives holds some of the Quincy Mining Company’s records, including employment records. Seeing the steam hoist (largest in the world at the time) in-person and taking the tram down into the mine really helped me to understand the working conditions for the miners and opened my eyes to life during the early history of Upper Michigan.

I only have a few weeks left, but I am hoping to make the most of it and learn all that I can. Before I go, I also want to give a quick shout out to the MTU Archives’ staff, Lindsay (University Archivist), Allison (Archivist), Emily (Archivist) and Allyse (Archives Assistant), who have been amazing supervisors and coworkers during this internship. Their patience and immense knowledge have made this internship both enjoyable and educational and I am very grateful to get to work with them.


Summer Intern Update

Angie investigates our historic newspapers on microfilm to assist a remote patron.
Angie investigates our historic newspapers on microfilm to assist a remote patron.

Summer is breezing by and our intern has been busy keeping things running smoothly in the archives. Read on for an update in Angie’s words!


Hello again!

I’m back with a quick update on my first few weeks as an intern for the Michigan Tech Archives. I have been busy learning all about the department and different aspects of the profession. I have been able to explore the collections including the employment cards for the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company, naturalization records and court case records. I also had the opportunity to use microfilm to scan through our newspaper collections for articles, birth announcements and obituaries. It is fascinating to learn about the local history through these archival materials.

Additionally, I am shadowing the awesome archivists here while they work the reference desk. This allows me to learn how they work with researchers that visit the archives and sometimes I am able to assist pulling collections for the patrons or help them with the microfilm materials. I look forward to taking the lead at the reference desk soon.

The most challenging aspect of the internship is discovering the difficulties of genealogical research. Tracking down the right birth and death dates or researching various spellings of last names can seem never-ending, but it is worth it in the end. Providing patrons with their family member’s employment card or naturalization record is always exciting and fulfilling. In the upcoming weeks, I am really excited to start processing archival collections, assisting more patrons with their research requests and gaining more archival skills.

Outside of the archives, I am having a great time exploring downtown Houghton, walking along the Waterfront Trail, watching the sunset over Lake Superior and attempting to survive the humidity. I’m hoping to go on a mine tour and continue exploring the Copper Country before my time here is up. As always, don’t hesitate to come in and visit! We are here to help with any research and historical questions.


Welcome to Summer Intern Angie Piccolo

Our new FMTL Archives Intern for summer 2018, Angie Piccolo.
Our new FMTL Archives Intern for summer 2018, Angie Piccolo.

On behalf of the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, in partnership with the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library, we hope you will help us welcome our new Archives Intern for summer 2018. Angie Piccolo was selected as the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Archives Intern after a competitive national call for applicants. While in Houghton, Angie will be assisting with research support services and collections processing in the Michigan Tech Archives. She will also be responsible for helping us research a forthcoming exhibit related to World War I. We are very excited to have her on board! Below, please take a moment to get to know Angie as she introduces herself in her own words.

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Hello!

My name is Angie Piccolo and I am honored to be spending the summer in Houghton as the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library 2018 Intern. Born and raised in Spokane, Washington, I am brand new to the Midwest and the Upper Peninsula, but I am excited to learn more about the history of this region and explore the beautiful natural environment that Michigan has to offer. I graduated from Gonzaga University in 2015 with a BA in History and I just recently graduated from Western Washington University with a MA in History, focusing on Archives and Records Management. My goal is to one day work for an institution, like Michigan Tech, that strives to provide patrons with the best access to historical materials. As the archives intern, I am ecstatic to continue pursuing my passion of history and I look forward to developing new archival skills, gaining knowledge about the local history, and helping researchers and community members find the historical materials they need.

Some fun facts about me: I had the opportunity to intern at Yellowstone National Park’s archives last summer where I not only learned about the history of the Park, but I also had the chance to visit Old Faithful and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, as well as take pictures of black bears and bison (from a safe distance of course.) When I am not in the archives, I love to explore antique shops, go on nature walks and spend time with friends and family. I also love watching period dramas, such as Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife, but my guilty pleasure is reality TV (anything Real Housewives.)

I will be here until mid-August so make sure to stop by with any history and archive questions or recommendations for the best pasty bakeries around town.

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For more information on the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Internship Program or to set up a time to say hello to our new intern, please call our University Archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen at (906) 487-2505 or e-mail us at copper@mtu.edu. The Michigan Tech Archives can also be found on Twitter: @mtuarchives, Instagram: michigantecharchives, and Facebook.


Student Awards Spotlight 2018 – Becky

Becky poses with her certificate by the State Records Collection in the Archives stacks.
Becky poses with her certificate by the State Records Collection in the Archives stacks.

During the month of March, the Van Pelt and Opie Library hosts the annual Student Awards for all the student assistants in the library. This year’s event took place on Wednesday, March 21 and it included delicious food and a festive awards ceremony, which offered awards in eight categories. We are pleased to announce that both of our student assistants won awards!

To thank our students for their hard work and to further congratulate them on their award-winning work, we are featuring our students on social media to showcase all their efforts. Becky, our veteran student assistant, won the Excellence in Job Performance Award which goes to show that she is always on top of the many projects she works on over each semester. Our nomination for Becky is included below:

This student continues to excel and embody all the characteristics of an exceptional worker. This student consistently receives rave reviews from colleagues in the department and continues to positively impact our customer service in the department. This student turns in nearly all projects ahead of schedule and provides work that transcends that quality of normal student work. For instance, I asked for some assistance on some research and the student was able to finish several complex research tasks in a 2-hour shift, work that would normally take another student assistant at least 3 hours. In addition, this student takes initiative on research projects by anticipating patron needs and working with the supervisor to make sure no stone is left unturned. This student’s writing skills are equal to their research skills and I cannot imagine our department without this student! The quality and excellence of work projects, the care and attention to detail, and the constant cheerful demeanor set this student a cut above the rest!


Student Awards Spotlight 2018 – Jeremy

Jeremy poses by MS-080: Copper Range Collection, which has been the main collection he has worked with to build the railroad exhibit.
Jeremy poses by MS-080: Copper Range Collection, which has been the main collection he has worked with to build the railroad exhibit.

During the month of March, the Van Pelt and Opie Library hosts the annual Student Awards for all the student assistants in the library. This year’s event took place on Wednesday, March 21 and it included delicious food and a festive awards ceremony, which offered awards in eight categories. We are pleased to announce that both of our student assistants won awards!

To thank our students for their hard work and to further congratulate them on their award-winning work, we are featuring our students on social media to showcase all their efforts. Our first student award winner is Jeremy, our Copper Range Railroad exhibit research assistant. Jeremy won the Project Achievement Award. Our nomination for Jeremy is included below:

This student has gone above and beyond on a complex research project related to a grant-funded exhibit. This student provided accurate and timely research on a lesser known but historically important part of our local heritage. This student’s research findings are being applied to an exhibit project which will not only be on display in the Library, but will eventually travel off-site to other institutions. The student for this project maintained clear and consistent communication with the project team leader and was also able to earn the praise of project consultants and stakeholders interested in the project outcomes. In addition to achieving great research outcomes on this difficult and time-consuming project, the student was in a class of his own when it comes to positive attitude and enthusiasm. Not a day would go by without this student bringing joy and verve to research along with specific subject knowledge expertise which was directly beneficial to the project. This student has made this difficult project fun and informative. I always look forward to this student being in the department!


Thank you Jeremy for all of your efforts! You are a wonderful part of the archives team!


Michigan Tech Archives Seeking Graduate Intern for Summer 2018

intern

The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections is currently seeking applicants for the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Graduate Internship for summer 2018. The archives provides a high level of service to scholars, students and a wide range of walk-in visitors and global patrons through virtual reference. Summer services are fast-paced and we see an increase in visitors, especially through our role as part of the Keweenaw Heritage Site network, a partnership with the Keweenaw National Historical Park. Areas of emphasis include manuscripts, maps, print and digital images which document the Keweenaw Peninsula, Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula (U.P.) and university history. The intern selected will receive experience in both public service and collections handling. The intern will assist in day-to-day reference activities, including greeting and assisting researchers, retrieving and shelving collections, and assisting university and community patrons with use of materials and equipment. The intern will also gain experience in organizing, describing and processing archival collections.

Preference will be given to applicants currently enrolled in a graduate archival studies program, but consideration may be given for equivalent education and experience. The following skills are required:

  • Knowledge of contemporary archival practices, policies and procedures, including arrangement and description, and familiarity with DACS, MARC, LCSH, Dublin Core and MPLP.
  • Demonstrated analytical and research skills.
  • Ability to work independently and exercise initiative, discretion and judgment.
  • Ability to work collegially and effectively in a team-based environment.

This is intended to be a 35 hour per week, part-time summer position to span seven weeks. The preferred start date is June 25. There are no benefits included with this position and the successful candidate will be expected to cover travel expenses to Houghton, Michigan. The intern will be compensated in the form of a competitive hourly wage to be paid out bi-weekly throughout the duration of employment. Offers of employment are contingent upon and not considered finalized until the required background check has been performed and the results received and assessed. Housing options in the Copper Country include independently requesting a single occupancy dorm room and included meal plan (depending on availability) or making off-campus housing arrangements. In addition to a great working environment you will enjoy exquisite scenery, moderate temperatures and outdoor activities near the shores of Lake Superior! To learn more about us, please visit our website: http://www.mtu.edu/library/archives/

Applications are due by May 11, 2018. Direct any questions, or submit your cover letter and resume to:
Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist
Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections
Van Pelt and Opie Library
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, MI 49931
copper@mtu.edu
(906) 487-2505

Michigan Technological University is an Equal Opportunity Educational Institution/Equal Opportunity Employer, which includes providing equal opportunity for protected veterans and individuals with disabilities.


Archives Month Staff Spotlight 2017 – Allison

Allison at the 41 North Film Festival, Houghton, November 2016.
Allison at the 41 North Film Festival, Houghton, November 2016.

First Name: Allison
Title: Archivist
Where are you from? Born and raised in the Twin Cities (Minnesota), but have spent the majority of my adult years in Madison, Wisconsin.

Where did you work before coming to Michigan Tech? I first cut my teeth in the archives field as an intern with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. Prior to coming to the Michigan Tech Archives in July 2016, I worked as a cataloger at the Minnesota Historical Society, working primarily with audio-visual collections. I have to give credit to the Wisconsin Historical Society, University of Wisconsin-Madison Oral History Program and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum for my early career experience in archival work, providing me with the practical experience and knowledge that I’m excited to bring to Tech.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Michigan Tech Archives? My favorite thing about working at the Michigan Tech Archives is seeing our patrons leave the archive with a smile on their face. Whether it’s an academic researcher who found a crucial piece of information for their research or a genealogist who was able to find a tangible connection to their ancestors, the joy on our patron’s faces makes everything worthwhile.

At the Lakenenland Sculpture Park, Marquette, August 2017.
At the Lakenenland Sculpture Park, Marquette, August 2017.

What is the most interesting thing you learned while working here? I feel that I make a new discovery every week, which is why it is hard to narrow it down. I would have to say the most interesting thing I’ve recently learned is that the Atlas Powder Company powerhouse whistle resides on the top of the Central Heating Plant of the Michigan Tech campus. Not only that, but the whistle has been used to mark the beginning of K-Day (Keweenaw Day) on campus. The names of several employees that were working at Atlas when the plant closed in 1960s are engraved on the whistle. What an obscure, but fascinating story, full of local and campus history!

What is your favorite collection? Picking a favorite collection among so many great ones to choose from is hard, but I would have to say the John T. Reeder Photograph Collection (MS-042). It was the first collection at the Michigan Tech Archives that I became acquainted with even before I came to work here. I think I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the beautiful photographs Reeder took of the Copper Country and its people.

Allison2

What is your favorite photograph in CCHI? So many to choose from! I’m partial to a lot of the animal photos in CCHI, particularly the 1957 photo from the Daily Mining Gazette (DMG) of “Paddy” the deer and “Pudgy” the cat nuzzling each other. Just such a sweet photo!

Allison after a Zumba class at the SDC, May 2017.
Allison after a Zumba class at the SDC, May 2017.

What is one interesting fact about you? One interesting fact about me is that while I’m an archivist by day, by night I’m a certified Zumba instructor for the HuskiesFit program. Come check out my class at the Student Development Complex!

Why are the Michigan Tech Archives important to you? For me, the archives represents a place where the past and present intersect. It’s a place where Copper Country residents can discover their personal family stories and learn how those stories have both been shaped by and have influenced the history of the region. While my story doesn’t have roots here, as a new community member it is an important place for me where I can learn about the history of the land and the community that I’m now a part of.


Archives Month Staff Spotlight 2017 – Georgeann

Georgeann snowshoeing at the shores of Lake Superior, McLain State Park.
Georgeann snowshoeing at the shores of Lake Superior, McLain State Park.

First Name: Georgeann
Title: Library Assistant (Resource Access and Discovery Services and Archives)
Where are you from? I grew up in Chassell, just down the road from Houghton, MI.

Where did you work before coming to Michigan Tech?
I worked for the Chassell Township School as the librarian.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Michigan Tech Archives?
I learn something new everyday. It has given me a greater appreciation for how special this area is and why it is so important to remember the things that have happened here.

What is the most interesting thing you learned while working here?
I’ve always been drawn to lighthouses, so it was great to learn about the Stannard Rock lighthouse. It’s a tiny lighthouse out in the middle of nowhere on Lake Superior. It was named for Captain Charles C. Stannard who was the first to discover the highly dangerous rock reef. Stannard Rock has been called “The Loneliest Place in the World” because all you can see is water for miles around.

What is your favorite collection?GeorgeannFavPhoto
The Postcard Collection. It’s very interesting to see the wide range of postcards that were produced. Some of them even have original written messages on the back and it’s fascinating to read what people were writing about the area.

 

A zentangle ornament that Georgeann made.
A zentangle ornament that Georgeann made.

What is your favorite photograph in CCHI?
This adorable baby beaver taken by John T. Reeder. 

What is one interesting fact about you?
I enjoy drawing Zentagle Inspired Art to relax and unwind.

Why are the Michigan Tech Archives important to you? There are records here relating to my family and the various businesses they have owned in the area and it’s great to know those histories will be preserved for the younger generations.


Archives Month Staff Spotlight 2017 – Lindsay

With my Weimaraner, Otto, on top of Brockway Mountain. July 4, 2017.
With my Weimaraner, Otto, on top of Brockway Mountain. July 4, 2017.

First Name: Lindsay
Title: University Archivist
Where are you from? Tamarack City, Michigan

Where did you work before coming to Michigan Tech? I started my career as a Librarian with the District of Columbia Public Library in 2007. My first job in academic libraries was as the Gifts Coordinator at George Mason University from 2010-2011. After leaving the DC metro area, I worked as a graduate specialist at the Western Illinois University Archives before coming to the Michigan Tech Archives in May 2014. I’ve held various archivist positions here before becoming the UA in May 2016.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Michigan Tech Archives?
My favorite thing about working here is the opportunity to meet interesting people. You never know who will walk in the door, send an e-mail, or who you will meet at a conference. My colleagues in the library are also top notch! We assist patrons from all over the world.

Working here has also allowed me to travel to participate in professional development, so I’ve enjoyed networking with fellow archivists and public historians all over the place. In the past year I’ve chaired panels and presented papers at conferences in Calumet, Traverse City, Indianapolis, Omaha, and Helsinki, Finland. I wake up happy to come to work everyday because I love the people I work with and the places I can go.

What is the most interesting thing you learned while working here?dave
The history of my house, which was built in the late 1890s. We’ve learned some neat things, especially about the possible reason the house has a trap door and a secret room.

What is your favorite collection?
MS-134: Verna Grahek Mize – Save Lake Superior Campaign Collection, which was the first collection I processed here. May we always remember the First Lady of Lake Superior!

What is your favorite photograph in CCHI?
My grandpa, David T. Halkola, in his office at Michigan Tech. He was a history professor and also wrote the centennial history of the university, although I wish he would have used better citations!

A selfie at 12 Tonar, an awesome record store in Reykjavik, Iceland, November 2016.
A selfie at 12 Tonar, an awesome record store in Reykjavik, Iceland, November 2016.

What is one interesting fact about you?
It is perhaps no surprise and not all that interesting that I am a collector! I have collections of books, Bosch breweriana (a local brewery), Thomas W. Benton, Hunter S. Thompson and Gonzo art, and vintage horror and sci-fi movie posters. However, the collection that brings me the most joy is my record collection. I lovingly maintain and build an eclectic collection of vinyl, with close to 4000 LPs and 500 45s. The bulk of my collection is punk, hardcore, classic rock, garage, surf, grunge, alternative, indie, rap and hip hop, funk, soul and old school blues. Some pop from the 1950s-today is mixed in. I also have an assortment of novelty records and soundtracks, from the (im)practical (Guy LaFleur’s Instructional Hockey Disco Record) to the bizarre (It’s Monster Surfing Time by the Deadly Ones).

Treating myself after presenting at the International Oral History symposium. Standing in front of Levykauppa Keltainen Jäänsärkijä, a record store in Helsinki, Finland.
Treating myself after presenting at the International Oral History Symposium, November 2016. Standing in front of Levykauppa Keltainen Jäänsärkijä, a record store in Helsinki, Finland.

I really enjoy traveling and I try to hit up a record store in every city I visit. I’ve been to record stores all over to build my collection, from Santa Cruz to New York City, from Toronto, Canada, to Cleremont-Ferrand France, from Reykjavik, Iceland to Helsinki, Finland. When record hunting on a vacation, I always try to pick up a few local bands to learn about the local music scene. Pretty much the first thing I do when I get home from work everyday is spin a record.

Why are the Michigan Tech Archives important to you?
The Michigan Tech Archives are important to me because they help preserve and provide access to significant histories and memories. As a native of the local area and a Tech alum, I’m very grateful to preserve and share these amazing collections. I learn something new everyday!


Archives Month Staff Spotlight 2017 – Allyse

Allyse and her cat, Mr. Basil.
Allyse and her cat, Mr. Basil.

First Name: Allyse
Title: Archives Public Services Intern
Where are you from? I’m straight-up local.

What is your major:  Psychology, with a mix of everything else.

What is your favorite thing about working at the Michigan Tech Archives? Besides the delightful crew we have here? We connect our patrons with their long-lost relatives. The excitement they feel when discovering information about their families is so heartfelt to me!

What is the most interesting thing you learned while working here? There is always something new and neat to learn! Never a dull moment.

What is your favorite collection? The Vertical Files – we go way back! 😉

What is one interesting fact about you? I’ve been fortunate to be a member of the Michigan Tech Archives team since 2010. I give a shoutout to all my colleagues and supervisors who’ve put up with me over the years: “Thank you!”

Why are the Michigan Tech Archives important to you? The fact that we aim to maintain Copper Country and Michigan Tech historical resources, and that we share these resources with the public, is very important! I’m happy to be a part of such a great and community-minded repository.