Category Archives: Exhibits and Events

This broad category will include any of the types of outreach activities the Michigan Tech Archives is involved with. This includes exhibits, presentations, travel grant award winners, participation in off-campus activities, etc.

Michigan Oral History Association Conference 2020 – Call for Proposals

The Michigan Oral History Association is currently seeking proposals for the MOHA 2020 Conference. We welcome proposals for presentations, sessions and papers on oral history projects:

  • Focused on Michigan, and/or
  • Led by Michigan-based scholars
  • Research projects (issues analyzed with oral history methods and interviews)
  • Collections of oral histories focusing on a particular time period/community/group

The Program Committee seeks a diverse slate of presenters representing a variety of personal and institutional backgrounds, perspectives, and voices.  We encourage submission from anyone interested in presenting – including students, new and seasoned professionals, first-time presenters, and those from allied professions. See our brainstorming Google Sheet below to share ideas and start building possible panels.

Proposals may be one of the following:

  1. Presentation Panels with up to three powerpoint presentations (15 minutes per presentation), plus a chair and/or discussant.
  2. Non-Traditional Panels 5-8 contributors to a session formatted as a roundtable, lightening round or Pecha Kucha. In addition to contributors, non-traditional panels may also have one moderator.
  3. Individual Presentation or Partnered/Panel Presentation on a common theme. An example could be a longer presentation on a case-study of a successful oral history project, discussing challenges, successes, methods, and a Q & A.
  4. Paper Panel with up to three academic papers presented (15 minutes per presentation), plus a chair and/or discussant. Co-authored papers are welcome.  If you have a large group of colleagues who want to present papers, divide your group into two panels.

Proposals should include (see accompanying Submission Form):

  • “Participant List”
  • “Abstracts” (containing type of session format proposed and Session Title, accompanied by a 300-word abstract PLUS all individual paper/contribution titles, each accompanied with a 200-word abstract.

All participants who are accepted into the Conference program must become MOHA members by the time of the conference.

PROPOSAL DUE DATE:  December 16, 2019 

Send your proposal files as email attachments (.docx only please) to Lindsay Hiltunen at lehalkol@mtu.edu.  Questions may be directed to Ms. Hiltunen at her e-mail or (906) 487-3209.
Request e-copy of Submission Form to info@michiganoha.org.
Brainstorming:  No sign-on required link: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1tT8FsPzfSUQobrIDJSr_6c8FN5hvPae9SSGY_yv_yjU/edit?usp=sharing


Travel Grant Talk – “The Hats of Calumet and Women in Front” on November 1

Portrait of Katherine Belliel.
A portrait of 2019 Travel Grant recipient, Katherine Belliel.

Please join us for visiting scholar Katherine Belliel at 4:00 pm on Friday, November 1 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus for her travel grant talk, “The Hats of Calumet and Women in Front: Creative Writing About Women of the Copper Country.” This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Belliel will discuss the research process and inspiration behind her two creative projects on the life of Calumet native, and Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame inductee, Anna Klobuchar Clemenc. The Hats of Calumet is a collection of short fiction pieces told from the perspective of a variety of hats worn by different historical characters narrating the crucial events in Anna’s life. This project illustrates how domestic violence, infertility, immigration, and the “third culture kid” (TCK) experience both influenced and spurred her activism, tying Anna to not only American Labor History, but also the current Women’s Movement of today. “Women in Front,” a braided essay comparing and contrasting the role of women in the 1913 Copper Country Strike with the 2013 Gezi protests in Turkey, will also be discussed. A short reading from both creative projects will follow the discussion.

Katherine Belliel is an American writer based in Turkey and the US. She is the co-editor of Expat Sofra: Culinary Tales of Foreign Women in Turkey (Alfa 2019), and her work has also appeared in several expat anthologies such as Tales from the Expat Harem (Eds. Ashman and Gokmen, 2005), Encounters with the Middle East (Bowman and Khashan, 2006), and Single Mothers Speak on Patriarchy (eds. Hendren and Daly, 2016). She is currently an MFA candidate at Northern Michigan University.

Big Annie carries a large flag during a strikers parade during the 1913-1914 copper miners' strike.
Big Annie leads a a strikers parade on Calumet Avenue near the C&H hospital during the 1913-1914 copper miners’ strike. Photo is undated.

Belliel’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech 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 Michigan Tech 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/. You can also find us on Facebook, @mtuarchives on Twitter, and as michigantecharchives on Instagram.


Award Winning Author Mary Doria Russell Coming to Houghton

Author Mary Doria Russell poses for a publicity photograph.
Acclaimed author Mary Doria Russell. Photograph by Don Russell.

Award winning author Mary Doria Russell will be coming to Houghton for two special events centered around her recent novel The Women of the Copper Country. The Portage Lake District Library (PLDL) and the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library (Van Pelt and Opie Library) are excited to host her for a two-part presentation series. 

A formal lecture will take place on October 8 at 7 pm in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus. A social hour and book signing will follow the presentation. A second event, an informal book talk and book signing, will take place at the PLDL on October 9 from 6-8 pm. Refreshments will be served at both events and all are welcome to attend!

The front cover of the book The Women of the Copper Country.
The cover of Mary Doria Russell’s latest novel, The Women of the Copper Country.

The Women of the Copper Country centers on the life of American labor activist, Annie Clements, as well as paints a broader historical portrait of the lives of local people in the midst of a turbulent labor movement and social landscape. The historical novel is startlingly relevant today and would be of great interest to the campus and local communities. Some of the research for her book was conducted with assistance from the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections. 

For more information about the events please contact Katie Edson (906) 487-1636, Lindsay Hiltunen (906) 487-3209, or Michael Stanitis (906) 482-4570. The author’s visit is made possible by a travel grant from the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library and The Women of the Copper Country Planning Committee.


Flashback Friday: Reunion Edition

Michigan College of Mines reunion picnic, 1931. (MS042-055-999-W420-8)
Happy Flashback Friday and welcome back Michigan Tech Alumni! We’re celebrating the annual alumni reunion this week with a couple of photographs from past alumni reunions.
Downtown Houghton decked out in banners for the alumni reunion, undated (MTU Neg 00338)
Michigan College of Mines alumni reunion, Keweenaw Mountain Lodge, 1936. (ACC 09-099-07-26-2010-20)
Alumni banquet, Douglass House, 1913. (Book LD3328H3-60-1)
Alumni reunion reception, 1911. (Book LD3328H3-57-5)
Group photograph of the Classes of 1959 and 1969, August 1999. (MTU004-202-12088-11)
Glen Mroz and alumnus at reunion lunch, 2009. (MTU-118-2014-10-30-027)
Alumni reunion pasty picnic, 2009. (ACC 10-010-089)

We hope that you are having a great time at this year’s alumni reunion and enjoyed this little peek into past reunions. Didn’t spot a photograph from your time here at Tech? The Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Collections invites all alumni and guests to travel down memory lane today with a visit to the archives during the campus-wide open house. The Michigan Tech Archives will be open today, Friday, August 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for our regular research hours with special behind-the-scenes tours available to individuals and small groups from 1-4 p.m. Happy reunion!


Flashback Friday: Hubbell Hall Remembered

The Michigan Tech Archives welcomes the Hubbell Family during their campus visit today. In celebration of their visit, our Flashback Friday this week features a closer look at a piece of campus history tied to the Hubbell Family — Hubbell Hall.

At the time of its establishment in 1885, the Michigan Mining School (later named Michigan College of Mines, Michigan College of Mining and Technology, and finally Michigan Technological University) occupied part of the Continental Fire Hall in downtown Houghton.

Michigan Mining School’s first campus building was the Continental Fire Hall in downtown Houghton.

As class sizes grew, additional space was needed to support the new school. To solve this issue, the Michigan Mining School developed plans for a new, larger building close to downtown that would be able to provide the additional space the school needed. In 1887 John Scott & Co. was hired as principle architects for the new building with contractors from Wahlman & Gipp and I. E. Swift Company. By 1889 the new building was completed at the intersection of Hubbell Avenue and College Avenue.

The new Romanesque-style building featured new lecture halls, gymnasium, and library. It was constructed with Jacobsville sandstone walls and featured a distinctive central tower. The building was initially referred to as State Hall or just “first school building,” according to sources, but following the death of the building’s principal benefactor, Jay A. Hubbell, its name was changed in his honor. Hubbell was a well-known politician and judge for the state of Michigan, serving as a district attorney for the Upper Peninsula and prosecuting attorney for Houghton County prior to becoming a member of the House of Representatives.

Hubbell Hall, circa 1895-1901.
Hubbell Hall eventually became the building devoted to the math and physics departments until the late 1960s when both departments relocated to another building on campus. While Hubbell Hall was a central, distinctive feature on the Michigan Tech campus for nearly 80 years, by 1968 the building was in somewhat of disrepair and demolished.
Today the 11-story R. L. Smith (MEEM) building stands in the Hubbell Hall footprint, taking its place as one of the most distinctive buildings on campus. While Hubbell Hall is no longer a feature on the campus landscape, its importance to the history of Michigan Tech is well-preserved in the memories of those who attended school while it still stood and in the records preserved by the Michigan Tech Archives.

Hubbell Hall in winter, 1968.
Demolition of Hubbell Hall, 1968.

Copper Range Exhibit Hits the Road

Last October the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections launched its latest traveling exhibit, “Becoming the Pride of the Upper Peninsula: A Glimpse at the Early Years of the Copper Range Railroad.” Starting this month, the exhibit hits the road! The six panels will be on display at various heritage sites from June to December 2019. The exhibit will include a free souvenir postcard and commemorative booklet at each site (while supplies last.)

The schedule is detailed below:

June: Ontonagon County Historical Society, Ontonagon Historical Museum in Ontonagon, Michigan

July: CopperTown USA Mining Museum, Calumet, Michigan

August: Iron County Historical Society Museum, Hurley, Wisconsin

September: Quincy Mine Hoist Association, Quincy Mine, Hancock, Michigan

September 28: Grace Lutheran Church, Northland Historical Consortium Fall Meeting, South Range, Michigan

October: Portage Lake District Library, Houghton, Michigan

November and December: Carnegie Museum of the Keweenaw, Houghton, Michigan

If you have any questions regarding how to view the exhibit, please contact the appropriate site to check for hours and visiting information. In addition, the exhibit is available to borrow from January – June 2020. If your site is interested in hosting the panels, please contact Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist, Michigan Tech Archives at lehalkol@mtu.edu or (906) 487-2505.

This exhibit was funded in part by the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission Heritage Grant program. 


Flashback Friday: Copper TRACES

Park Supervisor, Mac Frimodig and daughter, Karen, observe an old “skip” which was used in a Keweenaw mine to bring the rock to the surface. It is one of the hallowed relics of the old Fort museum area, May 29, 1953. Daily Mining Gazette Photograph Collection (MS-051)

This week the Michigan Tech Archives had the privilege of once again taking part in the Copper TRACES event at the Keweenaw National Historical Park in Calumet. This field day for area 4th graders has provided hands-on learning opportunities since 2016. Topics covered during the event focus on Technology, Research, Art and Music, Community, Environment, and Service, or TRACES. Funded by the National Park Foundation through the Open OutDoors for Kids Grants program, students get to learn everything from area geology and Great Lakes shipping to mining and immigration history.

The Michigan Tech Archives and the archival staff from KNHP have hosted a station on primary sources since the beginning of the program. Students get to learn what the different is between primary and secondary sources, how they help us learn about history, and discover how they contribute to the creation of primary source material.
In honor of this unique collaborative venture, our Flashback Friday photograph highlights the learning opportunities children and adults have thanks to programs like this and our regional heritage sites. Pictured here is Fort Wilkins State Park Supervisor, Mac Frimodig and daughter, Karen, observing an old mining skip at the Fort Wilkins museum in 1953. Used to bring rock to the surface at one of the many mining operations here in the Keweenaw, the skip now serves as a historic artifact and teaching tool.
Want to discover more about the history of the Copper Country? Visit the Keweenaw National Historical Park or any of the other amazing Keweenaw Heritage Sites this summer. More information is available on the Park website at https://www.nps.gov/kewe/learn/management/keweenaw-heritage-sites.htm.
You can also visit the Michigan Tech Archives throughout the summer, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., no appointment need.
If you want to know more about the Copper TRACES program, you can find additional information on the KNHP’s website at https://www.nps.gov/kewe/learn/education/classrooms/copper-traces.html 

Copper Range Railroad Exhibit – Call for Traveling Exhibit Hosts

Last October the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections launched its latest traveling exhibit, “Becoming the Pride of the Upper Peninsula: A Glimpse at the Early Years of the Copper Range Railroad.” Now that the summer tourist season is upon us, the exhibit is ready to travel to regional heritage sites for display.  

A hunting party gathers at the Copper Range depot in this undated photograph.

The exhibit contains six panels that document the early years of the Copper Range Railroad, from the early founding of the railroad until its initial expansion beyond the main line. The last panel provides a glimpse beyond the formative years, including the impact of the decline of mining in the area, the school train runs, and the dissolution of the company.

The exhibit is available to be loaned to partner host sites on a monthly basis from June 2019 – June 2020. The Michigan Tech Archives will assist with delivery/pick-up options for the panels and will also provide booklets and postcards for each host site. Site hosts are asked to formally launch the exhibit by having an opening reception or some special program surrounding the exhibit.

If you are interested in hosting the exhibit at your museum, library, or school please contact university archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen, at (906) 487-3209 or at copper@mtu.edu.

This exhibit was made possible in part by the Keweenaw National Historical Park Advisory Commission Heritage Grant Program. All research was conducted in the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections.

The Copper Range Railroad exhibit on display at its initial launch in October 2018.

Flashback Friday: Deep Roots: Unearthing the History of the Forestry Department at Michigan Tech

Happy Arbor Day, Copper Country! We’re observing today’s holiday with a Flashback Friday post commemorating the Michigan Tech Forestry Department.
Michigan Tech’s Forestry Department has deep roots on campus. Under the leadership of President Grover C. Dillman, then president of the Michigan College of Mining and Technology, the Forestry Department was initiated in 1936 with a two-year degree program led by U. J. Noblet and R. B. Miller and housed in Hubbell Hall. In addition its general curriculum, the department also offered students a Forestry Club. By 1942, the department moved to the nearby Hubbell School and five years later the Institute of Wood Research was created. In the 1967 the department had expanded enough to require new facilities and in that year the U. J. Noblet Forestry and Wood Products Building was opened. That year also saw the beginning of the University’s first graduate program in forestry.
Throughout the 1970s and into the 1990s the department saw major growth in terms of student numbers and changes in technology and course curriculum. Forestry enrollment climbed to 151 new students in 1970 with female enrollment reaching 25 percent by 1975. Microcomputers replaced the department’s calculator lab in 1984 and in 1986 the department opened its first PhD program. Curriculum had now expanded to include wood and fiber utilization, land surveying, and other majors and certificates including ecology, environmental science, and wildlife ecology and management.
With all this change comes additional facility needs. In 1999 the university broke ground on a new building expansion project (pictured here) that would become home to Hesterberg and Horner Halls in 2000. Today, the Forestry Department thrives on the Michigan Tech campus. Students at the undergraduate, graduate, and PhD levels have excellent curricula to choose from and amazing facilities to learn and study in.
Celebrate Arbor Day at Michigan Tech today by attending the University’s student-led Tree Campus USA initiative event. Meet at the Husky Statue from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. for an opening ceremony followed by a student-led campus tree walk and tree planting from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. with a reception to follow at the U. J. Noblet Forestry Building Atrium. During the reception, be sure to check out the informational tables from community and student organizations that support environmental sustainability and ecology or attend one of the tours of the U.S. Forest Service’s underground research facility, the Rhizotron.
Want to know more about the Forestry Department at Michigan Tech? Visit the Michigan Tech Archives during our regular research hours, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to learn more.
Happy Arbor Day from the Michigan Tech Archives!

October is American Archives Month

Since 2006, American Archives Month has given the profession an opportunity to share and remind people about the importance of archives and the items that are being preserved, cataloged, cared for, and made accessible by archivists and other cultural heritage colleagues. Be sure to follow us on social media all month long for collection spotlights, news about programs and events, and all things archives!

Our first event is coming up on October 3, when archivists around the country will take to Twitter to respond to questions tweeted with the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. Staff of the Michigan Tech Archives encourage everyone to take this opportunity to engage with us via Twitter (or our other social media) to ask questions about the archival profession, collections at Michigan Tech and local history generally. Questions will vary widely, from the silly (What is the strangest thing in your collection?) to the practical (How can I preserve my family photographs?)

Adding to the fun this year, Blizzard will be stopping by the Archives from 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm to take part in this great event. Please tweet us @mtuarchives and be sure to use the hashtag #AskAnArchivist. We hope you will join the conversation and help us celebrate American Archives Month!

AskAnArchivistDay