Category: Public Events

Museum Exhibit Planning Workshop May 14, 2011

The Michigan Tech Archives continues to serve as coordinating agency for the Northland Historical Consortium, and is pleased to announce that the Consortium and the Heritage Sites of Keweenaw National Historical Park will convene a joint spring 2011 meeting on Saturday, May 14, 2011, in Houghton. The meeting will feature a day-long workshop entitled “Interpretation and Exhibit Planning for Small Heritage Organizations” in Ballroom A of the Memorial Union Building on the campus of Michigan Technological University. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. Central/8:30 a.m. Eastern, will run until 3:30 p.m. Central/4:30 p.m. Eastern, and will include lunch.

The workshop is specifically designed for small and medium-sized museums, and includes sections on developing institutional interpretive goals and constructing exhibitions for small museums with limited budgets. Participants will receive instruction on how to identify interpretive themes based on their museum’s location and collections, and how to select artifacts and write text for effective exhibits. Although the workshop is primarily designed for volunteers and staff at museums, members of the public are welcome to register for the event.

The workshop will be presented by Daniel Truckey, director and curator for the Beaumier Heritage Center at Northern Michigan University. Dan has over two decades of experience working in the museum and heritage field, is past vice president for programs with the Michigan Museums Association, and has worked in museums in Michigan, Iowa, and Connecticut.

The fee for this day-long workship will be $20.00 per person and will include lunch.   Pre-registration is required by Monday, May 9.

Copies of the program and registration form are available here.

The Northland Consortium is an informal association of local historical societies, archives and historians in Northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Central and Western Upper Peninsula.  The Keweenaw Heritage Sites include museums and historic sites affiliated with Keweenaw National Historical Park. For further information on the event, or to register to attend, contact Erik Nordberg or Julie Blair at the MTU Archives 906-487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu


Visiting Scholar Speaks on the Black Campus Movement, 1965-1973

The Michigan Tech Archives invites students, faculty and staff to join us for a Lunch and Learn on March 22, from noon to 1 p.m. at the Memorial Union Ballroom B-3. Visiting scholar and Archives Travel Grant recipient Ibram H. Rogers will give a talk on “The Black Campus Movement and the Racial Reformation of Higher Education.” Cookies and beverages will be provided. Attendees are invited to bring their lunch.

The Black Campus Movement began about 1965 and ended by 1973. During that time, black college students, sometimes aided by white and Latino students, protested for a relevant learning experience. At traditionally white and historically black colleges and universities, black campus activists formed the nation’s first progressive black student unions and gained control of some student government associations. They utilized these pressure groups to advocate for a range of campus reforms, including an end to campus paternalism and racism, the addition of more black students and faculty, and Black Studies courses and programs. Their ultimate aim was to diversify and thus transform higher education. This presentation will provide an overview of the movement, which challenged the racial confines of upwards of 1,000 colleges and universities in 48 states, including Michigan Tech.

Ibram H. Rogers is a post-doctoral fellow at the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis in New Brunswick, New Jersey. He is on leave as an assistant professor of African American history at SUNY College at Oneonta. He earned his doctorate in African American Studies from Temple University. Rogers has published seven journal articles on the black campus movement and black power. He is currently working on his first book, tentatively titled, The Black Campus Movement: A Historical Analysis of the Struggle to Diversity Higher Education, 1965-1972, which will be published by Palgrave MacMillan.

Rogers’ talk is sponsored by the Michigan Tech Archives and the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives. The program is intended to encourage research using the Archives’ lesser known collections or promote new methodological approaches to well-known collections. From this year’s competitive field of applicants, the grant committee selected three scholars whose research typifies the spirit of the grant program. They join the ranks of twenty-six past recipients in this most recent round of awards.

For information about the March 22nd Lunch and Learn, the Michigan Tech Archives, or its collections, email us at copper@mtu.edu, call us at 906-487-2505, or visit us on the web at http://www.lib.mtu.edu/mtuarchives/.


Matching the Care to the Place: Medical Provision in Mining Regions, 1900 to 1950

On Tuesday, September 14, at 7 p.m., the Michigan Tech Archives Speaker Series hosts visiting scholar Jennifer Gunn in Room 642 of the Dow Building on the Michigan Tech campus.

Gunn will present “Matching the Care to the Place: Medical Provision in Mining Regions, 1900 to 1950.” Mining, logging, and farming could mangle bodies and it took more than a wife to mend them. In the Copper Country, mining companies employed doctors, built hospitals, and taxed their workers to support that medical infrastructure.  On the Iron Range of Minnesota, however, a similar contract system was used to induce private doctors to take responsibility for creating hospitals and the public health in the remote rural areas. As mining and extractive industries declined, what were the remaining residents’ expectations of health and medicine? What arrangements emerged for health care in small towns and rural communities to replace the industrial-dominated medicine?

Interior view of the surgery room at the C&H Hospital, circa 1928.
Interior view of the surgery room at the C&H Hospital, circa 1928.

Jennifer Gunn is Associate Professor and Director of the Program in the History of Medicine at the University of Minnesota. She earned her Ph.D. in the History and Sociology of Science from the University of Pennsylvania., where her dissertation was on the history of graduate medical education in the United States. Her first publication was on industrial medicine. Currently working on a book on rural health and medicine in the Upper Midwest, 1900-1950, Professor Gunn’s interest in mining communities and rural health disparities in an urbanizing society is informed by her experience as a coal miner in Alabama.

Gunn’s presentation is sponsored by the Michigan Tech Archives and the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. Since 1998, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives. The program is intended to encourage research using the Archives’ lesser known collections or promote new methodological approaches to well-known collections. From a competitive field of applicants, the grant committee selected four scholars this year whose research typifies the spirit of the grant program. They join the ranks of twenty-two past recipients in this most recent round of awards.

For more information on the September 14th presentation, call the Michigan Tech Archives at 487-2505.

Update: Here is a photo from the event, with more than 40 in attendance:

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Traveling Photograph Exhibit Visits Ontonagon

 

J.W. Nara sold copies of photographs as souvenirs. This image, copied from an unknown published source, shows a load of logs from Ewen which were displayed at the World's Fair.
J.W. Nara sold copies of photographs as souvenirs. This image, copied from an unknown published source, shows a load of logs from Ewen which were displayed at the World's Fair.

“People, Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara,” a traveling exhibit created by the Michigan Tech Archives, has moved to the Ontonagon County Historical Society museum in Ontonagon. The exhibit explores the life and times of Calumet photographer J.W. Nara and will be open to the public through September 25 during the museum’s regular hours. 

On Friday, September 3, the Society will host a public reception and program in conjunction with the exhibit installation. Erik Nordberg, University Archivist at Michigan Technological University, will give an illustrated presentation, “Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J.W. Nara” featuring dozens of historical photographs of the Keweenaw. The presentation is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. at the museum complex. 

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 traveling exhibit, funded in part by descendants Robert and Ruth Nara of Bootjack Michigan, works from historical photographs held at the Michigan Tech Archives. Robert and Ruth will be attending the reception.  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.

The exhibit will remain on display at the Ontonagon County Historical Museum through Saturday, September 25. Its next stop will be the Finnish-American Heritage Center in Hancock, Michigan.


Northland Consortium to Meet in Ontonagon

Pieces of mass copper awaiting shipment from the dock at Ontonagon. J.T. Reeder photo, Image MS042-048-999-U644.
Pieces of mass copper awaiting shipment from the dock at Ontonagon. J.T. Reeder photo, Image MS042-048-999-U644.

The Northland Historical Consortium will convene its Fall 2010 meeting on Saturday, September 25, 2010, in Ontonagon. The event, hosted by the Ontonagon County Historical Society, will be held at the Holy Family Catholic Church at the corner of Pine Street and Michigan Avenue in the village of Ontonagon. The public is invited to attend, regardless of their affiliation with a heritage organization and the program will begin at 8:30 a.m. eastern time.


The meeting will feature two presentations. The first, by Michael Genrich, will discuss the research and writing process for the author’s third novel, titled Interior, and will include an illustrated presentation concerning the ghost town of the same name in Ontonagon County.  In the second segment, Bruce Johanson, president of the Ontonagon County Historical Society, will discuss the group’s efforts to engage younger people in local history and museum activities, and suggest projects and programming that historical societies can use to involve a new generation of youth in this important work.

 

The day will be rounded out with tours of the historic Ontonagon Lighthouse, which has been under continuing restoration and interpretation by the historical society, as well as the group’s main museum in downtown Ontonagon. All tours, access to the facilities, and a luncheon are included in a $15 event registration fee. Following lunch, historical organizations will have an opportunity to report on their recent activities and to discuss the Consortium’s work to highlight heritage activity in the region. 

 

The Northland Consortium is an informal association of local historical societies, archives and historians in Northeastern Wisconsin and Michigan’s Central and Western Upper Peninsula.  A $15 event registration fee will include all presentations, tours, refreshments and the luncheon. 

 

For further information on the event, or to register to attend, contact Bruce Johanson at 884-6886 or Josie Olson at 886-2645 / oldjosie@jamadots.com

 

The Michigan Tech Archives serves as coordinating organization for the Northland Historical Consortium.

 

 

 


Archives Features Talk & Book Signing by Local Author Gary Kaunonen

The Michigan Tech Archives hosts local author Gary Kaunonen for a presentation and book signing in the JR Van Pelt & Opie Library’s East Reading Room on Tuesday, August 17 at 4 p.m.

In his latest book, Challenge Accepted: a Finnish immigrant response to industrial America in Michigan’s Copper Country, published by Michigan State University Press, Kaunonen tells the story of the Finnish immigrant challenge to the historic social order. He explores their clash with Copper Country industrialists by examining the written record and material culture of the Finnish immigrant working class through analysis of buildings, cultural institutions, and publication of print media.

Challenge Accepted takes an in-depth look at the way a portion of the Finnish immigrant working class gambled the success of early organizational efforts by participating in the bitter and bloody 1913-14 copper miners’ strike. This nine-month struggle between organized labor and the mining companies culminated in the tragic events at Italian Hall. Kaunonen examines the events of the 1913-14 Strike and Italian Hall using often-overlooked proletarian Finnish immigrant sources.

Based in Hancock, the Tyomies Publishing Company rallied strikers and their families during the 1913-14 copper miners’ strike. Author Gary Kaunonen’s new book explores the politics and culture of the working class Finnish immigrants who made a stand against the mining companies. This image from the Keweenaw Digital Archives (#400-12-13-1988-01-08-04) was taken in February 1914 near the end of the Copper Country’s most violent labor strike.
Based in Hancock, the Tyomies Publishing Company rallied strikers and their families during the 1913-14 copper miners’ strike. Author Gary Kaunonen’s new book explores the politics and culture of the working class Finnish immigrants who made a stand against the mining companies. This image from the Keweenaw Digital Archives (#400-12-13-1988-01-08-04) was taken in February 1914 near the end of the Copper Country’s most violent labor strike.

Kaunonen suggests that the most noteworthy accomplishment of these Finnish immigrants in the Copper Country was that as a largely unskilled group of immigrant laborers, newspaper employees, and radical “hoboes,” they had a very considerable impact on the history of a place dominated by powerful mining companies and the men who ran those companies. This was truly remarkable, a challenge accepted by a proactive segment of the Finnish immigrant working class to have a say in their own working conditions. Embedded in this study of ethnic political-labor history is also a story of division and decline that ultimately fractured a working class movement dedicated to solidarity. This demise is significant when recounting the capabilities and vulnerabilities of the American labor movement in the early twentieth century.

Gary Kaunonen is a social and labor historian currently working on a PhD at Michigan Tech. He received a Master’s in Industrial History and Archaeology from Michigan Tech in 2007, and for a while worked as an archivist at the Finnish American Historical Archive at Finlandia. Kaunonen studies the history of the UP’s Finnish immigrant population, and the interaction between Finns and American industry. Both of his grandfathers worked in the iron mines of Minnesota’s Mesabi Iron Range, and Kaunonen himself charged blast furnaces and operated a bull-ladle before turning to academics. His first book, also published by Michigan State University Press, is called The Finns in Michigan.

Limited copies of Kaunonen’s latest book, Challenge Accepted, will be available to purchase at the August 17 event at the JR Van Pelt & Opie Library at Michigan Tech.

For more information, call the Archives at 487-2505.


Brown Bag Seminar with Industrial Historian Charles Hyde

Dr. Charles Hyde, professor of history at Wayne State University, will be the featured speaker at a brown bag seminar hosted by the Michigan Tech Archives and the Social Sciences department. The event is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Wednesday, August 4th in the Alumni Lounge of the Memorial Union Building.

Professor Hyde has done significant work in the field of industrial archeology, completing more than 70 projects involving the documentation of historic buildings or structures. His 1978 survey of industrial sites in the Upper Peninsula identified the significant material culture remains at the Quincy mine site. This encouraged a subsequent intensive survey of the site by Hyde and other historians, including current Michigan Tech professor Larry Lankton. Hyde and Lankton coauthored Old Reliable: An Illustrated History of the Quincy Mining Company in 1982 and Hyde went on to publish Copper For America: The United States Copper Industry from Colonial Times to the 1990s, a survey of the United States copper industry, in 1998.

Hyde’s publication and historical documentation efforts include significant work with Michigan’s automotive industry. These include studies of the Dodge Main, Chrysler Jefferson Avenue and Chrysler Highland Park assembly plants, scholarly articles on architect Albert Kahn’s work for the automobile industry, and book publications on Dodge, Chrysler, Nash, Hudson, and American Motors.

The informal seminar is open to the public and attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch or refreshments. For further information contact Erik Nordberg in the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505 or enordber@mtu.edu


Upcoming Special Events

The Michigan Tech Archives has planning underway for the following events:

Tuesday, August 17, 4:00 p.m., East Reading Room, Van Pelt and Opie Library
Gary Kaunonen will present information from his new book Challenge Accepted: A Finnish Immigrant Response to Industrial America in Michigan’s Copper Country. The book draws upon work Kaunonen did in the Archives’ collections for his master’s degree in industrial archaeology. Further details about this event are available here.

Tuesday, September 14, 7:00pm (Room 642, Dow Environmental Sciences Building)
Jennifer Gunn, the fourth recipient of a 2010 research travel award, will provide a public presentation about her research which examines rural medicine practices in twentieth-century America.

Tuesday, September 28, 7:00 p.m.  (Room 642, Dow Environmental Sciences Building)
Dr. Valerie Bradley-Holliday will discuss research from her recently published book Northern Roots: African Descended Pioneers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.

More information about these events will be distributed when available. Contact the Michigan Tech Archives by telephone at 487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu.


Coming at Ya: The Copper Country in 3D!

An example of a historic stereoview photograph, depicting the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company.
An example of a historic stereoview photograph, depicting the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company.

Tired of viewing the Keweenaw’s fascinating history in only two dimensions? Join Erik Nordberg of the Michigan Tech Archives and Jack Deo of Marquette’s Superior View studios as Copper Country people and places ‘back in the day’ jump off the screen with amazing 3D effects! This special event will occur at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 5, at the Calumet Theatre at the corner of 6th and Elm in historic Calumet, Michigan.

Using special digital technology, more than 100 historic stereoview photos will be projected on the giant screen of the historic Calumet Theatre where audiences will see them in eye-popping three dimensions using special 3D glasses.  See local towns, mines, railroads, and scenery as you’ve never seen them before.

This event is a fundraiser for the Michigan Tech Archives, with proceeds supporting the Keweenaw Digital Archives and preservation of historic photographs in the Copper Country Historical Collections.  The College Avenue Vision Clinic in Houghton is providing the special 3D glasses for this event. Additional sponsors include Superior View studio, The Daily Mining Gazette, The Book Concern, Copper World, The Michigan House Cafe, and Cranking Graphics.

Tickets are only $15 for adults and $7 for children and may be purchased in advance from the Calumet Theatre or at the door. Admission includes your own set of 3D glasses. For further information contact the MTU Archives at 906-487-2505, via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu, or visit them on the web at www.lib.mtu.edu/archives.

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Library Hosts Book-Signing Events

Company housing and Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Agent Street near Calumet, Michigan. The background is dominated by smokestacks, shafthouses, and other industrial workings of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company.
Company housing and Bethlehem Lutheran Church on Agent Street near Calumet, Michigan. The background is dominated by smokestacks, shafthouses, and other industrial workings of the Calumet and Hecla Mining Company. Image MS042-039-T-045 (Detail A), Collection MS-042 Reeder Photographic Collection.

Two new publications about the history of the Copper Country will make their debut on April 16 and 20 at Michigan Tech.

Professor Larry Lankton of Michigan Tech’s Social Sciences Department will premiere Hollowed Ground: Copper Mining and Community Building on Lake Superior, 1840s-1990s, at 4 p.m., Friday, April 16. In the book, published by Wayne State University Press, Lankton tells the story of Lake Superior copper mining, including the full life-cycles of the Calumet and Hecla, Copper Range, Quincy and White Pine mines, their influence over their mining locations, and the lives of thousands of immigrant workers. Lankton traces the interconnected fortunes of mining companies and communities through times of bustling economic growth all the way through to periods of decline and closure. Author-signed copies of Hollowed Ground will be available for purchase at the event.

Kim Hoagland, professor emeriti at Michigan Tech, presents Mine Towns: Buildings for Workers in Michigan’s Copper Country, at 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 20. In this study of domestic life in Copper Country communities during the boom years of 1890 to 1918, Hoagland uses the architecture of the region to understand the complex relationship between mine managers and their employees. Published by University of Minnesota Press, the book examines houses, churches, schools, bathhouses, and hospitals to understand the nature of everyday life in this mining region. Author-signed copies of Mine Towns will be available for purchase at this event.

Both events will be held in the East reading room of the J.R. Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Tech campus and will include remarks from the authors about their research and writing processes. Lankton’s and Hoagland’s work draws heavily from the historical records of the Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, a department within the Library. The events, which are open to the public with free refreshments, are sponsored by the Library, the Michigan Tech Archives and the Michigan Tech Department of Social Sciences.

For further information contact the Michigan Tech Archives at (906) 487-2505 or via e-mail at copper@mtu.edu, or visit the website at www.lib.mtu.edu/archives.

Update: Photos from the Lankton book signing, which attracted a crowd of about 100 people.

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