Tag Archives: American Archives Month

Archives Month Continues – Special Events

Dr. Abraham Romney (center), shows off the “pencils only” policy while visiting the archives with his HU 6070 graduate class. Doctoral students Alfred (right) and Modupe (left) look through materials while their professor has some fun with the prop pencil. (Photograph courtesy of L. Hiltunen, University Archivist and PhD Student in Dr. Romney’s class.)

The Michigan Tech Archives has been having fun all month long for American Archives Month! The next week is no exception, with three special features taking place.

Tomorrow, Wednesday, October 24 at 4 p.m., travel grant recipient Wesley Thompson will be giving his presentation in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. This is event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served. For more information about Thompson’s talk, please see our initial blog post about the event.

In addition, this week our University Archivist, Lindsay Hiltunen will be a guest Instagrammer for the Society of American Archivists (SAA) Instagram page. Hiltunen is an active member of SAA, belongs to the Legislator’s Research Team, a subgroup of the Issues and Advocacy section of SAA, and she recently delivered a paper at the SAA annual meeting in Washington, DC which was held August 12-18.

Lastly, next Tuesday, October 30, at 6 p.m. in the Opie Reading Room, the Michigan Tech Archives will launch a new exhibit on the history of the Copper Range Railroad. Stay tuned for a detailed blog post later this week discussing the event.

We hope you will consider joining us for one, or all, of these special events to help us celebrate American Archives Month. For more information about any of our programs or activities, please contact the archives at (906) 487-2505 or by e-mailing copper@mtu.edu.


Flashback Friday: American Archives Month

Former university archivist, Theresa Spence, discusses Old Reliable, with author, Larry Lankton, 1982.
Former university archivist, Theresa Spence, discusses Old Reliable, with author, Larry Lankton, 1982.

Since October is American Archives Month, our first Flashback Friday of the month pays tribute to all the archivists that have ever worked to collect, preserve, and provide access to the archival materials and special collections at Michigan Tech.

The photograph from August 1982 prominently features our first university archivist, Theresa Spence, speaking with author and professor emeritus, Larry Lankton at Author’s Day at the Quincy Mine. Larry was promoting his new book, Old Reliable, which was co-authored by Charles Hyde. From left, Larry Lankton; Theresa S. Spence; librarian Amanda Binoniemi; and archives assistant Kay Masters.

Former archivist, Beth Russell poses with the Raymond family, who donated a collection to Michigan Tech in 2014.
Former archivist, Beth Russell poses with the Raymond family, who donated a collection to Michigan Tech in 2014.

The Michigan Tech Archives has a long history that traces back to the early years of the university. The Upper Peninsula copper boom was more than forty years old when the Michigan Mining School (now Michigan Technological University) first opened its doors in the 1880s. In the early years of the school, A.E. Seaman, professor of geology and mineralogy, was given the responsibility for purchasing sets of mining, geology, and engineering journals. As time went on, more titles were sought to build the library and efforts were made during the 1930s to separate important historical titles from the general library stacks. Space limitations prohibited active solicitation of other local history collections at this time.

When the new library building was being planned, a reading room and storage area was specially designed for the historical collections. The first

The current archives reading room, in the Garden Level of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.
The current archives reading room, in the Garden Level of the Van Pelt and Opie Library.

archives reading room at Michigan Tech opened to the public in July 1966. With the new space came the first real stimulus to actively solicit local history materials. Michigan Tech signified its commitment to an active archival program in 1978 with the hiring of Theresa Spence, the first professionally trained archivist at the university. The department quickly developed the procedures and policies necessary to solicit and make available premier collections pertaining to the history of Michigan Tech and the local region. The department formally adopted its current name, the Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections in 1980. The department continues to grow and has seen many wonderful professionals and support staff throughout its long history. The Michigan Tech Archives is actively growing and currently has three professional archivists, one archives assistant, and one student assistant to protect the collections and provide research support and other services.
If you have any questions about the Archives or American Archives Month, please contact the department at (906) 487-2505 or e-mail copper@mtu.edu

The current archives team poses with Blizzard T. Husky on #AskAnArchivist Day, 2018. From left, Allyse, Blizzard, Allison, Emily, and Lindsay.
The current archives team poses with Blizzard T. Husky on #AskAnArchivist Day, 2018. From left, Allyse, Blizzard, Allison, Emily, and Lindsay.

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