Author: Chad Arney

Female Spaces, Working Class Communities, and the Labor Movement

Please join us for visiting scholar Shannon Kirkwood at 4:00 pm on Thursday July 17 in the East Reading Room of the Van Pelt and Opie Library on the Michigan Technological University campus. This event is free of charge and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

In this presentation, Kirkwood will address the politics of female space in a male-dominated labor movement, as well as class consciousness based home, kin and neighborhood networks. These themes will be discussed in the contexts of the Copper Country, Seattle and Glasgow.

Kirkwood is a doctoral student at Central Michigan University and a recent presenter at “Retrospection and Respect: the 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014”. Her research has focused on the participation of miners’ wives in the 1913-14 Copper Strike and the indirect relationship these women had with the mining companies, their relationships with their men, and their relationships with each other.

Kirkwood’s research visit and presentation are supported by a travel grant from the Friends of the Van Pelt and Opie Library. Since 1988, the Michigan Tech Archives Travel Grant program has helped scholars advance their research by supporting travel to the manuscript collections at the Archives.

For more information, feel free to call the Michigan Tech Archives at 906-487-2505, email at, or visit them on the web at

Two Events, One Experience

1913 Copper Miners Strike : Children's Parade

100 years ago, our nation was rocked by incidents that shook our community to its core. Labor challenged management, neighbor fought neighbor, and children died. Finnish immigrants played a major role in the strike at the heart of this turmoil, and have continued to be a major influence in the community today. Thus, it is only natural that the two events investigating these themes be brought together to form a unified experience.

Retrospection and Respect: 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium of 2014

Retrospection & Respect: Michigan’s 1913-1914 Mining/Labor Strike Symposium is to be held in Houghton, Michigan, April 11-12, 2014, on the occasion of the centennial of the cessation of the 1913-1914 Western Federation of Miners labor strike against copper mining companies in the Copper Country of Upper Michigan. Presenters will explore the role of labor organizations in the historical and contemporary American and European mining industries, the effect of historical European immigration on labor organization, the impacts of early twentieth century labor organizational practices and strikes on American managerial practices in mining and other industries, and women’s activism in early twentieth century labor organization in mining and other industries, as well as other topics connecting issues of ethnicity, identity, class, gender, and other cultural divisions to civic discourse and the historic struggle for civil liberties within industry. The symposium is co-sponsored by Michigan Technological University’s Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections, the Department of Social Sciences, and the Department of Humanities, the Keweenaw National Historical Park, and Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center and Historical Archives..

FinnForum X: Work, Workers, and the Finn Factor in 20th Century Labor Relations: Strikes, Political Economy, and Transnationalism

The symposium is being held in conjunction with the 2014 meeting of FinnForum, a professional association of researchers who investigate northern European migration to the United States. Presenters will address a range of disciplinary perspectives on topics such as fraternal organizations in labor movements, the development of corporate power in mining districts, ethnic identity, and image-making through labor-themed music. FinnForum X is sponsored by the Institute of Migration in Turku, Finland and the University of Turku’s History Department, along with Finlandia University’s Finnish American Heritage Center and Historical Archives, with support from Michigan Technological University’s Department of Humanities.

Special Exhibits and Events

To commemorate the event, several special exhibits will be on display in the area. The “Tumult and Tragedy: Michigan’s 1913-1914 Copper Strike” exhibit, produced by the Michigan Tech Archives, will be on display in the first floor lobby of the J. Robert Van Pelt and John and Ruanne Opie Library on Michigan Tech’s campus. This exhibit chronicles one of the confrontations between organized labor and mining companies. There will be even more to see at Finlandia University’s Finnish American Historical Archives’ reading room. Displayed for the first time, courtesy of the Keweenaw National Historical Park, there will be an exhibit of the two lithographs that were hanging on either side of the Italian Hall lodge room stage the night of the Christmas Eve disaster in 1913. One features the Italian royal family, circa 1908, and the other depicts a montage of the five founders of the modern Italian state, circa 1905. In addition to the exhibits currently on display, the Finnish American Historical Archives’ will be featuring artifacts from the Italian Hall, as well as “People Place and Time: Michigan’s Copper Country Through the Lens of J. W. Nara (1874-1934),” produced by the Michigan Tech Archives.

On Thursday, there will two showings of a special feature for the Nordic Film Series at Finlandia University, the film “To My Son in Spain: Finnish Canadians in the Spanish Civil War.” Filmmaker Dr. Saku Pinta will be present to field questions. Friday morning, the Finnish American Heritage Center will be sponsoring a morning open house with refreshments. Later in the day, FinnForum X will be offering a 3 hour tour of the area on the Red Jacket Trolley company, departing from Finlandia University. See the full schedule of events.


Attendees have the option of registering for any combination of three separate portions of the joint event. Registration for the presentation series is $30.00 and includes a Friday reception featuring special guest speaker David Salmela, concurrent sessions on Saturday from the 1913-1914 Mining/ Labor Strike series and FinnForum X series, as well as a light networking breakfast and lunch. Registration for the keynote dinner, to be held Saturday evening, is $25.00. FinnForum X is also offering a 3 hour tour of the area on the Red Jacket Trolley from 1:00-4:00 on Thursday for $15.00. Seats for the trolley tour are limited, so attendees are advised to reserve a spot as soon as they are able. The registration deadline is April 9, 2014. Walk-in registrants are welcome, but meal tickets will not be available. Register now using our online store.

Notice of Fee Increases

The University Archives will be increasing its fees for our duplication services due to increasing costs. These increases will go into effect February 1. Details may be found on our duplication services information page.

Recalls: For Van Pelt and Opie Library books, a patron may recall a loaned item. The current borrower has 21 days to return the item although we welcome feedback about this timeframe. When the returned item is not returned by 22 days, our fine will increase to $5.00/day from $1.00/day. The high demand on recalled items has made it necessary for us to study practices and fine levels at other research universities who are successful in obtaining prompt returns. The library staff is also studying the potential need for increasing the overdue fines on our convenience items (cameras, calculators, laptops) due to the high demand and high level of overdue items. The increase in the recall fine for books will go into effect on February 15th.

Recalls: Beginning February 15, all interlibrary loan borrowers will be charged $5.00/day for any items they fail to return after receiving a Recall Notice from the library. The fine will go into effect three days after the borrower is sent the recall notice. Recall dates may vary by lending library. In most cases, a borrowed item can be renewed before the due date. This policy and the amount charged is customary at other research universities in Michigan. Delays in returning borrowed materials jeopardizes a lending library’s willingness to continue to lend to us.

Lost or damaged item processing fee: A $25.00 processing fee has historically been added to any charges associated with lost or damaged items from the Van Pelt and Opie Library collections or those borrowed and lost via ILL. This fee has been reduced to $10.00 effective now.

For questions, concerns or additional suggestions, please contact Ellen Marks, University Librarian

Collaboration Results in Experimental Education Environment Creation

The Experimental Education Environment (E3) is a new space meant to support all Michigan Tech instructors’ experimentation with instructional designs, use of instructional technology or educational media and room or furniture arrangement. As a collaboration among the staff of the Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning, Information Technology’s Media Services and the Van Pelt and Opie Library staff, instructors interested in using this space for formal instruction or informal student groups will receive support for their pedagogical ideas or challenges from the Center for Teaching and Learning’s instructional designers or technology idea support from IT’s Media Services.

For more information on scheduling or to register for upcoming orientation sessions, click here.

New, Student-centered Library Hours

The Van Pelt and Opie Library has introduced expanded hours.

The new Library Overnight Services are midnight to 8 a.m. every day for current Michigan Tech students, faculty and staff. Hours for guests, visitors and members of the community have also been increased from 8 a.m. to midnight daily.

Entry into the library for overnight services will be at the library’s main door with an active HuskyCard.

Students celebrate the beginning of the Van Pelt and Opie Library's Overnight Services with milk and cookies at midnight

New Version of BrowZine for iOS7 Available

BorwZine LogoNew version of BrowZine, 1.2.1, is now available in the Apple App Store. In this new version we fix a pesky iOS7 bug and speeds up the loading of your holdings data. If you’ve already installed iO7, this new version has likely already automatically downloaded and installed. If you have not yet installed iOS7, please find the new version in the App Store. Thank you!

For updates about Browzine from Third Iron, check out their Facebook page:

Professor Bill Sproule Explores Copper Country Streetcars: New Book Signing

Professor Bill Sproule Explores Copper Country Streetcars: New Book Signing
Please join colleagues and community in celebrating the publication of Copper Country Streetcars (Images of Rail) on Tuesday, Oct. 1 from 4:30 to 6 p.m. in the East Reading Room of the library.

William “Bill” Sproule, professor of civil and environmental engineering, will describe how copper mining’s boom period and winters with over 200 inches of snow led to the development of streetcar lines that served over six million riders at their peak in 1910.

Books, along with Dining Services’ cream cake and fabulous citrus punch will be available. For further information, contact the Office of the University Librarian 7-2500 or

Constitution Day 2013 Commemoration Features Political Scientist David Canon

“Can Congress Govern? Gridlock, Polarization, and Budget Politics”

The campus is invited to celebrate Constitution Day on Monday, Sept. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in MUB Ballroom B. The guest speaker, David Canon, professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will explore the context of gridlock and polarization in Congress, outline the stakes of the current budget battles and speculate about what can be done to improve the political climate in Congress. More information.