Collection Highlight: Seney National Wildlife Refuge collection

If you have ever traveled down state highways 28 or 77 to get to Marquette, you have driven along the borders of the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Located between the small town of Seney, Michigan, and the Hiawatha National Forest, the Refuge is just one of the many beautiful national parks in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.morganone

In 1935, the Michigan Conservation Department recommended that the Federal Government redevelop the heavily logged area near Seney as a wildlife refuge. Today the 95,238 acres includes the 25,150 acres of the Seney Wilderness Area as well as Whitefish Point, Harbor Island, and other scattered National Wildlife Refuges that harbor migratory birds and other wildlife.
The Seney National Wildlife Refuge collection contains the Annual Narrative Reports from 1938-1982 highlighting the rebuilding of the area. These reports provide extensive and detailed descriptions of climate conditions, resource management, fire control, types of species and their condition, land use planning, pesticide studies, water management practices, and habitat management. The collection also includes brief histories of the towns of Germfask and Grand Marais which are located near the refuge.


Harvey C. Saunders papers are also included in the collection. Harvey Saunders spent 16 years working for the Refuge and as a supervisor for the Civilian Public Service (CPS). During World War II the federal government operated CPS camps for conscientious objectors. The Seney National Wildlife Refuge was also the site for federally funded programs such as the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Saunders began writing about his time as a supervisor and working for the Wildlife Refuge in detailed letters and journals. His memoirs, for example, offer researchers a unique window into the workings of the CPS camps and the life of their inhabitants.

The Seney Wildlife collection contains many photographs from the rebuilding of the wetlands and the preservation center. For more information about this collection see the finding aid.

Another collection at the Archives, the Elizabeth Losey Papers, also concerns the Seney National Wildlife Refuge. Betty Losey was the first female field biologist for the National Wildlife Service. For more information, see the finding aid to her collection or our blog post about her.

To learn more about the Seney wildlife refuge, click here.

Written by: Morgan Paavola

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Welcome Back NMU!

As the fall semester begins, we thought that we would give everyone an update on what has occurred at the Archives this summer and what will be happening here this fall.

New Book

The University Archivist, Marcus Robyns, has published a book entitled Using Functional Analysis in Archival Appraisal: A Practical and Effective Alternative to Traditional Appraisal Methodologies. You can read more about the book on Amazon

Upcoming Exhibit on John X. Jamrich

The Archives has several events coming up this semester. In September, the Archives will be celebrating the dedication of the new Jamrich Hall with an exhibit about John X. Jamrich and the old Jamrich Hall. This exhibit will be physically displayed outside the Archives and virtually displayed on our website.

Evening at the Archives

There will also be two Evening at the Archives presentations this semester. In honor of the dedication of New Jamrich, the University Archivist will give a presentation entitled “Blood on the Table: The Battle for Shared Governance at Northern Michigan University 1967-1976″ on September 24th at 7 PM.

The second Evening at the Archives this semester will occur during October, which is both National Archives Month and Nation Genealogy Month. The Archives will be hosting a workshop on genealogy with the Marquette County Genealogical Society. Check our blog or our website as October nears for more detailed information.

Upcoming Exhibit on Student Protests at Northern

During November, the Archives will release a web exhibit on student protests at Northern in the late 1960s. There may also be a presentation on the subject. Check our website as November approaches for details.

University Records Survey

This fall, our Records Analyst Assistant Sara Kiszka will be conducting a campus-wide records survey to determine whether departments are donating the proper records to the Archives.

Are you a Northern student looking for a job?

This fall we are hiring five new student assistants. One will manage our websites, create new web exhibits, and assist our Digitization Specialist with the digitization of archival materials. Another will be an educational outreach specialist who will help plan outreach events and will help with reference requests. Two student assistants will be helping with the university records survey. These positions will entail visiting various campus offices and determining which records should be preserved at the Archives. For more information, check our postings on Cat Career Tracks. Be sure to turn in your application by September 5th.

If you have any questions, please inquire by e-mail at or at the Archives (LRC 126).

Written by Annika Peterson

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Collection Spotlight: The Moral Re-Armament Papers

The Northern Michigan University and Central Upper Peninsula Archives has recently finished processing a collection containing a number of books and plays published by the Moral Re-armament. The Moral Re-armament (MRA) grew out of the Oxford Group founded by Frank Buchman in the 1930’s. It was founded on ‘the four absolutes’, moral standards that had been directed by God. They were; honesty, absolute purity, absolute unselfishness and absolute love.

The MRA grew in response to the military rearmament leading up to the Second World War. Eventually, Buchman launched a worldwide evangelistic campaign based on God’s guidance, the four moral absolutes, and individuals who changed their lives in order to serve God and believed in the motto ‘Change yourself and you can change the world’.


orange-Good_Road-8“The Good Road”, one of the many melodramatic Moral Re-Armament theatrical productions. ( Source:

For a brief time the movement held conferences and put on plays at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island beginning in 1942. By the early 1950’s the MRA owned a large part of the island. They constructed a training center, theatre, and sound stage there. As the movement grew internationally, many celebrities and influential people began to take notice. Supporters of the organization included, Presidents Nixon and Eisenhower as well as the pope and many celebrities including Glenn Close. After the death of Buchman in 1961, Peter Howard took over the MRA and continued to spread the idea of morality and the four absolutes.

Following the end of the Second World War, the MRA workers returned to the task of establishing a lasting peace. In 1946, fifty Swiss families active in the work of MRA bought and restored a large, derelict hotel at Caux, Switzerland. Today, the Moral Rearmament lives on by the Up with People (UWP) and Initiatives of Change (IofC) organization still based in Switzerland.

Some published works by the Moral Rearmament that can be found in the Archives collection include;” Remaking Men”, “Where Do We Go From Here?”, and “Moral Re-Armament- What is it?” Play scripts include “The Diplomats”, “Music at Midnight” and many more!

Written by Morgan Paavola

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Collection Spotlight: The Women’s Center Oral History Collection

Women's Center2The Archives recently finished digitizing a new collection of oral history interviews. For past several months, digitization specialist Anne Krohn and her predecessor Kacey Lewis have worked with Jane Ryan to film and digitize interviews with community members involved with the Marquette Women’s Center.

The Women’s Center began with a conference called “The Changing Role of Women in the 70s” at Northern Michigan University in 1972. From 1973 to 1980, the Women’s Center was an office of the university’s Continuing Education branch. Its original focus was counseling women to pursue non-traditional jobs. Budget cuts in 1980 caused the university to close the Women’s Center. However, it continued as an independent non-profit organization in Marquette. For the next six years, Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church Guild Hall housed the Center. In 1986, the Women’s Center moved into its own building on Front Street and in 2013 it celebrated its 40th anniversary. It is the oldest women’s center in Michigan.

The Center has a variety of functions. It runs workshops on assertiveness training, active listening, and displaced homemakers. It also provides domestic violence and sexual assault counseling and support services for survivors of childhood abuse and incest. The Center opened the Harbor House in 1978 as a shelter for domestic violence victims. The Harbor House provides temporary housing for women while educating them about “finances and budgeting, housing application processes, employment, and educational options”. It also runs a sexual assault response team which helps women to deal with hospitals and law enforcement agencies.

The collection includes oral history interviews with the five “Founding Mothers” of the Women’s Center: Sally May, Gail Griffith, Holly Greer, Karlyn Rapport, and Patricia Micklow, as well as interviews with staff, volunteers, and recipients of Women’s Center services. All of the interviews are online here.

Interested in more information about the Women’s Center? The Archives has several collections which include material dealing with the Women’s Center. The papers of NMU’s Presidential and Vice Presidential Offices as well as the Marquette County Labor Council contain correspondence related to the Center and the decision to close it in 1980. It also contains the paperwork for a 1977 grant given to Holly Greer at the Women’s Center to study how to effectively eliminate “vocational educational role stereotyping”.  There is also an oral history interview with Holly Greer from 1981 when the Center was transitioning from a Northern Michigan University program to a non-profit organization.

Interested in getting involved with the Women’s Center? Their website can be found here.

Women's Center1Written by Annika Peterson.

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Ishpeming’s Long Hair Controversy

It is spring in the year 1970. US troops have recently invaded Cambodia. Anti-war protests continue to rage across the country as the credibility gap widens. The trial of the Chicago 7 fills the national news….

Meanwhile in Marquette County, controversy rages over the length of a boy’s hair….

It sounds ludicrous, doesn’t it? But for several weeks in 1970, the Marquette Mining Journal focused upon the haircut of a single individual. It began when Ishpeming High School valedictorian Steven Koenig was barred from commencement exercises due to the length of his hair. Several weeks of vitriol-filled editorials on both sides of the issue followed.

Many of the editorials supporting the school board sound like a parody of the classic curmudgeon-like, pro-Establishment 1960s parent as they extol the school board’s infinite virtues:

“This fine school board is now being taken to court because of a haircut. In their wisdom, this school board made the guidelines for apparel and length of hair…knowing from experience these fads can escalate out of control as in other schools. Most sad is the clergy condoning the action of the inequities of youth. In his defiance of the school board he acted against the teachings of Paul in the Holy Bible when he said you shall obey the authorities. All parents should guide their children in the study of the Gospel so that we might be spared the doubtful benefits of a ‘student demonstration’.”

There were many who seemed convinced that this was the beginning of the end of the decidedly non-counter-cultural UP:

“Maybe now they will realize the movement has hit the UP and will be well aware of what can happen. The first step is ‘Hair’, then to court, then, unless you stick to your convictions, your dress code will be abolished, acid rock concerts will flourish, underground newspapers will be daily news, obscenities the password, students striking in sympathy, senior high ‘bill of rights’, junior high ‘bill of rights’, abolishing discipline policy, etc….Just look at Ann Arbor. It can and will happen only if you allow it.”

Only weeks before the Koenig incident, the Supreme Court had ruled that public schools could not discipline students for hair length. Some Marquette County residents felt that this was due to loose parenting:

“It is a sad commentary on the state of parental authority when the length of a boy’s haircut has to be settled by the U.S. Supreme Court. One would think that our Supreme Court had more pressing issues to rule on and no doubt would if some parents did not shirk their responsibility of teaching the necessity of authority and law and order.”

Still, there were some who defended the abrogation of Steven’s personal freedom with impassioned speech:

“Under the existing code, my fellow German immigrant Albert Einstein, whose many virtues did not extend to the neatness or tapering of hair, would not have been permitted to attend the commencement program of this school either. Nor would he have wanted to do so.”

“Steven was not a truant…his hair was too long. Steven was not a protester…his hair was too long. Steven was not a failure in class work…his hair was too long. Steven dared to stand up for a principle…but his hair was too long. Steven was not a dope-user…his hair was too long.

“Dear Sir: My congratulations go to the principal and board of education at the Ishpeming high school, who with intelligence and forethought stopped a long-haired student from participating in graduation exercises. By rejecting him you have shown him that he is inferior to his short-haired classmates and totally unfit to live in our great society. Now we can only hope that the President and Congress follow in your steps by exiling all long-haired people: Jesus Christ, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Einstein, just to name a few. After all, isn’t it common knowledge that it’s not what’s inside someone which makes him a man but the length of his hair which makes him what he is.”

Ultimately, the hemming and hawing led to naught–Steven Koenig was still not allowed at his commencement ceremony, and the UP didn’t enter into an immoral, lawless age of abandon because of long-haired hooligans. One wonders what vicious debates now will seem silly to the next generation.

Written by Annika Peterson.

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Collection Spotlight: The Bay de Noquet Company Records


This week we’re highlighting a collection at the Archives which many may not be aware of: the Bay de Noquet and Oconto Company Records. The Oconto Company was a logging company in northern Wisconsin which operated from 1867 to 1944. The Bay de Noquet company was a subsidiary of the Oconto company which operated from 1881 to 1952. It logged in Alger, Delta, and Schoolcraft Counties in the UP. Its headquarters were in Nahma in Delta County.

The records include tax records, land records, operation records, and correspondence. The land records include the sale of land which would later become part of Nicolet National Forest. Much of the correspondence is with various companies who were customers of Bay de Noquet and Oconto. However, there is also correspondence between Bay de Noquet and the company’s office in Chicago, as well as correspondence with federal agencies during and after World War II. The collection also contains minutes from the meetings of the directors and stockholders of the companies. Newsletters from the Northern Hemlock and Hardwood Manufactures Association and various other business associations with which the Bay de Noquet and Oconto Companies were affiliated are also part of the collection.

The records show how federal agencies oversaw production during World War II, how companies kept track of which employees were eligible for the draft, and how the federal government tried to control costs and prices after the war to prevent inflation. Other newsletters discuss organized labor in the period. The correspondence with the Chicago office of the company also contains discussion of federal oversight and organized labor, as well as customer service, sales, and the logging industry as a whole. The finding aid for the collection further expresses the historical importance of these records:

“While the records for each company are scattered, the combined records give a reasonable picture of the problems faced by the industry in the upper Great Lakes region due to the declining availability of usable timber and the Great Depression of the 1930s, as well as some of the issues faced by the companies during World War II.  The items from the Northern Hemlock and Hardwood Manufacturers Association help to put the situation in the upper Great Lakes into a national context.”

For more information about this collection, see the complete finding aid or this article about how the collection was acquired.

Blog written by Annika Peterson

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Meet Our New Records Analyst Sara Kiszka!

DSCF0442The Archives has a new full-time employee–Sara Kiszka! She is responsible for the Records Center and the management of university records. She is already involved in several projects, such as creating a disaster recovery plan for the Archives and Records Center, updating Records Center protocol, and re-organizing the Records Center. In the fall, she will be conducting a university-wide records survey to determine whether departments are donating the proper records and managing their records efficiently. She will also be working with creating a larger electronic Archives for NMU in order to help preserve documents and prevent records being lost due to obsolete recording methods.

Sara says that she likes working with records management and electronic archives. She is particularly interested in how records show migration and auditing trails.

Sara is originally from Chesterton, IN and has a younger brother and sister. She likes dogs, reading, and watching bad reality television. She received her Bachelor’s in English Literature from Ball State and earned a Master’s in Library Science with a specialization in Archives and Records Management from Indiana University.

This is her first professional job, and she is excited to be here and to learn from this experience. She also hopes to survive her first winter in the UP!

Marcus says that he has waited seventeen long years for a records analyst. She is already finding and correcting problems at the Records Center, and he is thrilled that she is here.


Blog written by Annika Peterson.

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