Monthly Archives: August 2014

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


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

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