Monthly Archives: October 2014

Evening at the Archives: Genealogy

Evening at the Archives Poster

Are you interested in learning about your family history? Do you have roots in the Upper Peninsula area, or are you interested in local history? Are you curious about genealogy methods and resources?

If so, come to Evening at the Archives: Genealogy on November 6th at 7 PM! This  two-hour event is free to the public and there will be refreshments. The presentations will be at the Archives in room 126 of the LRC.

Featured topics will include how to research the history of your house, how to use our microfilm machines, what our new collection of materials from Bethany Lutheran church contains, and what collections might benefit your genealogy. (Spoiler Alert!: Any collection can potentially be useful for your genealogy. However, there are a few types of records that are traditionally quite helpful for genealogists, and we will focus on these records.)

Although the event will focus on Marquette County and Upper Peninsula genealogy, some of the material will be helpful to genealogists regardless of the location of their research. For instance, we will explain what can be found in city directories, naturalization records, church records, plat maps, and other types of resources. We will also talk about what genealogical resources can be accessed through NMU’s Olson Library and the Peter White Library in Marquette.

Common misconceptions about local Ishpeming records and mine locations will be discussed as well as frequently asked questions about naturalization.

If you are definitely coming to the event, please RSVP at or (906) 227-1225. However, no RSVP is required. We look forward to seeing you!

Written by Annika Peterson


New Student Assistants at the Archives!

The Archives recently hired five new student assistants. Below is a brief introduction to each of them and the specific projects that will be their primary focuses at the Archives:

Kelley Kanon is the new Web Design Specialist for the Archives. She will be maintaining existing websites for the NMU Archives, Beaumier Heritage Center, and other local historical institutions and organizations. She will also be creating new websites, including a new genealogy website and an online exhibit about student protests at Northern.

Kelley hails from the Flint, Michigan area but has cheerfully adapted to her home in the Upper Peninsula. Kelley is a junior Graphic Communications major who would one day like to work for a car company. The things that make Kelley happiest in life are pomegranate juice, mascara, wolves, the Assassin’s Creed series, Game of Thrones, and her sisters in Alpha Gamma Delta.

Jessica Ulrich is the new Accessioning Specialist. She will be accessioning new collections for the Archives. Accessioning is taking physical and intellectual ownership of a group of records. It includes creating an inventory and brief description of the material and making sure that the materials are stored in a state that will preserve them.

Jessica is from Fenton, Michigan, and she is studying Physiology among other thrilling subjects while at Northern Michigan University. When not in class, or dreaming about Vienna, she can be found outside exploring all that the Upper Peninsula has to offer. If she could be any dinosaur, she would be a brontosaurus.

565016_539753982705892_935333341_n_wide.jpgPeter Dewan is the new Educational Outreach Specialist. He will be planning educational outreach events for the Archives and running our social media sites.

Peter is a marketing major from East Lansing, Michigan. On the weekends he can be found exploring the great outdoors. Peter also enjoys playing the guitar, reading, running, eating snicker-doodle cookies and listening to some Norah Jones.

IMG_20141007_162828296_HDR_tall.jpgPrince Parker and Stefan Nelson are our new Records Survey Technicians. They will be helping Records Analyst Sara Kiszka and Records Center Coordinator Morgan Paavola to perform a records survey of campus. This survey will determine which records from each department on campus should be preserved either temporarily or permanently.

Prince is a Psychology major with a minor in biology from Grand Junction, MI. On Monday and Thursday nights he can be found cuddled up on the couch watching The Big Bang Theory and Scandal. He enjoys running, swimming, and hiking. Currently, he is volunteering with the Student Psychological Association (SPA).

Stefan Nelson is a Fisheries and Wildlife Management major from Stillwater, Minnesota. He enjoys playing soccer and tennis and is an avid cross country skier. He likes doing most anything and everything in the outdoors like camping, fishing, hunting, and hiking. Stefan enjoys reading fantasy among other things. He enjoys learning about various historical documents.



Prepared by Annika Peterson

History of Student Organizations: Amnesty International, NMU Chapter records

Students and faculty of Northern Michigan University have always engaged in a variety of extracurricular activities on campus. Student organizations at the University have come and gone throughout the years, ranging from special interests to academic advancement. Amnesty International, NMU Chapter is one such student organization. This collection highlights the involvement and dedication of students at Northern Michigan University on a global scale during the 1980’s and 1990’s.


Amnesty International was created in 1961, after two Portuguese students were arrested and sentenced to seven years in prison for allegedly making a toast to “liberty”. The organization quickly became a global movement in opposition to “the imposition and infliction of death penalties and torture or other cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment or punishment of prisoners or others detained or restricted persons whether or not they have used or advocated violence.”(Amnesty International Statute, Article 1, 1981). Amnesty International does not, however, impede the prosecution of alleged crimes or provide legal representation; their focus is solely on the humane treatment of prisoners abroad.

The Northern Michigan University Archives contains the Amnesty International, NMU Chapter records dating from 1980 to 1987. The collection consists of meeting minutes, news releases, articles, and audio tapes of speakers. The Chapter held public lectures, bake sales, petitions, and public video showings to raise awareness on campus and in the community. Guest speakers included Alexander Ginzburg, a Soviet dissident and advocate for nonviolent resistance against human rights violations. During the week of December 18, 1981, NMU hosted Human rights week with a program that included a lecture presentation by 1976 Nobel Peace Prize winner, Betty Williams, panel discussions, and documentaries on human rights violations. Williams was awarded the prize for her efforts to end the violence between the Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland. She also discussed the uprisings in Ireland at the time. The Archives’ audio collections include related presentations by Senator Raul Manglapus (December 10, 1982), and Savana Malachowski (April 4, 1982, and December 10, 1983), and other human rights panel discussions from 1981. The public may access these recordings at any time during the Archives’ normal business hours.


Support for NMU student John Peirce was the Amnesty International, NMU Chapter’s most important campaign. Peirce was imprisoned on May 15, 1981, in Lima, Peru, and charged with a narcotics offense. In a memo describing his situation, Peirce stated that he had been severely tortured, was suffering from hepatitis and severe gastro-intestinal problems, and threatened with death. The prison was built to hold only 1,500 inmates but was crammed full with 6,000. NMU students took action by urging fellow students, faculty, and politicians to send telegrams and airmail letters expressing serious concern. As reports of poor health and torture persisted, student letters began urging the Peruvian government to immediately transfer Peirce to a hospital for medical treatment. They also began to express concern for the health and well-being of other detainees in the Peruvian prison.

Click the link for the finding aid to the NMU Chapter of Amnesty International

Prepared by Morgan Paavola