Category Archives: Central U.P. and NMU Archives

The Central Upper Peninsula and NMU Archives are located in room 126 of the Learning Resources Center. To contact the archives, e-mail archives (at) or call 906-227-1225. Visit for more information.

Collection Spotlight: Photographic File

This week I was assigned a seemingly impossible task. A file has gone missing at the archives. The process for finding this file includes me looking throughout every file in our twenty drawers of photos, in hopes that the file or photos have not gone far, and has simply been misfiled a drawer away. Sometimes going through the folders can be monotonous and tiresome, but other times I learn new and exciting information that I want to share with whoever will listen. For this post I will be sharing what I learned about NMU, simply by looking through our photo collection.

  1. There used to be a bowling alley in the University Center:

uno2. We have had some very notable and interesting guest speakers over the years including:

  1. A. Vincent Price, 1981
  2. Martin Luther King III, 1987
  3. Eli Wiesel, 1991
  4. President Gerald Ford, 1978:


3. NMU awarded President George H. W. Bush an honorary degree in 1973 when he was head of the CIA: tres

4. Building the dome looked like this:


5. Winterfest used to include:

  1. Lunch tray sledding:


  2. Ice carving.

6. NMU has witnessed/been a part of the world’s largest:

  1. Game of musical chairs, 1977:


2. Pasty,1978:


3. And most recently, the largest game of flag football in the Superior Dome with Al Roker!

Styles change, buildings are knocked down, Presidents come and go, but Wildcat spirit will always remain! Our photos are available to everyone to look through, and are easily accessible. (If anyone has seen a file titled “Student Life—Protests—Vietnam War; c. 1969,” please inform someone at the Archives!)

We will be open our normal hours next week during finals week, but for over winter break we are open December 18-22, January 2-5, and January 8-12 from 10am-5pm Monday-Friday. Feel free to just come in for a quiet place to study even if you aren’t looking to research something!

(This post was written by Eliza Compton)



Feature Spotlight: Christmas Cards in the Martha and Perry Hatch Papers

Happy December! Today is the unofficial start of the Christmas season, with people across the world celebrating the holidays in many different ways. I would like to focus this blog post on one particular holiday tradition that some people have: sending Christmas cards.

I have been given the job of processing the Martha and Perry Hatch Papers here at the Archives. This collection encompasses many different types of documents, with a date range spanning close to 100 years. In the collection, I have found a selection of Christmas cards that Martha and Perry Hatch received from friends and family over the years. Here are just a few that I want to showcase:

Some Christmas cards can be quite humorous:


Others are just full of joy and fun:


There are cards with old-fashioned Christmas imagery:



And some with art that is more religious:



But some of the best cards are homemade:


This last one is not a Christmas card so much as it is a Christmas note. This letter to Martha Breidemeir (before she married Perry Hatch) comes from “Perry.” No last name is given to Perry, but I would say that it is safe to assume that this is Perry Hatch sending a note to his future wife in celebration of the Christmas season:


Dear Martha,
A very Merry Christmas to you all.
Greet your Mother for me please.
Also your Big Kid Brother.
May you all have the happiest
Holiday Season.
Merry Christmas to you,

With today’s technology, I think people are more prone to send emails or texts in order to wish someone a Merry Christmas. But my hope is that showcasing Christmas cards from the past will help bring back a tradition that many people have long dismissed. Come in to the Archives to learn more about the Martha and Perry Hatch Papers! Our finals week hours are the same as is normal. Our winter break hours are 10am-5pm Monday-Friday.

(This post was written by Lucas Knapp)


Spotlight Feature: Statistics of the Northern Tradition Blog!

For this blog post, I thought it might be interesting to let all of you know some of the statistics about our blog here, and how we have changed (or not?) over time. As it turns out, you all comprise a pretty diverse crowd of viewers.  To start off, here is a graph of all of our views for the past several weeks:


Obviously this week isn’t done yet, and after our post today should get more views as is normal. We can view how many views we’ve got by the last 10 days, weekly, monthly, or annually.

Other interesting statistics we can look at include the total number of views per month since we began the blog back in 2012:


So far, we’re on track to come out ahead of the total views for 2013, which was our “most popular” year. Last month (October) was our “most popular” month of 2017 so far, and our third-most viewed month since the blogs’ inception. To all of you that have been with us since 2012, or if this post is your first, we at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives appreciate you!

Additionally, we can look at which posts have been viewed the most. Here is a list of some of our most popular posts in the last year:


My favorite statistic to look at is the country of origin of our viewers. Surprisingly, we have viewers from all over the globe, with people reading about our archives from every continent (except Antarctica)! See how the map continues to fill in as time progresses backwards. Countries highlighted in yellow or red have viewed our blog.




Every country highlighted in color (yellow or red) has viewed our blog! As to be expected, most of you are from the Unites States, whereas many of you are abroad, which is pretty cool. In total, we have had viewers from 104 countries around the world!

For next week, we will be open during our normal times from Monday-Wednesday, and closed for Thanksgiving on Thursday and Friday. Have safe travels, enjoy your next week, and feel free to stop in the archives! Give us a call at 906-227-1225 or email us at to let us help with your research needs.

(This post was written by Senior Student Assistant Stefan Nelson)

Person Spotlight: Norman “Boots” Kakuk

Norman “Boots” Kukuk grew up here in Marquette, Michigan. Growing up, he always had a penchant for sports, especially hockey. In his four years at Northern State Teachers College, Boots earned three varsity letters for football and track and field, while continuing to play hockey for the Marquette Sentinels and maintaining his grades. He held the record for pole vault until 1939 and also earned a gold track shoe for javelin in 1940. In 1939, Boots was recommended to try out for the United States Olympic Hockey Team, but the start of World War II the following year put an end to those hopes. Interestingly, family lore claims that Adolf Hitler actually invited Boots to play hockey against the German team, but Boots’ father destroyed the letter the day he got it.

Upon graduation from Northern State Teachers College, Marquette public schools employed Boots as an Industrial Arts teacher and as a track and football coach. In 1941, Boots considered trying out for the Chicago Blackhawks or the Cleveland Barons Professional Hockey Clubs but was drafted into the army. He entered the U.S. Navy’s flight program on November 24, 1941. Boots was awarded the Navy-Marine Corps Heroism Medal in August of 1944. He also earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses and six Air Medals during his time in the Navy.


After the War, Boots returned to Marquette and became the Director of Recreation for the City of Marquette. He accomplished a great many things during his time as director, such as installing the first artificial ice plant in the Palestra, the indoor community ice rink. In addition, Boots managed all of the city’s recreational programs, such as sporting events and festivals. Despite all this work, Boots still found the time to play hockey with the Marquette Sentinels for several more years before finally retiring his jersey.


Sand being laid down on the floor in the making of the ice rink in the Palestra.


Getting ready for the Annual Ice Carnival.


Hockey Team on ice rink, year unknown.

If you’d like to learn more about Norman “Boots” Kakuk or our other collections, come on in to the Archives, give us a call (906-227-1225) or send us an email ( and we’ll be happy to help you!

(This post was written by Grace Menter)

Day in the Life Spotlight: The Film Projector Cont.

Continuing with our past blog post’s theme of a Day in the Life Spotlight, I’d like to build on the continuing saga of the Film Reel Projector.

It was a cold week in October. I was given the task of training our new digitization assistant on setting up the Film Reel Projector, like so many digitization student workers before me. I had a feeling I’d met this “Reel Projector” before… But upon seeing it, without mental preparation, I became lost in the procedural nuances (cords swept deep under desks; parts put away, out of sight). This Projector setup procedure had been cracked before, but our initial figuring out of how to set it up was a real brainteaser! Like Kyleigh said two weeks ago, it took at least 45 minutes.

Here’s a haiku about the experience-

Projector’s Corner

Wires tangle up in my head

Can’t connect nada

We got it to run, but we still didn’t get it to connect to our computer and record through that. So we were back figuring it out again Friday the week after and finally we figured it out.


Discovered new cord

Hmm is this the place for thing?

Victory, at LAST

So all’s well. Now, we have a new task at hand. One which we will enthusiastically take up for the sake of future Digitization student workers. Justice will be served to Projector (AKA we’ll be writing up more detailed instructions).

(This post was written by Lydia Henning)

Day in the Life Spotlight: First Six Days at Work

When I applied to the Archives Student Assistant position at the beginning of the Fall Semester, I was unaware of the type of work I might have been doing if I was hired. A friend of mine who works at the library claimed that they would most likely have me at a desk, welcoming patrons, and taking calls. Today, I will be coming into a close of my sixth day working at the archives, and although I have been trained on how to take calls and welcome patrons, everything I have done has been far more interesting than anyone (myself included) would have assumed.

It was expressed to me that I would be taking on the title of Digitization Specialist I. For those who do not know, digitization is the conversion of documents, photos, or sound recordings into a digital form. What I find fascinating about this type of work is that digitization gives people access to these historical documents or photos without having to physically walk into the archives. Of course, I think every student should come in to see the beauty of the archives, but as a true millennial, I take pleasure in knowing that the world can be accessed from my fingertips. Now, I can gladly inform other students that they can time travel back in time just by visiting our website, Archives Space, the online exhibits links, and our blog, etc.
Although my job is to take these old photos, cassettes, and documents and make them
accessible online, I found that while I was being trained I had mixed feelings. One of those feelings was nostalgia; looking at the VHS trying to recall how to even place it into the player, as I had not used a VHS player since I was five or six years old. The other was a mix between curiosity and humility. As I stated before, I truly do enjoy being born into a generation in which much of the world can be accessed by my smartphone, a time in our world that I can call my mother, while emailing a coworker, while texting a friend. In the age of multitasking, today I found myself truly entranced by the amount of work I had to put into learning how to use the Film Reel Projector.

To use this projector, my coworker and I had to find a 16mm film reel. This started with us being given a location for a film called Trout Madness by John Voelker on our database Archives Space, and then using the location number to find it. When we had found the box, we took the film out and had to figure out how to loop the film onto the actual projector. Once this had been deciphered, we found ourselves with yet another obstacle. While we could hear the film, there was no projection to be seen. After messing with different buttons, and the moving the lens in and out of focus, finally we had achieved a clear moving picture of Trout Madness. This whole process took about 45 minutes, and although frustrating and puzzling, it was immensely satisfying to finally see what we had worked so hard for.

IMG_4548 (1)

(The film projector in use.)
Had I not applied to the Archives, it is likely I would have not ever used a VHS player again, I would have never learned how to use a film reel projector (or even seen a 16mm film), or learned that John Voelker had an obsession with trout fishing. I guess what I am trying to say is that although I love this fast paced time that is 2017, I am so appreciative of the different things I can gain from learning about the past.

(This post was written by Kyleigh Sapp)

Person Feature: New Student Assistants!

For this week’s blog post, all of us here at the Archives would like to welcome our new staff members! As is customary, we’ll highlight our new hires for you all.

Emily Wros will be one of two AAUP Specialists. The AAUP (American Association of University Professors) records collection is being merged with the Academic Senate records, in a large time-consuming project sponsored by a grant that our resident University Archivist, Marcus Robyns, received. Emily is a junior with a History Major at NMU. She hopes to work as a librarian or an archivist in the future.


Our other AAUP Specialist is Eliza Compton. Eliza is a freshman with a Secondary Education- Social Studies major and double minoring in Secondary Education- Spanish, and Secondary Education- English.


Lucas will be our Records Center Specialist, a title formerly held by Stefan (now Number One #11). He will be assisting Marcus with accessioning and other various projects out at the University Records Center- our other records storage facility. Lucas is a junior, majoring in Mathematics and minoring in Environmental Studies.


Kyleigh Sapp will be joining Lydia and Libby as another digitization specialist. Kyleigh is a sophomore with an International Studies Major, from Hudsonville, Michigan. Her interests include learning Spanish, watching random documentaries on YouTube and Netflix, and making food with friends. She is excited to see what she can learn from working at the Archives.


Check out the Meet the Staff page on NMU Archives website to learn more about our new employees! Welcome Kyleigh, Emily, Eliza, and Lucas!

(This post was written by Libby Serra and Stefan Nelson).