Tag Archives: Archives

Feature Spotlight: Mending

One of lesser known functions we perform at the Archives is the process of library book mending. Beginning winter semester, 2017, the book mending duties moved from the Library to the Archives. Archives student assistant collectively spend 10 hours each week mending damaged or worn out books from the Library’s collection. You might ask, “what does book mending entail?” In short, mending consists of repairing various torn, worn, or busted parts of books.

A typical mending slip identifies common problems with the book. In this example, the book has a worn spine that will require spine tape to be glued on to protect the spine from further damage. Other common mending actions include taping rips in pages, erasing pencil markings, reconnecting separated hinges, etc. Archives student assistant, Lydia Henning, reviews a mending slip at the start of her shift at the book mending workstation. Generally, each Archives student assistant conducts book mending duties in two-hour blocks.

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When the text block of a book has broken away from the inside of the cover hinge, a common fix to use is the “Unibind” machine shown below. Basically, it provides a moderate heat for the book to sit on (spine down) to melt the special glue applied to reconnect the back of the text block to the spine hinge. The glue (opaque yellow strips) is also shown below in the bin, and is a cut to size for each book required.

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For thin softcover books or books without many pages, plastic sheeting binders are used to hold the books together better and protect the spine from getting too hot.

When a book is “done” and has been mended, it’s reviewed by Glenda Ward, Archives / Library Senior Clerk. Assuming all mending efforts have been completed correctly, books are then carted back up to the Library and put back on the shelves.

Please feel free to stop by the Archives (LRC Room 126) for your research needs, for a quiet place to study, or just to say “hi” and see what we’re all about. Our hours are 10am-5pm on Monday’s, Wednesday’s, and Friday’s; and from 10am-7pm on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.

(This post was written by Stefan Nelson, Senior Archives Student Assistant, a.k.a “Number One”)

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Historical Spotlight: Evolution and Name Updates of NMU

I worked this summer sorting through old undigitized historical photographic negatives about the University.  I came across this photo and loved the simple story and message:

In the beginning, we weren’t a university- we were Northern State Normal in 1899. In 1927, we became Northern State Teachers College. We then turned to Northern Michigan College of Education in 1942. Second-to-lastly, some of our alumni might have gone to our school and known it by this name: Northern Michigan College, or NMC. In the late 1950s, construction of the Mackinac Bridge was completed.

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In March 1963, NMC became NMU. This blog poster (me) believes that the bridge uniting the two peninsulas of Michigan lead to an increase of people living in the lower peninsula taking interest in and attending the College. Thus, the size of the college got big enough to permit another name change. Which brings us to the name currently held: Northern Michigan University.

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Also! A bit on an interesting recent campus events: This past Friday (September 8th) was the  Sonderegger Symposium Friday, which annually highlights the Upper Peninsula’s history! It is free of charge. This years’ Symposium included scholarly presentations about the UP’s life and culture, where lunch and refreshments were provided throughout the day. We hope all who attended enjoyed! We apologize for the slight delay in the publishing of the blog post, the next one will be on schedule this upcoming Friday September 15th.

(This post was written by Lydia Henning)

Collection Spotlight: Local 1477 Superior Grange Patrons of Husbandry Records

The Superior Grange local no. 1477 Patrons of Husbandry was an agricultural group located in Sands Township in the Upper Peninsula. However, the Superior Grange of the U.P. is but one unit in a larger organization called the National Grange. Founded in 1867, “The Grange is a family, community organization with its roots in agriculture,” according to the National Grange website. The Patrons of Husbandry were, historically speaking, farmers and their families who were involved in their community in order to improve life for everyone. However, the Superior Grange wasn’t always as accepting as they would paint themselves.

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Record types we have in this collection include song books, bylaws, correspondence, junior patron manuals, catalogs, membership applications, and member rosters. It can be found on our online database Archives Space under M17-32.20170901_115538

To find out more, come visit the Central Upper Peninsula Archives, located in room 126 of the Learning Resources Center on NMU’s Campus. The Archives has the Superior Grange’s records in house should anyone come calling. Feel free to contact us at archives@nmu.edu or give us a call at 906-227-1225.

This post was written by Grace Menter

Location Spotlight: The Archives

Hello everybody! Our apologies for not posting anything new in some time. Work this summer at the archives has been busy as usual, which is compounded because half of our student assistants who work here during the schoolyear are pursuing other summer employment. Anyways, this blogpost acts as both a reminder (to our regulars), and new information (to our newcomers) where the archives is, and where to park when visiting us.

For visitors not familiar with NMU’s campus, it can be hard finding the Central UP and NMU Archives. If you are wondering how to get to the Central UP and NMU Archives, be on the lookout for some new updates on our website. In the meantime, you can look at this blog post consisting of helpful links from NMU. Enjoy your scholarly research and investigations!

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Interactive Google Map of NMU:  http://www.nmu.edu/campusmap

Directions to NMU:  http://www.nmu.edu/admissions/node/122

Map of Campus: http://www.nmu.edu/sites/default/files/UserFiles/Pictures/Maps/NEWMAP_webquality.pdf

Parking Map: http://www.nmu.edu/publicsafety/node/229

Visitors to the archives can park in Lot 11, the Commuter/Faculty & Staff lot between Magers Hall dorms and the LRC. From there, you can walk up the hill and into the first level of our LRC. The archives is down the wide hall, and then to the left. You may also park in Lot 28, the smaller parking lot in back of Jamrich (where one can use parking meters). If parking in Lot 28, you may enter the LRC through the Jamrich tunnel and take the elevator or the stairs downstairs to the first level of the LRC, where the archives is.

(This post was written by Lydia Henning)

Tsu Ming Han: Man of Two Different Worlds

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Dr. Magnaghi and James Shefchik recently published a book that they had been working on for some time. Tsu Ming Han: Man of Two Different Worlds is the title, and it details the incredible life of Tsu-Ming Han. Here is the synopsis:

“Over the centuries the Upper Peninsula has grown and developed due to many immigrants who arrived. Some of their stories are known but most have been lost to time. One of these stories belongs to Tsu-Ming Han, a Chinese immigrant, a geologist and senior research laboratory scientist at Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company (now Cliffs Natural Resources). He came to the Upper Peninsula in the 1950s and was instrumental in the development of lower grade iron ore refinement processes and pelletization, which had a direct impact on the region and its people. In his spare time as a geologist, he identified an ancient fossil, Grypania Spiralis. Additionally important to the story was his family: Joy his wife and his children; Dennis, Timothy, and Lisa. This is another major effort of Northern Michigan University’s Center for Upper Peninsula Studies to shed new light and ideas on the history of the U.P.”

This little known U.P. star is finally getting his time to shine. For more information on Tsu-Ming Han, check out our former blog post about him. The finding aid for Tsu Ming Han’s papers is also online.

If you’re interested in reading the book, it is available on amazon, google books, and LuLu.com in an ebook format. The NMU archives also has the Tsu-Ming Han papers available. Come stop by to check them out!

Written by Grace Menter

Collection Spotlight: Geraldine DeFant Papers

This week we thought that we would highlight the Geraldine DeFant papers, a small but fascinating and important collection. Geri DeFant grew up in Chicago, where poor conditions during the Depression caused her to become interested in politics and especially the labor movement. After graduating from high school in 1933, she spent several years volunteering and then working as a union organizer. She came to Marquette County in 1948 to organize the strike at the Gossard factory in Ishpeming. She stayed in Marquette after the strike and married attorney Michael DeFant (who had been the lawyer for the union) in 1950. After Michael DeFant became county probate judge, Geri had to stop working as a labor organizer.

She remained active in politics, however, serving as the Chairwoman of the Democratic Party for the 11th Congressional District and an aide to Senators Philip Hart and Donald Riegle. She also earned a bachelor’s in political science from Northern Michigan University, was a director of the Manpower Training Program in the Upper Peninsula, served as a Marquette County Commissioner from 1982 to 1991, and served on the Marquette Women’s Center Board of Directors, the Michigan Women’s Commission, the Michigan Civil Service Commission, the Friend of the Court and Childcare Taskforces, the Alger/Marquette Community Mental Health Board, and many more organizations and boards. Geri died in 1996 at the age of 79.

Our collection contains an oral history interview (which is online!), documents relating to the 1949 Gossard Strike, a scrapbook, photographs, newspaper articles, and her resume. The oral history interview documents her early life and the 1949 strike in great detail, but does not give much information on her later political activities. At the interview in 1990, contemplating the vast scope of her life’s work, Geri DeFant commented,

…My basic value system has not changed from…when I was 17, 18. It still is pretty much the same. It’s taken different routes. I was a feminist then I believe, and I am certainly feminist now, and have been active. I believed in participatory democracy and I do now, and I have been active in the political arena. I’ve been a county commissioner for ten years and I’ve looked for ways in which I could make a change in terms of benefits and the ease of living and support of those groups in our community that need support. So I feel I’ve been a fairly consistent woman in what I’ve tried to do.

Geri DeFant

While our materials from Geri DeFant are limited, many other collections at the archives shed light on the 1949 strike and other elements of her life’s work. We have an article on the Gossard strike, photographs from the strike, and a legal file about the strike in the John D. Voelker collection. Newspapers from the time would also provide much information. A copy of Bruce K. Cox’s book Gossard: The Great Bra Factory Strike of 1949 is also available at the archives. Our collection of County Commission minutes include both paper and audio records for the period in which DeFant was a commissioner, and the official minutes can be found online. We also have a collection of oral history interviews from the Marquette Women’s Center which are also available online. Many of the interviewees mention DeFant’s role in the Women’s Center and note that she was a mentor to many of the younger women involved in the Center’s founding.

Other Sources on Geri DeFant:

Tribute to Geraldine DeFant from the Congressional Record

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Interested in viewing any of these collections? You can look at them at any time at the archives! Our hours for this semester are Monday/Wednesday/Friday 10 AM-5 PM and Tuesday/Thursday 10 AM-7PM.

Written by Annika Peterson

Native American Student Association’s Annual Pow Wows

Last week, NMU hosted its 24th annual “Learning to Walk Together” traditional Pow Wow. The Pow wow starts off with the grand entry and flag song, followed by the veterans’ honor song. The Pow wows also consist of a variety of male and female traditional dances such as jingle dress and grass dance, as well as social dances such as the inter-tribal, round dance and two-step. Accompanied by songs and other performances. Crafts, reference materials, and food can all be found at the artisan and vendor booths as well.

The archives has many photographs and articles related to the pow wow over the years. Here are some photographs:

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Photo of a tribe member dancing from the 1994 pow wow

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Photo of a tribe member from the 1993 pow wow

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Photo of a tribe member from the 1993 pow wow

 

Written by Libby Serra