Tag Archives: Archives

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:

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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 archives@nmu.edu to let us help with your research needs.

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

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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.

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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.

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(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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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”)

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