Tag Archives: photographs

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)



Collection Spotlight: Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mining Company Photographs

If you are at all familiar with our archives, you are probably aware that one of our largest collections is from the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mining Company (CCI), the largest employer in Marquette County for much of the 19th and 20th centuries. This collection contains correspondence, annual reports, payrolls, maps, photographs, and more. Today we are highlighting the photographic collection, all of which can be viewed online. Most of the photos are from the 1950s, but a few are from as early as 1910.


Storage Battery Locomotives in the Republic Mine, 1920.


CCI also had a lumber division producing wood to fuel their mines and other operations. This is a hauling team transporting logs down a trail from the Limestone Softwood Job in Alger County, 1910.


The Minnesota Summer Exploration Staff, July 1952. Exploration staffs looked for possible mine sites. See this page for a full list of names.


The Geological Department, Summer 1952. See this page for a full list of names.


An employee at the Halliburton Reel in Operation for Testing Diamond Drill Hole Deviation, 1951.


A wood pipe in construction at the McClure Plant near Dead River in Marquette County, 1918.


Albert Pin, a shift boss, at a control dispatcher station on the 8th level, 1955.


Cleveland-Cliff employees in front of the Cliffs Shaft Mine in Ishpeming, MI, 1952.

Please see this page for a complete list of names.


Shallow Hole Trailer Drill with a mounted diamond core drill and pump with tripod mast erected at the Ishpeming Centennial Parade. From left to right, Victor Nelson, Alvin Nelson and Swante Merrila, 1954.


Ohio Mine, 1954.


Drilling holes for installation of rock bolts in the 9th Level drift heading, 1954.


Cleveland Cliff employees at Central Basin field camp, Summer 1952. Note how young they look!

For more CCI photographs, please see our online album. Interested in the Cleveland Cliffs Iron Mining Company? Be sure to stop by and check it out!


Written by Annika Peterson

Homecoming Week Spotlight

As I’m sure you all know, this is homecoming week. Many events have occurred this week, including the Dead River Games, the King and Queen competition, the Scavenger Hunt, the Stepping Competition, Capture the Flag, the parade, and the Tailgating Party. However, these events are only forerunners to the main event- the football game. This year, we thought we would share some photographs from past football teams, games, and homecomings which haven’t been seen before. All pictures below can be found in the Photographic File, ARCHIV-014.

There has been a football team at Northern since at least 1909, with varying successful years and other less fortunate years. Pictured below are members of the team of 1975, which went on to be the NCAA Division II Champion, making a group tackle. Hopefully this year’s team will have as good a record as the 13-1 championship team.

photo 1

Below are fans at a football game in 1957. There will surely be many more fans this year. On the top right appears to be a student section. If you look carefully you may spot fans holding the white cone-shaped “megaphones” to cheer with.

photo 2

Pictured below is a game from an unknown year where Northern played Hillsdale. Hillsdale is the opponent for NMU this Saturday, with the game scheduled for 4pm at the Superior Dome.

photo 3

In these next few photos, the evolution of the uniform can be easily seen. The first picture shows members of the 1919 team in practice, with minimal pads and no helmets. Next are four men with long-sleeved jerseys from the 1939 team, which likely helped keep out the cold in later season outdoor games. Third, members of a team from 1960 or ’61 run out onto the field dressed in white and with newer jerseys and more modern helmets.

photo 4photo 5

photo 6

Below, some players of the Northern Michigan College team wrap themselves in blankets on the bench during a cool evening circa 1960. Games were usually held outside, as the great Superior Dome wasn’t completed until 1991.

photo 7

These last two pictures show a stark difference in team size between the 1929 team and a more recent (ca. 1980’s-1990’s) team. Happy Homecoming, and go Wildcats!

photo 8photo 9Written by Stefan Nelson

A Short Lesson from the Archives: Digitizing Negative Slides with a Scanner

Approximately three weeks ago, a discovery was made in the back stacks of the NMU Archives. Records Analyst Sara Kiszka was conducting a shelf read when she came across a collection emitting the slight aroma of apple cider vinegar. This collection contained a plethora of campus photographs taken in the late 50s and early 60s, and the photos were beginning to deteriorate, producing the friendly odor and subsequent temporary nickname: The Apple Cider Vinegar Collection.

The negative slides contained in the Apple Cider Vinegar Collection needed saving quickly, and the steadfast solution was to digitize these photographs. Though negative slide scanners exist for this purpose, it didn’t seem at all reasonable to purchase new equipment for this collection, especially when the Archives already owned a scanner and efficient photo-editing software. Thus, an incredibly simple but equally efficient technique was born:
scan 1
Here’s a negative slide to be scanned.

scan 2
If we scan our photo now, we won’t be able to see our negative slide because the background of our scanner is black.

scan 3
The solution: A white piece of paper placed behind the photo. Now we see all the detail!

scan 4

After scanning, the photo needs to be inverted. With a little bit of photo editing, we have successfully created a digitized photograph!

Digitizing these negatives is the best thing that could have happened to them. Not only will these photographs be preserved forever, their quality was improved, and they can be made available to patrons quickly from around the globe. Most importantly, perhaps, is that this collection can finally be stripped of its Apple Cider Vinegar nickname and given the more appropriate title: Historical University Negatives. Soon, these images will be available for viewing here.


Written by Kelley Kanon

Snow culture at NMU

One of the first things prospective students ask about upon visiting or searching NMU is, how do you handle the winter? And even though it’s certainly intimidating, winter weather becomes part of the culture here at NMU. In my opinion, it’s one of the most unifying aspects of Northern and integral to what makes Northern so great.

Inevitably, this love and presence of winter shows up in Northern’s student newspapers over time.

There are articles in which students wonder what the weather will be like, like this one in 1990 that cites the Old Farmer’s Almanac and local meteorologists.


But, keeping in mind how much snow makes life what it is here, I love looking at all of the pictures of winter weather in the past. Here are some of those pictures:

winter5 winter4 winter3 winter2

With winter weather also comes winter sports. This article ran in 1968 and shows how many skiing opportunities exist in the Upper Peninsula. Certainly, some of it’s outdated, but I think this illustrates the importance and range of opportunities in the U.P. To read the whole article and see the specific places of note, click on the photo.


Though we’re getting less snow than we have in years past, it hasn’t stopped today’s student newspaper from commenting on the weather, like about the snow day policy or crosswalk safety over icy roads. Both of these articles ran in last week’s North Wind.

Written by Lucy Hough