Public Presentations

Evening at the Archives is an event to showcase historical research about the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University. Patrons who do exceptional research at the Archives often present their work. Listed below are links to and summaries of past presentations.

Evening at the Archives: The Digital Apocalypse?

Spring is now here and the NMU Archives will presenting its second Evening at the Archives this year. University Archivist Marcus Robyns and U.P. Heritage Center Director Dan Truckey will be going head to head in a debate discussing the preservation of cultural heritage in the digital age. Join us on April 4, 2019 at 7 pm at The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives located in Room 126, Harden Hall (formerly Harden Learning Resources Center). This event will be live-streamed on the Archives' Facebook page.

Evening at the Archives: The 1946 Iron Miners' Strike

The Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives will be hosting another Evening at the Archives public presentation on February 28, 2019 from 7-9 pm. Negaunee High School Seniors Chaz Bluse and Lucas Lambertson will give a presentation on the history of the 1946 Iron Miners’ Strike on the Marquette Iron Range. The students are completing a documentary about the Strike as part of a class project in “Digital Writing” taught by Negaunee High School history teacher, Andy Skewis. University Archivist Marcus Robyns will also provide a brief summary of labor history on the Marquette Iron Range from 1900-1946. The event will also be live-streamed onto the Archives' Facebook page.


Pasties, Beer, Revolution and God: Immigrant Miners and Their Communities on the Marquette Iron Range, 1900-1930

As part of NMU’s Diversity Common Reader Program, the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives will host this semester’s second Evening at the Archives public presentation on Thursday, March 29, at 7:00pm. NMU Professor and University Archivist, Marcus C. Robyns, CA, will give a presentation, entitled Pasties, Beer, Revolution, and God: Immigrant Miners and Their Communities on the Marquette Iron Range, 1900-1930. Robyns will review the social, cultural, and political nature of immigrant iron miners in the early twentieth century with particular emphasis on the experience of Finnish immigrants. Live stream will be available on our Facebook page. Find the powerpoint here.


Evening at the Archives Presents: Black Pride, Billy Clubs, and Broken Promises

When thinking about the late 60’s and early 70’s in America, one cannot help but to be reminded of a time of major change, extreme views, and controversy. Whether it was the Vietnam war, the Civil Rights Movement, the Nixon Administration, or simply the emergence of hippie culture, it seemed everyone had an opinion they wanted heard and Northern’s campus was no exception. On Feb. 15, 2018, Kyleigh Sapp gave a presentation over the student protests made over civil rights, what demands were made and whether or not the Northern Michigan University kept their promises. See the website here.


Evening at the Archives Presents: Holy Wah! The History of the U.P.

In the late 1990s, Peter Frecchio, an announcer for WMIQ-AM radio in Iron Mountain, Michigan, contacted Russell Magnaghi. Together, they developed a weekly Thursday show on the history of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Watch the full presentation on Facebook here.


Evening at the Archives Presents: The Skeletons in our Closet: The KKK in Michigan 

On March 23, 2017, the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives participated in NMU's Diversity Reader Program with an Evening at the Archives event in the Mead Auditorium.

Dr. Frank Boles (director, Clarke Historical Library, CMU), Jessica Holman (director, Negaunee Public Library), and Marcus C. Robyns (University Archivist, Northern Michigan University) gave presentations and led a discussion about how archivists and librarians identify, collect, preserve, and make available evidence of difficult or controversial events, organizations, and individuals in the history of the community or region that are responsible for documenting. They used a photograph of a Ku Klux Klan parade in downtown Marquette in 1926 as the focal point of discussion.


Evening at the Archives Presents: Queering the Archives: LGBTQ Scholars and the use of Archives and a Community Space

Regionally, nationally, and internationally, queer scholars use Archives not only as a repository of community memory, but also a positive, affirming space in which values, stories, and bonds are created and passed from one generation to another. Chet DeFonso’s presentation cited examples of LGBTQ Archives in the Upper Midwest, in Detroit, Chicago, and Minneapolis in particular, and the ways in which the Queer community have employed Archives as centers of activism and social generation. Archives intern, Nikki Wilhelm discussed LGBTQ resources in the Central Upper Peninsula and NMU Archives, and suggested ways in which further development of its resources could enhance the strength if the local queer community.

This presentation can be viewed on YouTube.


Evening at the Archives Presents: The Embezzling Bishop

On October 15th, 2015, Liz Fielding-Oliver presented “The Embezzling Bishop”. Ms. Oliver conducted her research at the NMU Archives last year, as a recipient of the Grace H. Magnaghi Visitor Researcher Grant. The Embezzling Bishop is about Hayward Abelwhite, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan in the 1930s, who was found guilty of embezzling up to $99,000.  The story involved dark secrets, chorus girls, Chicago nightclubs, a devastating fire, and a record setting blizzard: all set against the background of the Great Depression. 

Ms. Oliver's presentation can be viewed on YouTube here.



Evening at the Archives Presents: Aaron Howe; Cordwood at Coalwood

Aaron Howe, a recipient of the Grace H. Magnaghi Visitor Researcher Grant, presented what he learned through his research at the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives during the summer prior. Coalwood, located roughly ten miles south of Munising, was a large cordwood camp that provided fuel for the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company's nearby furnaces. Combining archival and archaeological​ data, Aaron Howe's presentation focused on the history of Coalwood, which operated from c. 1900-1912, and its relation to the functioning of Cleveland-Cliffs. Hundreds of men, women, and children made Coalwood their home while cutting cordwood during a period of rapid diversification for the Cleveland-Cliffs Iron Company.  


Student Protests at Northern Michigan University in the '60s

On April 2nd, 2015, the Archives debuted the website exhibition, Student Protests at Northern Michigan University in the '60s, a cultivation of the hard-work of three student employees. A product of Student Senior Assistant, Annika Peterson; Digitization Specialist, Anne Krohn; and Web Design Specialist, Kelley Kanon's efforts, the exhibition highlights the many protests that took place on campus in the 1960s. At the unveiling of the website, a presentation touching on three major protest topics, along with the process of researching the information and developing the website was shared.



Evening at the Archives Presents: Genealogical Research

On November 6th, 2014, Archives gave a presentation to the community about genealogical research. University Archivist, Marcus Robyns, Genealogy Specialist, Karen Kasper, and Student Assistant, Annika Peterson presented. The geneological research tab of the website was explained.

View a story by Upper Michigan here.

Student holding degree in Archival studies

Archival Work as a Profession in Public History 

In November of 2014, Marcus Robyns, University Archivist, gave this presentation to Northern Michigan University's HS380 Public History students. During this presentation, Robyns taught the students what archivists do and detailed how a person might become an archivist.

This presentation can be viewed here


University Archivist giving presentation

Blood on the Table: The Battle for Shared Governance at Northern Michigan University 1967-1976

In 2014, University Archivist Marcus Robyns gave a presentation on the development of the AAUP (American Association of University Professors) at NMU. He based his presentation on his previous article with Carrie Fries, The Battle for Shared Governance: The Northern Michigan University Chapter of the American Association of University.

The presentation can be viewed here.



Julia Tibbitts' Battle for Presque Isle

Kathy Warnes was one of the recipients of the Grace H. Magnaghi Visiting Researcher Grant in 2013. Kathy's research focused on Julia Tibbitts, one of Marquette's most famous environmental activist in the 1970's. Kathy used the Julia Tibbitts papers housed in the Central U.P and NMU Archives for her research and presented as part of our National Archives Month celebration. Kathy's presentation  is available for viewing here.



WNMU-FM 50th Anniversary Celebration

On April 15th, 2013, WNMU-FM celebrated its 50th anniversary. WNMU-FM is a local public radio station owned by Northern Michigan  University. The presentation (including oral history interviews and original broadcast clips) is now available for download here (a browser-compatible version will be available soon).



Evening at the Archives Presents: Tracks Across the UP

Railroad enthusiasts learned a bit about the history of railroads in the Upper Peninsula from Bruce Sargeant. Glenda Ward then discussed resources available at the archives about railroads. See Glenda's powerpoint and a handout about resources at the archives.



Evening at the Archives Presents: Researching the Venerable: Frederic Baraga and the Catholic Hierarchy 

Frederic Baraga is one of the most recognizable names in Upper Peninsula history. Dr. James Seelye of Kent State University at Stark and recipient of the Grace Magnaghi Visiting Research Grant, has been researching and writing about Frederic Baraga in a scholarly capacity for over ten years. His presentation discusses how Baraga is remembered by different people, as well as the challenges, obstacles, and rewards involved in conducing research on a man who is, quite literally, Venerable.

This presentation can be viewed on YouTube.