Research Travel Grants Program
The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections offers annual travel grants for researchers and scholars from outside the area to conduct research in the Archives. The Friends of the Van Pelt Library, a support organization for the Library and Archives of Michigan Technological University, provides financial support for the travel award program. The grant is intended to increase awareness of the Archives’ collections and encourage use of some lesser-known resources by scholars. The Archives’ manuscript collections contain an abundant array of records of the region’s rich history.
The grant program, first offered during the 1997-98 academic year, provides support for travel, food, and lodging to carry out research using the collections of the MTU Archives. Since its inception, more than a dozen researchers have come to Michigan Tech to access the unique collections at the Archives. Past recipients of the travel grant have examined topics ranging from the role that fraternal orders have played in Lake Superior mining communities, the development of company housing at Hecla Location near Calumet, to the transformation of former mining districts into vacation and tourist destinations after World War II. The Archives has sponsored visiting scholars from throughout the United States and as far away as Sweden and England.
The MTU Archives is a department of the J. Robert Van Pelt Library. Located on the Garden Level of the J. Robert Van Pelt Library, in the new John and Ruanne Opie Library, the Archives is a place where members of the campus community and the general public can learn more about local and regional history, and the people and events of the past.
Grant applications are typically solicited in late autumn, with selection occurring after the winter holidays. For more information, contact the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 487-2505.
2009 Research Travel Awards
The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections has selected two recipients for the 2009 Research Travel Award. This year’s grant recipients take a fresh approach to the rich array of material housed in the Archives.
Peter Krats, assistant professor at University of Western Ontario, will look at the effects of an international border on ethnic identity in industrial communities as part of his ongoing research into the evolution of mining regions in the US and Canada. University of Toledo doctoral candidate James Seelye comes to the Archives for an in-depth look at Slovenian life in Michigan, including the long-term impact of Slovenian missionaries on 19th century Native American communities.
Since its inception over ten years ago, the grant has enabled more than twenty researchers to travel to Houghton from the United States, Canada, and Europe, to examine the unique social and cultural resources in the Archives collections. Past grant recipients have studied a wide variety of topics, such as the use of images and models by mining engineers to manage complex work sites above and below ground; the role that fraternal orders have played in Lake Superior mining communities; and the adoption of the English language by European transplants to Michigan’s Copper Country. This year’s awards continue a tradition of supported research using the manuscript collections curated by the Michigan Tech Archives.
The grant program is financially supported by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library. This year’s award committee included Larry Lankton from the Michigan Tech Department of Social Sciences, Terry Reynolds of the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, and Erik Nordberg and Julie Blair, representing the Michigan Tech Archives. For further information about the awards program or about the collections of the Michigan Tech Archives, call 487-2505 or visit us on the web.
Historian James Seelye will visit the Michigan Tech Archives this summer in support of his research into Slovenian migration to the region. An initial vanguard of Slovenian missionary priests, led by Frederic Baraga, helped Slovenes such as merchant Jozef Vertin to establish ethnic communities such as the one around his store in Calumet. Photograph courtesy www.digarch.lib.mtu.edu, MTU Neg 00028
The Michigan Tech Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections offers annual research support awards to bring scholars and researchers to Houghton, Michigan, to study the Archives' collections. Grants are for up to $750 and provide support for travel, food and lodging for that purpose. Financial support for the travel award program is provided by the Friends of the Van Pelt Library, a support organization for the Library and Archives of Michigan Technological University. Topical research areas include: Michigan's western Upper Peninsula; industrial history, particularly copper mining and its ancillary industries; social history, including workforce issues, immigration and ethnicity; urban and community development along the Keweenaw Peninsula; transportation; and the environment.
Applications are accepted throughout the year. Review of applications begins in January with selection announcements made in early March. The successful candidate must complete his/her travel by December of the award year. Applications received by January 31st will be reviewed for the current year. Those received after January 31st will be considered for the following year. Electronic submission is encouraged.
For further information, please contact:
Julia Blair, Assistant Archivist