Many digital collections documenting the history of the Upper Peninsula are now freely accessible and searchable on the U.P. Digital Network (UPLINK) website hosted by the Central U.P. and Northern Michigan University Archives.
Collections already online or soon to be available include the following: newspapers such as The Mining Journal and Grand Marais Gazette; business records from the Copper Range Company and others; lighthouse records from Ontonagon; and oral history collections related to Italian Americans, the Marquette Women's Center and more. NMU digitized materials, ranging from yearbooks and historical photos to audio interviews and videos, are also accessible online.
UPLINK began in 2021 with a two-year implementation grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. It is a consortium of heritage organizations—archives, libraries, museums and historical societies—intended to pool resources and skills to make digitization and digital preservation affordable. In addition to hosting the project website, the Central U.P. and NMU Archives is the principal service site in the region.
“Any heritage organization in the Upper Peninsula can join UPLINK,” said NMU Archivist Marcus Robyns, who initiated the effort. “There is a small annual membership fee that covers digital preservation and upkeep costs. Organizations can digitize their own collections to add to the network, or UPLINK staff can digitize and describe collections for member heritage organizations for a small fee.”
Robyns said many of these collections will also become available on the Library of Michigan's Michigan Memories site and Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) in the coming months. For more information on UPLINK, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ambitious project to digitize The Mining Journal newspaper was launched with a generous gift from NMU emeritus professors Russell Magnaghi (History) and Diane Kordich (Art & Design) to Peter White Public Library in Marquette. Magnaghi said that, as a historian, it was proving difficult and frustrating at times to find information.
“An individual mentions a topic to me—the cudighi, for instance—and then I want to check this information, but because The Mining Journal is not digitized, you spend days or longer going through microfilm and you may find something, or may find nothing,” said Magnaghi in a PWPL newsletter story. “Today, many other newspapers are online and searchable, making it easy to access the information. We felt The Mining Journal should be digitized. It is a rich resource for the Upper Peninsula.
“This would not be possible without Northern Michigan University's Archives. We are grateful for their collaboration.”
As editions of the paper are uploaded, they are made searchable on UPLINK. Digitized versions of The Mining Journal now available cover the years 1916-24, with more time ranges to follow. For information on this project, contact email@example.com.
Media Contact: Marcus Robyns, firstname.lastname@example.org or 227-1046.