Speaking at Ingham County Genealogical Society

6 04 2010

This Thursday, April 8, 2010, Public Services Archivist Portia Vescio will be speaking at the Ingham County Genealogical Society meeting.  Portia will be giving a presentation about genealogical resources that are available in the University Archives & Historical Collections.  She will also discuss rules for using the archives and what researchers can expect when they arrive in the reading room.

The presentation will be at 7:00pm at the Vevay Township Hall, 780 Eden Road, in Mason, Michigan.  For questions, please contact Portia at 517-884-6442 or vescio@msu.edu.

Warren Family Visit Archives

20 11 2009

Many historical collections in the University Archives & Historical Collections come from the Chamberlain Memorial Museum, which sent its holdings to Michigan State University in 1952.  Descendants of Edward K. Warren, the museum’s founder visited the Michigan State University campus on November 19.  The family toured the Special Collections Library and MSU Museum and went to a program at Cowles House, but ended their day in the University Archives reading the correspondence of their great-grandfather, Edward K. Warren, and great-great grandfather, Reverend Waters Warren.  They also viewed family photo albums from trips to the Middle East.

Archives Director Cynthia Ghering shows descendents of the E.K. Warren his correspondence

While sitting quietly in University Archives looking over family papers, Gus Whalen listened as his cousin, Bob, read from their great-grandfather’s journal.   E. K. wrote about newly married couples in the community, messages for upcoming speeches, and his dreams.  To share this kind of personal information about someone generations past was remarkable experience for all family members.  Gus said he was overwhelmed and exceedingly grateful for everything.

The Warren Family come from Three Oaks, Berrien County, Michigan.  The collection of family papers consists primarily of correspondence, diaries, religious materials, and legal documents.  Other materials in the collection consist of information  about the World’s Sunday School Conventions which were attended by Edward K. Warren.

Edward K. Warren founded the Chamberlain Memorial Museum in 1916 in Three Oaks, Michigan.  The museum is named for his father-in-law, Henry Chamberlain.  The museum was originally housed in Chamberlain’s home, but continued to grow due to the efforts of the E.K. Warren Foundation following Warren’s untimely death in 1919.  The contents of the museum were transferred to Michigan State University in 1952 by Fred P. Warren, President of the Board of Trustees for the E.K. Warren Foundation.  The trustees felt moving the collections to Michigan State would allow greater access to them by a greater number of people.

An online exhibit about the Warren Featherbone Company was prepared by intern Leslie Beckman.

For more information about the Warren Family papers, please contact the University Archives at archives@msu.edu.

Events this Week

26 10 2009

We have a special hours change for this week only.  On Friday, October 30, 2009 the University Archives and Historical Collections will be closed between 11:30AM and 1:30PM.  We will be open to the public between 8:30-11:30AM and 1:30-4:30PM.  Please note that the change is hours is for Friday, October 30 only.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

Just a reminder that on Wednesday, October 28 Archivists from the Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections will present at the meeting of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society.  The event begins at 7:00PM and is located at the Plymouth Congregational Church.  Archivist Ed Busch and Director Cynthia Ghering will give an overview of the University Archives and Historical Collections, explain how to search for collections online, and discuss some of the genealogical resources that are in the collections.

If you have any questions about the Genealogical Society event  or the change in hours, please contact us at archives@msu.edu.

Upcoming Genealogy Event

14 10 2009

Archivists from the Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections will do a presentation at the October 28, 2009 meeting of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society.  Director Cynthia Ghering and Processing Archivist Ed Busch will give an overview of the University Archives & Historical Collections, discuss some of the genealogical collections, and explain how to search the library catalog to find collections.  The event begins at 7:00PM and is located at the Plymouth Congregational Church.

Any questions about the event can be sent to archives@msu.edu.  To get an advance look at descriptions of the genealogical collections, you can view our collection guide to the genealogical collections.

Generations of Alumni visit Archives

25 08 2009

On Friday, August 21, 2009 the MSU Archives was visited by a family whose members have been students at the school dating back to the 1940s.  Collin Meierbachtol recently earned his Master’s degree from MSU.  He and his wife, Krista Cruse Meierbachtol, are current doctoral students at MSU.  Collin’s grandfather, Dwight Herman, is a graduate of the MSU Class of 1950.  Dwight came to MSU during World War II as an Air Force cadet and stayed at Abbot Hall.  He returned to MSU after the war to finish his degree.  During that time he and his wife lived in one of the trailers for the married students.  While Dwight was in class, his wife was busy working at the campus police station.

During their visit to the archives Collin and Dwight looked up Dwight in the student directories to get his student address.  They were also able to find Dwight’s old student number.  They looked at photographs of campus from the post World War II era when temporary housing was built to handle all of the students attending college on the G.I. bill.

Are you a member of a family who have been MSU students for multiple generations?  Let us know!  We would love to hear your story.  Contact archives@msu.edu.

Collin Meierbachtol and his grandfather Dwight Herman visit the MSU Archives.

Collin Meierbachtol and his grandfather Dwight Herman visit the MSU Archives.

Upcoming Events: Ag Expo and Great Dairy Adventure

13 07 2009

The University Archives will participate in two events next week that celebrate MSU’s agricultural heritage.  Ag Expo is on July 21-23 on the MSU Campus in the area north of Mt. Hope near the intersection with Farm Lane.  This year is the 30th anniversary of Ag Expo, which is the state’s largest and longest running outdoor farm show.  The MSU Archives will have a booth in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (CANR) tent.  The theme for CANR is “Family Futures,” so the theme for the archives is “Ensuring Family Futures by Preserving Family Pasts.”  Handouts about preserving family history for both children and adults will be available at the booth and archivists will be on hand to consult with people on their preservation and research needs.  On Tuesday, July 21, the MSU Archives will be celebrating its 40th anniversary with free cake in the CANR tent.  The cake will be served at 1:00pm.  For more information you can visit the Ag Expo website.

The Great Dairy Adventure will be on Wednesday, July 22 in the MSU Pavilion.  Focusing on dairy, the Great Dairy Adventure will allow children to pet different breeds of cows, milk a cow, be a milk mustache celebrity and more.  There will also be free dairy treats available.  The booth for the MSU Archives will feature facts about the history of dairying at MSU.  A handout/coloring sheet featuring Belle Sarcastic, a famous MSU dairy cow, will be free to children.

Admission and parking are free for both events.  Directions are available on the Ag Expo website.  The two activities are located near each other and families could easily visit both in one day.  We hope to see you next week!

Spotlight: Genealogy Collections

27 03 2009

A common question asked at the MSU Archives is, “Do you have any information about my family’s history?”  Sometimes, unfortunately, we have to tell people, “I’m sorry, no.”  Other times we can say, “Yes, we do!”   Although family history is not a collecting focus of the MSU Archives, we do have many collections and resources that can be used to track down family history.  For genealogists who are interested in finding out more about their genealogyfamily’s history, archivist Ed Busch has created a guide to our genealogy collections that relate to families, individuals, and churches to help people see if their family’s history might be located in the MSU Archives.

The genealogical guide lists about 75 different resources for family history that can be found in the MSU Archives.  The guide  lists the name of the collection, the size, and a brief description.  For MSU related publications, only the title and years of the publication are given.  We do not have these publications digitized yet, although we do hope to have greater on-line access to our collections later this year.  A pdf version of the guide is available here.