Mary Doria Russell to speak Oct. 8 and 9

Mary Doria RussellMary Doria Russell,award-winning author of The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day, Doc, and Epitaph (see her Wikipedia entry here and her own webpage here), has published a new novel, The Women of the Copper Country (Simon and Schuster, 2019). She will be visiting the Copper Country to promote the  book on October 8-9.

Her research on the book was facilitated by the Michigan Tech Archives, Keweenaw Historical National Park archives, and numbers local historians and her visit to Michigan Tech and PLDL is supported by a grant from the Friends of Michigan Tech Libraries.

On Tuesday, Oct. 8, she will give a talk at Michigan Tech and Wednesday Oct. 9 at the Portage Lake District Library (PLDL) in downtown Houghton. She will address the writing and research process for historical novels in the first presentation, and do a regular book reading at the second.  We believe that books will be available and she will do a signing at both talks.

Both events will be open to the public and free to attend.  More details will be forthcoming shortly with location and specific times.

Women of the Copper Country book jacket

2019 Book Sale a great success

The 2019 book sale was a great success this last Thursday and Friday, netting over $3000 for the library.  Thanks to all out volunteers who helped stet up and sort books on to the tables on Thursday afternoon and especially to those who helped break down what was left at the end of the day on Friday.  Sales were up over last year and it was great to see so many students throughout the day on Friday.

2019 FMTL booksale
Happy shoppers at the 2019 Friends of the Michigan Tech Library book sale

2019 Friends sale is Thursday and Friday April 4-5

Friends of the Michigan Tech Library Book Sale April 4th and 5th

The Friends Annual Used Book Sale is scheduled for Thursday, April 4th and Friday, April 5th,  2019 in the Memorial Union Ballroom on Michigan Tech’s campus.  On Thursday,Members shop with first choice from 5 to 7 p.m. (memberships available at the door are $20 and up; students and seniors only $15). On Friday, the sale continues to the general public from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a new selection of withdrawn books. The $5 bag sale is from 4 to 5 p.m.

Free parking in all University lots after 4:00 PM

The book sale uses standardized pricing for many books, with hardback books priced at $2 and quality paperback books for $1. Mass market paperbacks (the ones that fit in your back pocket) are a bargain at 50 cents. Antique or special sets are priced separately.

Have Books to Donate?

  • If you have only a few book sale donations, you may drop them off in the box located in the Library vestibule.
  • If you have a box or bag of books, you may unload them at the Library loading dock. Call 487-2508 to have someone meet you at the back door to help.
  • If you need help getting your book sale donation books to the Library and would like someone to come to your house to pick them up, call Dana Richter at 487-2149 or e-mail

Friends Book Sale Earns More Than $3,300 for Library

The Annual Friends of the Michigan Tech Library used book sale, held 6–7 April 2018, raised more than $3,300 for the library, which uses the funds to support the popular reading collections, as well as purchasing equipment and special furnishings. Book sale funds also provide travel grants to researchers who use the University Archives and Copper Country Historical collections, and help to support a competitive summer intern position. As always, the Michigan Tech community supported the sale, by attending and volunteering. We send our thanks to the many volunteers who help organize, set up and take down the sale, especially: the Michigan Tech Facilities grounds crew who moved the books from the library to the Memorial Union the morning of the sale, the library front desk personnel for their help receiving books throughout the year, and the following student groups: the Society of Intellectual Sisters, the Student Chapter of American Institute of Chemical Engineers, Undergraduate Student Government, Graduate Student Government, and the fraternities and sororities of Tau Beta Phi, Phi Delta Chi, Sigma Phi Epsilon, and Phi Kappa Tau. The Friends accept gently used books and materials for the annual sale throughout the year. Check our website for a list of items that we accept and ways to donate.

by Kelly Luck, Treasurer, FMTL

Library Friends Donor Hall of Fame (2018 Edition)

The books for the Friends book sale come from generous donors, and we are grateful for their contributions. We seek to thank them by name, although many are anonymous. For the many, many donors of years past, thank you too for your generosity and for your support of the library. Among our 2018 donors are:

  • Susan Bagley & Gil Lewis
  • Susan and Pat Martin
  • Linda Belote
  • Glenn Mroz
  • Marilyn Cooper
  • Bruce Seely
  • Beth Flynn
  • Martha Sloan
  • Gopal Jayaraman
  • Debbie Van Wagner

Thanks for all you give and all you do!


Travel Grant Update 2018

The Michigan Tech Archives is grateful to continue a strong partnership with the Friends of the Michigan Tech Library to sponsor the annual travel grant program. Two researchers, Dr. Matthew Liesch and Wesley Thompson, were delighted to have the opportunity to advance their research in the Copper Country.

Dr. Liesch concluded a multi-part research plan, which started in 2017 and culminated in June 2018. In addition to countless hours poring over photographs and historic documents pertaining to his “rephotography” project, Liesch shared his expertise in a travel grant presentation that took place on June 25, 2018. His talk, “Circling Lake Superior: Rephotography to Document Changing Landscapes of the Lake Superior Circle Tour,” guided the audience on a photographic journey to explore changing landscapes from throughout the Copper Country and the Lake Superior Circle Tour. The presentation featured historic landscape photography from the Archives, and supplemented those with other scenes along the route. For comparative purposes, Liesch rephotographed ordinary landscapes around Lake Superior during 2018.

Wesley Thompson was another new grant recipient this year and his research visit is slated for late October. Please see the FMTL wesbite or contact the archives for details on Thompson’s presentation, which will be taking place on Wednesday, October 24 at 4 p.m. in the library; please contact the Archives at or (906) 487-2505.

by Lindsay Hiltunen, University Archivist

WW1CC Opening Reception and Constitution Day Speaker

With the generous support from the FMTL, the library hosted Dr. Brett Gary, Associate Professor of Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU, as speaker for Constitution Day. Every year federally-funded schools provide programming to honor Constitution and Citizenship Day and this year the library took the opportunity on September 13th to collaborate with the organizers of WW1CC to host both a talk as well as to celebrate the opening of the WW1CC festivities.  The WWI trench recreated on Michigan Tech’s campus invites visitors to explore and immerse themselves in the history.

Sue Collins, Associate Professor of Communication, Culture, and Media here at Michigan Tech and lead organizer for WW1CC, opened the evening with a few brief words welcoming everyone to the opening of WW1CC and to the library’s Constitution Day event. Dr. Gary then delivered a captivating talk to a full East Reading Room. His talk, entitled, “World War 1 Speech Catastrophes and the Postwar Struggle for Free Political and Sexual Speech” explored the history of the wartime crackdown on political dissent and sexual impurity, and the development of the parallel civil liberties traditions that emerged in the war’s aftermath.

by Katie Edson, Collections Librarian and FMTL