KALAMAZOO—The director of the Western Michigan University Archives and Regional History Collections will share insights into the collections and plans, including information about the collection’s legacy during the final event in the 2012-13 Keystone Community Bank Breakfast Speaker Series.
Sharon Carlson will speak at 8 a.m. Friday, June 28, in the dean's conference room of Schneider Hall, home of the Haworth College of Business. Her presentation is titled "WMU Archives: A Regional Treasure."
The event is free and open to the public and begins with breakfast at 7:30 a.m. Reservations are required and can be made online or by calling (269) 387-6059. Free parking is available.
About the archives
WMU's Archives and Regional History Collections include historical collections of manuscripts, newspapers, photographs, maps, oral histories and other materials documenting the history of southwestern Michigan. It was designated by the Michigan Historical Commission in 1962 as a regional repository for the public records of 12 counties in southwestern Michigan and includes tax rolls, court records and township minutes for the region.
While many of the collections have regional origins, they speak to broader themes and draw diverse researchers beyond the University. Since 2002, for instance, the archives office has housed the French-Michilimackinac Research and Translation Project, attracting international visitors to see the largest collection in the United States of French documents about the history of European settlement in the Great Lakes and North America. Researchers from around the world have consulted the vast array of paper company records, which include materials from the Kalamazoo Paper Company and the Kalamazoo Vegetable Parchment Company. Other business records include the Upjohn Company records and the Kalamazoo Gazette (Herald Corp.) clipping and photo files. The Archives and Regional History Collections also have particularly strong Civil War holdings including diaries and letters.
Carlson, archives director since 1998 and associate professor of University Libraries, holds a Ph.D. in history from WMU and a master's degree in library and information science from Wayne State University. She is also certified by the Academy of Certified Archivists. She is responsible for the daily operation and long-term direction of the unit and has been involved in planning the new Zhang Legacy Collections Center since 2009. The move of the archives to that new cente, which involves 30,000 cubic feet of manuscripts and books, will take place in early fall.
The Keystone Community Bank Breakfast Speaker Series provides an opportunity for the local community to hear top business leaders and WMU faculty, alumni and friends of the Haworth College of Business discuss current topics of interest.