Nordberg, Iron County Historical Museum Win Prestigious U.P. History Awards

MARQUETTE—On June 18, 2011, Erik Nordberg and the Iron County Historical Museum received the Historical Society of Michigan’s top awards for the preservation of Upper Peninsula history at the 62nd Annual Upper Peninsula History Conference.

Nordberg, a university archivist and the head of archives at Michigan Technological University, was awarded the Charles Follo Award, which is presented each year to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the preservation and promotion of Upper Peninsula history. The award was established in 1979 to honor the memory of Charles Follo, an Escanaba teacher who promoted and helped advance historical understanding of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

Since joining the Michigan Tech staff in the mid-1990s, Nordberg has been involved in nearly all aspects—from acquisition to grant writing—of the university’s archives.

Taking on the roles of project director and/or principal investigator, Nordberg has led several projects focused on increasing access to the MTU archives and collections. Two of the many projects he has worked on include “Coming to the Surface: Revealing Hidden Collections in Michigan’s Copper Country” which has helped reveal collections which might otherwise be unknown to researchers worldwide and “Extracting Buried Treasure: Enhancing Access to Manuscripts about Michigan’s Copper Country” focuses on making the archives’ manuscripts better available to researchers and historians.

Currently pursuing his doctorate at Michigan Tech, Nordberg has written for everything from Michigan History magazine (“Frost on the Spuds: Potato Farming in Houghton County During the Great Depression”) to Michigan Tech Magazine, in which he writes the “From the Archives” column. He has also served as a board member and officer at many history-based organizations, including the Mining History Association, Michigan Humanities Council, and Michigan State Historical Records Advisory Board among many others. He has also helped organize Michigan History Day for the Western U.P. region since 2006. Nordberg also leads the Northland Historical Consortium, an organization made up of local history organizations in the Western Upper Peninsula. Truly, Nordberg’s efforts to preserve U.P. history have reached regional, statewide, and national levels.

Also honored at the Upper Peninsula History Awards Banquet was the Iron County Historical Museum, located in Caspian. The museum received the Superior Award, which was established in 2006 to honor historical societies, museums, and other historical organizations in the U.P. for their efforts to advance U.P. history.

Since opening to the public in 1968, the Iron County Historical Museum has grown from two buildings to a campus of 26 buildings, featuring more than 100 major exhibits and including three art galleries. Built on the grounds of the former Caspian Mine in Iron County, the museum is home to the 1920 Caspian Mine Head Frame (the oldest head frame remaining in the county), which is listed on the National Register of Historic Site. It also is the site of the home of Carrie Jacob-Bonds, who wrote the song “I Love You Truly.”

A point of interest to visitors to the area, the museum is also frequented by historians and researchers who utilize the museum’s extensive archives. Continually expanding, the archives contain more than 53,000 biographical cards with information on Iron County citizens, 12,000 photographs, and nearly 8,000 maps. In short, the Iron County Historical Museum isn’t just Upper Michigan’s largest local museum. By so effectively preserving and sharing Iron County’s heritage and culture with present and future generations, the organization is an asset to the entire state.

The Charles Follo and Superior Awards are presented each year at the Historical Society of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula History Conference. The Society will present its annual State History Awards at the 2011 State History Conference, scheduled for September 23-25 in Traverse City. For more information about the Society’s awards, visit or call (517) 324-1828.


Historical Society of Michigan 7435 Westshire Dr., Lansing MI 48917
Email | Phone (517) 324-1828 | Fax (517) 324-4370

Designed by MATRIX and hosted by H-Net
Martrix logo