GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History

GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History The Kutsche Office of Local History at Grand Valley State University is dedicated to using history to give voice to diverse communities.

Operating as usual

Last chance to sign up for our last webinar of the season! We'll be live Friday morning with public historian Karen Sieb...
04/29/2021

Last chance to sign up for our last webinar of the season! We'll be live Friday morning with public historian Karen Sieber and her load of ephemera, photographs, and interesting stories from the Omnibus College experiment of the 1920-30s. Register for login details: gvsu.edu/s/1Eg

Last chance to sign up for our last webinar of the season! We'll be live Friday morning with public historian Karen Sieber and her load of ephemera, photographs, and interesting stories from the Omnibus College experiment of the 1920-30s. Register for login details: gvsu.edu/s/1Eg

It's been an historic year. Tell us about someone in your community who has recorded, shared, or expanded our understand...
04/25/2021

It's been an historic year. Tell us about someone in your community who has recorded, shared, or expanded our understanding of West Michigan's diverse history. Learn more at gvsu.edu/kutsche/GO21 - Nominations are open through June 27.

It's been an historic year. Tell us about someone in your community who has recorded, shared, or expanded our understanding of West Michigan's diverse history. Learn more at gvsu.edu/kutsche/GO21 - Nominations are open through June 27.

Attention local history organizations! The William G Pomeroy Foundation has funding opportunities for historic markers c...
04/23/2021

Attention local history organizations! The William G Pomeroy Foundation has funding opportunities for historic markers commemorating transportation canals in your community. Letters of Intent are due May 17; click the link below for more details.

Maybe there's a historic transportation canal in your community that deserves recognition with a Pomeroy Foundation marker. Don't miss the boat! Start your online marker grant application today.

Those interested in applying should submit an online Letter of Intent, which includes a proposed marker inscription and list of primary sources to verify that text by Monday, May 17. The grant application deadline is Monday, June 21.

Grants cover the entire cost of a marker, pole and shipping. For complete guidelines, eligibility and how to apply, visit: https://www.wgpfoundation.org/history/historic-canals/

#canals #historiccanals #historicmarkers

The Omnibus College program offered students of all ages the chance to see America's natural wonders, like West Michigan...
04/22/2021

The Omnibus College program offered students of all ages the chance to see America's natural wonders, like West Michigan's beautiful forests and lakes. Register at gvsu.edu/s/1Eg and join us next Friday, to learn more about how this program inspired decades of field trips to follow.

The Grand River has been essential to sustaining life in this region for thousands of years. This Earth Day, take a virt...
04/22/2021
Connections Along the Grand River

The Grand River has been essential to sustaining life in this region for thousands of years. This Earth Day, take a virtual tour through the state's longest river. Learn about ongoing efforts to create a healthier, more sustainable future for all living things that still depend on this West Michigan water source.

Connections Along the Grand River offers a glimpse into the histories of communities and towns along the Grand River of West Michigan, and the role of the river in their survival and revitalization.

There's over a century of Latino migration and community-building in Grand Rapids, but you may not see that from a quick...
04/15/2021
www.youtube.com

There's over a century of Latino migration and community-building in Grand Rapids, but you may not see that from a quick glance at the archives. Dr. Delia Fernández, Grand Rapids native and assistant professor in the History Department, Michigan State University, shares her experiences trying to locate West Michigan's historic Latina/o stories, and tactics anyone can use in the archives to discover what's hidden just below the surface.

Image courtesy of Grand Rapids City Archives.

We dearly look forward to celebrating with Connie Navarro in person once it is safe to do so. Until then, we made a brie...
04/09/2021
Connie Navarro - 2020 Gordon Olson Award winner

We dearly look forward to celebrating with Connie Navarro in person once it is safe to do so. Until then, we made a brief video to help share the invaluable work and commitment that led to her receiving our 2020 Gordon Olson Award, and how she has embodied our office's mission of giving voice to diverse communities through history. Thank you for everything you have done over the years to document and share Latino life in West Michigan!

Latinos Working for the Future

☀️ Enjoy spring break by proxy this year with the Omnibusters! Join our April webinar on the Omnibus College, an experim...
04/08/2021

☀️ Enjoy spring break by proxy this year with the Omnibusters! Join our April webinar on the Omnibus College, an experimental adult education program that rolled all around the US in the 1920s, exploring unique pockets of American lives and landscapes. Register today to save your spot: gvsu.edu/s/1Eg

We are excited to share that Dr. Nora Salas, associate professor of history at GVSU, is joining the Kutsche Office of Lo...
04/06/2021
History faculty member named director of Kutsche Office of Local History

We are excited to share that Dr. Nora Salas, associate professor of history at GVSU, is joining the Kutsche Office of Local History as our next director. Help us give her a warm welcome, and stay tuned for what her expertise and ideas will bring to the Kutsche Office over the next few years!

Nora Salas, associate professor of history, has been named director of Grand Valley's Kutsche Office of Local History.

What happens when you combine the enthusiasm of undergraduate students and the rich traditions of the 130-year-old B'nai...
04/01/2021

What happens when you combine the enthusiasm of undergraduate students and the rich traditions of the 130-year-old B'nai Israel congregation? You get meaningful, irreplaceable documentation of Muskegon's Jewish population. Dr. Marilyn Preston of GVSU's IRIS: Integrative, Religious and Intercultural Studies discusses her service-learning work in L'dor V'dor: Jewish Histories of Muskegon, up on our YouTube page now: youtu.be/35-V0hVDcHo

In the 1920-30s, caravans of learners crisscrossed the country as part of an experimental college on wheels. Join us liv...
03/31/2021

In the 1920-30s, caravans of learners crisscrossed the country as part of an experimental college on wheels. Join us live in April to learn about their journeys, their stops in the Great Lakes region, and the program's connections to the modern school field trip. Register today @ gvsu.edu/s/1Eg

In the 1920-30s, caravans of learners crisscrossed the country as part of an experimental college on wheels. Join us live in April to learn about their journeys, their stops in the Great Lakes region, and the program's connections to the modern school field trip. Register today @ gvsu.edu/s/1Eg

Last week's webinars on Grand Rapids' women in the 1910s are up on our YouTube channel. Watch, share, and subscribe to b...
03/29/2021
Kutsche Office of Local History - YouTube

Last week's webinars on Grand Rapids' women in the 1910s are up on our YouTube channel. Watch, share, and subscribe to be notified whenever we add a new video. We have plenty more coming this spring and summer, so stay tuned!

See you at 10:30 this morning! There's still time to register at gvsu.edu/s/1DS if you haven't yet.
03/26/2021

See you at 10:30 this morning! There's still time to register at gvsu.edu/s/1DS if you haven't yet.

Former Grand Rapids Public Library local history librarian and Kutsche Office collaborator Chris Byron lent her expertis...
03/25/2021
Artistic License - 99% Invisible

Former Grand Rapids Public Library local history librarian and Kutsche Office collaborator Chris Byron lent her expertise to a recent 99% Invisible podcast episode. Listen to learn more about how road trips, license plates, and even Supreme Court battles changed the look of the American highway.

In 1928, a strange phenomenon was sweeping the state of Idaho. A Boise resident might wake up on a typical Monday morning, drag themself out of bed, and they would hop in their car to drive to work, only to realize that their license plate had been stolen right off of their car. “People would

We're wrapping up our March webinars with life in 1910s Grand Rapids, and the ways some women were able to forge their o...
03/23/2021

We're wrapping up our March webinars with life in 1910s Grand Rapids, and the ways some women were able to forge their own paths during a time of great war and great change. Register for details to join us live this Wednesday and Friday!

Thanks for the great write-up on last week's webinar, Grand Valley Lanthorn! If you couldn't make it live, head over to ...
03/23/2021
Kutsche discusses “Lesser Known Women”

Thanks for the great write-up on last week's webinar, Grand Valley Lanthorn! If you couldn't make it live, head over to our YouTube channel to view the entire program. Learn about how local history institutions have uncovered and shared stories of West Michigan women: gvsu.edu/kutsche/youtube

Every March, the Grand Valley State University community comes together to celebrate Women’s History Month with several events and panels hosted throughout the entire month. On March 17, the Kutsche Office of Local History held their second event for the month featuring a series of presentations a...

Sign up (🔗 gvsu.edu/s/1CD) for Wednesday's webinar on Grand Rapids Women & Their Labor During the Great War. Katelyn Ver...
03/22/2021

Sign up (🔗 gvsu.edu/s/1CD) for Wednesday's webinar on Grand Rapids Women & Their Labor During the Great War. Katelyn VerMerris will dive into the complex reasons and varied results of West Michigan women's changing relationship to work during World War I.

Our final Stories of Summer digital archives tutorial takes on oral histories. Learn how to read (and listen) between th...
03/20/2021
Stories of Summer - Oral Histories

Our final Stories of Summer digital archives tutorial takes on oral histories. Learn how to read (and listen) between the lines and incorporate these recorded testimonies and into your own research.

This video discusses how to use the oral histories located within the Stories of Summer Project to meet research goals. It covers the importance of oral hist...

American women held elective office even before they could vote in elections. Join us and JoEllyn Clarey of the Greater ...
03/19/2021
Women Who Ran – Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council

American women held elective office even before they could vote in elections. Join us and JoEllyn Clarey of the Greater Grand Rapids Women's History Council next Friday to learn about the changing political careers of West Michigan women in the decade leading up to the Nineteenth Amendment. Save your spot at the live Zoom webinar today: gvsu.edu/s/1DS

Just when did women start running for elective office in America? Many assume that women entered electoral politics in 1920, only after the Nineteenth Amendment secured their full voting rights. But this assumption is wrong. American women did not wait for 1920 to claim their rights as candidates. I...

Photos and documents communicate so much more than what you see at first glance. Our second video breaking down the Stor...
03/17/2021
Stories of Summer - Photographs and Written Materials

Photos and documents communicate so much more than what you see at first glance. Our second video breaking down the Stories of Summer collection walks you through analyzing primary source documents and photographs within a digital archive. Learn more about looking beyond the surface and utilizing 2D ephemera for your own research.

This video provides information on how to use the Stories of Summer Project at Grand Valley State University's Special Collections and Archives. It covers to...

Have you signed up to join us tomorrow? Folks from Ada Historical Society, Lakeshore Museum Center, and Ionia County His...
03/16/2021

Have you signed up to join us tomorrow? Folks from Ada Historical Society, Lakeshore Museum Center, and Ionia County Historical Society will be live on Zoom to talk about women in their communities whose stories have gone overlooked for too long. Register now and we'll see you Wednesday at 10 am: gvsu.edu/s/1CD

Photo credit: String quilt by Muskegon's Rosie Lee Wilkins, from the Michigan State University archives. Wilkins is one of the women discussed at our Wednesday webinar.

Have you signed up to join us tomorrow? Folks from Ada Historical Society, Lakeshore Museum Center, and Ionia County Historical Society will be live on Zoom to talk about women in their communities whose stories have gone overlooked for too long. Register now and we'll see you Wednesday at 10 am: gvsu.edu/s/1CD

Photo credit: String quilt by Muskegon's Rosie Lee Wilkins, from the Michigan State University archives. Wilkins is one of the women discussed at our Wednesday webinar.

03/12/2021
Online Survey Software | Qualtrics Survey Solutions

A lot of us have done more online research than ever this past year. GVSU and the University of Michigan have a quick survey that can help improve how they share and organize digital scholarly resources. Share your thoughts at the link below!

Qualtrics makes sophisticated research simple and empowers users to capture customer, product, brand & employee experience insights in one place.

This bit of nice weather has us thinking about the Stories of Summer collection. Digitized photos, oral histories, and d...
03/12/2021
Stories of Summer - Intro to the Saugatuck Douglas Collection

This bit of nice weather has us thinking about the Stories of Summer collection. Digitized photos, oral histories, and documents record the history of the twin lakeshore communities of Saugatuck and Douglas. Check out this tutorial to learn more about this Lake Michigan haven for LGBT vacationers along with how to navigate digital archival collections.

This video explores how to use the Stories of Summer Collection at the Grand Valley State University Special Collections and Archives to meet the needs of a ...

Gaps in our historical record leave gaps in how we understand ourselves and our communities. At next week's Lesser Known...
03/10/2021
Roundtable focuses on notable local women in history

Gaps in our historical record leave gaps in how we understand ourselves and our communities. At next week's Lesser Known Women in West Michigan History live webinar (sign up to join: gvsu.edu/s/1CD) our panel will discuss the challenges and successes of closing these gaps, and how local history organizations can "make sure that there’s a representation of the community we’re supposed to serve.”

Learn more about our last two Annual Local History Roundtable webinars in this great write up by the Grand Valley Lanthorn.

The Kutsche Office of Local History is turning their focus to women for the 12th Annual Local History Roundtable, which is spread throughout March with three events. The Roundtable event began with “Solidarities: White Women and Women of Color’s Activism to Secure the Vote” on March 1, and wil...

03/04/2021
The History of Grand Rapids in Black and Brown: A Conversation

In case you missed it: Dr. Delia Fernández, Grand Rapids native and Kutsche Office of Local History Advisory Council member, offered perspective on the History of Grand Rapids in Black and Brown. Dr. Fernández is an assistant professor of history at Michigan State University, and focuses on the way Mexicans and Puerto Ricans created community and pursued activism in West Michigan.

If you couldn't join us live for our first Annual Local History Roundtable program, we have got you covered! Watch the f...
03/02/2021
Solidarities: White Women and Women of Color's Activism to Secure the Vote

If you couldn't join us live for our first Annual Local History Roundtable program, we have got you covered! Watch the full webinar on our YouTube channel. Don't forget to sign up to join our next two Roundtable programs coming up in March: gvsu.edu/s/1CD

Solidarities: White Women and Women of Color's Activism to Secure the VoteOriginally recorded Monday, March 1, 2021 / 10:00 am - 11:30 amThe Nineteenth Amend...

Congratulations to Grand Valley State University professor of History and frequent GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History ...
03/02/2021
Architecture of Production: Grand Rapids' 19th Century Furniture Factories

Congratulations to Grand Valley State University professor of History and frequent GVSU Kutsche Office of Local History collaborator, Dr. Matthew L. Daley, on his appointment to the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office Review Board! Check out his recent Kutsche Office webinar on the lasting architectural footprint of Grand Rapids' furniture factories to see his expertise in action.

Throughout Grand Rapids stand reminders of the city’s past as “Furniture City, U.S.A.” Former factory buildings line Monroe, Seward, and Godfrey Avenues, ser...

Our 12th Annual Local History Roundtable kicks off at 10 am today with the live webinar, Solidarities: White Women and W...
03/01/2021

Our 12th Annual Local History Roundtable kicks off at 10 am today with the live webinar, Solidarities: White Women and Women of Color's Activism to Secure the Vote. Sign up now for details to join us today → gvsu.edu/s/1CD

Our 12th Annual Local History Roundtable kicks off at 10 am today with the live webinar, Solidarities: White Women and Women of Color's Activism to Secure the Vote. Sign up now for details to join us today → gvsu.edu/s/1CD

Great news for non-profits, educators, and artists sharing stories of Black life in West Michigan and beyond: recording ...
02/24/2021

Great news for non-profits, educators, and artists sharing stories of Black life in West Michigan and beyond: recording artist FKA twigs teamed up with Getty Images to make many Black history-related photographs from their Hulton Archive FREE for non-commercial use. The Hulton Archive is the largest commercial image archive in the world, with items dating back to the early 1800s.

Water power fueled industry and even brought light bulbs to Grand Rapids. In 1880, newspapers reassured readers that one...
02/23/2021

Water power fueled industry and even brought light bulbs to Grand Rapids. In 1880, newspapers reassured readers that one day, "they will not think of gazing at the [electric] lanterns any more than they now do at the sun." Sign up for Friday's live Zoom webinar, "Grand Rapids Canal History from Water Power to Hydroelectricity," to learn more about the early switch to electric life: gvsu.edu/s/1AY

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Giving voice to diverse communities through history.

The Kutsche Office was established with a generous gift to Grand Valley State University from Grand Rapids resident and retired anthropology professor, Dr. Paul Kutsche. Dr. Kutsche dreamed of creating a hands-on history program, and Grand Valley State University’s Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies with its emphasis on both academics and service offered the perfect location where students from a wide variety of disciplines creatively blend knowledge with experience.

MISSION: Giving voice to diverse communities through history. VISION: The Kutsche Office of Local History will be a regional and national model for fostering intentional and deep community connections through the collection, preservation, and dissemination of the diverse histories of underrepresented populations. VALUES: We value deep community connections, respect for storytelling and academic rigor to strengthen communities throughout West Michigan. These values involve bringing together faculty, staff, students, local historians, and community members to facilitate conversations and develop programs that leverage the lessons learned from the region's past. We value diversity in local and regional histories. We value interdisciplinary methods to unearth, collect, and preserve local and regional histories.

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