Copper was first worked by Native Americans along the Keweenaw Peninsula nearly 3,000 years ago. The arrival of prospectors and miners in the 1840s marked the development of one of the nation's first mineral rushes. From 1844 to 1985, more than fourteen billion pounds of copper were produced from Michigan's Lake Superior Copper District. The industry attracted thousands of workers over its active life, including immigrants from more than twenty countries, who helped to develop the mines, mining locations, towns and cities that dot the Keweenaw Peninsula today.
The Keweenaw Digital Archives provides a searchable database of digitized historical photographs documenting Michigan's historic copper mining district. Photographs span a wide range of topics and dates, providing a detailed look at the lives of copper miners and their families. Visitors to the Keweenaw Digital Archives have the opportunity to search for images by keyword or to browse through subject headings used to catalog the images. The site also encourages visitors to add their own comments and information to photographs in the archvies, and to create their own personal "web album" of images on particular subjects or places. In addition, the site allows visitors to purchase high-resolution photographic prints and digital scans for use in a variety of projects and publications.
Begin your journey into Keweenaw history by entering a word in the search box above.
MTU Archives and Copper Country Historical Collections
J. Robert Van Pelt Library
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Drive
Houghton, Michigan 49931-1295