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Grant number like: PY-234454-16

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Marquette County History Museum (Marquette, MI) (Marquette, MI 49855-4204)
Kaye Hiebel (Project Director: June 2015 to March 2022)

Common Heritage
Preservation and Access

[Grant products][Media coverage]

$11,745 (approved)
$11,745 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2016 – 6/30/2017

Sisu Stories

Digitization events and community exhibits in Marquette County, Michigan. The project would support the digitization of family documents and photographs. In order to serve a larger segment of the population in the largely rural county, digitization events will be held in two communities. The project would collect community stories as well as personal and family documents. Following the digitization days, an exhibit based on the contributed materials would be presented at the Marquette County History Museum, along with a series of public events including curator talks, poetry readings, musical performances, and commentary on community history in local newspapers. The proposed events would be organized around the concept of “Sisu,” a Finnish word for determination and perseverance in the face of adversity, and would contribute to understanding of the Finnish American legacy in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

The Marquette Regional History Center will utilize the theme Sisu Stories for our project. Sisu, a Finnish word, describes the character of the people living in our region, a dynamic, persevering and resourceful people, who are shaped by this challenging environment. This deep connection between the people and the landscape will be central to our project. A unique cultural identity has emerged through time. We will use this theme to promote the digitization project as well as the exhibit and related programming. We have chosen to offer this project to the whole county as the population is spread out through this rural area. Marquette County is the largest county in Michigan and as such will require two locations for digitizing materials to make it more accessible for those living in outlying areas to the west of Marquette. The digitization events will take place in the fall of 2016.