What is the employee records dataset?
This record set contains almost 40,000 employee cards from the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company (C&H), the region's largest mining company in the late 1800s and early 1900s. With the support a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) the Keweenaw Time Traveler Team with the support of our partners in the the Michigan Technological University Archives, Michigan Tech Social Sciences Department, and the Historical Environments Spatial Analytics Lab digitized, transcribed, record-linked, and mapped these C&H employee records. They are available in the Explore App integrated with other datasets.
What can I discover using this data?
These employee records contain addresses, names of parents, names and birthdates of children, birthplaces, and other family information that helped the team connect individuals at the household level with census and city directory records already in the Keweenaw Time Traveler. This archival collection is so valuable because it provides insights into the lives of mine company workers and their families unavailable in other public records, including the types of jobs they worked, wages, previous employers, workers' compensation payments, as well as injury and death records.
If you want to see a digital image of the original employee card, you can use the Copper Miners Employee Card database (CMEC). This digital database was created as part of the CLIR-funded grant project with our colleagues in the Michigan Tech Archives. At CMEC, you can search by name and zoom in to view the hand-written cards as they were kept by C&H clerks.
To learn more about the three-year project during which over 30 students and staff worked to scan and transcribe and map these records, watch this lunch-time chat video. You can also read more in our Project News blog.