Photo Gallery

Contemporary Stories of Saugatuck (20 Photos)

The Kutsche Office of Local History partnered with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center and Saugatuck High School teacher Christina Lewis to document the lives of the Class of 2019 throughout the 2018-2019 academic year. As part of this work, the Kutsche Office trained journalism students in oral history methods and underscored the importance of preserving the everyday experiences as part of the historical record as part of our Youth Leadership Intiative. These students developed their own oral history questions and interviewed members of the Class of 2019. More than sixty high school seniors’ voices were captured during the fall, winter, and spring trimesters. This project culminated in an exhibit, which will open at the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center’s Old School House on May 14 from 6-8 p.m. For more information about the event, please contact or (616) 331-8099.   

Third Coast Conversations Lunch, September 21, 2018 (43 Photos)

As part of our Third Coast Conversations grant funded by the Michigan Humanities Council, the Kutsche Office of Local History brought together 30 individuals from 20 organizations as part of a conversation on the Grand River. 

Stories of Summer training at SDHC (27 Photos)

The Kutsche Office in partnership with the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center held an oral history training workshop for community members interested in volunteering to support “Stories of Summer.” Funded by a Common Heritage grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, “Stories of Summer” documents a time when Saugatuck-Douglas gained a reputation as a “home for all.” The twin lakeshore towns were seen as welcoming to diverse communities ranging from those involved in the arts to college students and concert goers as well as individuals part of the LGBT community. Community members learned best practices concerning oral histories, provided feedback on the oral history prompts, and received an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the technology to be used at our oral history collection dates in June and July.

Saugatuck High School Visit (25 Photos)

On May 2, 2018 the Kutsche Office visited students in Christina Lewis’s journalism course at Saugatuck High School in Saugatuck, MI with Nathan Nietering, director of the Saugatuck-Douglas History Center. Students learned about the National Endowment for the Humanities Common Heritage grant funded project, “Stories of Summer.” Students also were trained in the best practices for collecting oral histories. Part of this included a discussion about how to formulate oral history questions.

9th Annual Local History Roundtable (134 Photos)

Held on Thursday, March 29, 2018, at the Kirkhof Center on GVSU's Allendale campus, the 9th Annual Local History Roundtable focused on the theme "Returning to our Roots." Highlights included a morning keynote by Professor Ronald J. Stephens, from Purdue University, and authority on African American resort communtiy of Idlewild, Michigan. Presentations were also made by Kathryn Remlinger, Professor of English at GVSU and inaugural recipient of the Community Collaboration Grant. Dr. Remlinger and her student Alice Pozzobon presented their research "How Much Dutch? The Linguistic Landscape of Holland, MI." In the afternoon Andrea Riley-Mukavetz, Assistant Professor of Liberal Studies, presented "Stories for the Next Generation:  An Indigenous Approach to Oral HIstory." We concluded the day with a tribute to "Buzz" Paul Kutsche, founder of the Kutsche Office of Local History.

Links to the Local: Building a National Women's Elective History (22 Photos)

Presented by Julia Bouwkamp & Jo Ellyn Clarey and co-sponsored by the Greater Grand Rapids Women’s History Council.

The historical charting of Grand Rapids women's runs for public office upends conventional wisdom and offers surprises about dates, the numbers of races, and the identities of women who participated in local politics beginning in 1887. Julia Bouwkamp and Jo Ellyn Clarey reported on how the national crowdsourcing project Her Hat Was in the Ring invited local researchers to share their data with the world, helping others complete and complicate American women's history by seeking out every woman who ran before 1920. This unique historical accounting hopes to inspire cities across the nation to create their own comprehensive elective histories. 


Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement (59 Photos)

On Monday, February 5, 2018, the Kutsche Office of Local History hosted a reception in honor of Levi Rickert and the exhibit: Standing Rock, Photographs of an Indigenous Movement. 

During the recent Standing Rock resistance to stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline, American Indian journalist, Levi Rickert, knew the largest American Indian movement since the 1973 Wounded Knee was unfolding. Rickert, the publisher and editor of Native News Online, covered the emergence of the movement from Standing Rock, Washington, D.C. to the steps of Michigan’s capitol. The results of his photo-journalist work yielded over 1,500 photographs that capture the intensity of the movement. Standing Rock: Photographs of an Indigenous Movement provides a glimpse of the struggle for indigenous water rights and tribal sovereignty.

Photo credit: Bri Luginbill, Bird + Bird Photography

Kutsche Office of Local History Annual Fall Luncheon (39 Photos)

On November 8, 2017, close to 40 individuals from local historical societies, museums, and libraries joined the Kutsche Office of Local History for the 2nd Annual Fall Luncheon. M. Christine Byron presented: Promoting Michigan for 100 Years: A History of the West Michigan Tourist Association.

Voices of GVSU: Activism through the Decades (12 Photos)

In February 2017, the Kutsche Office of Local History in partnership with the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship and Special Collections & Archives hosted an exhibit highlighting student activism at the university form its founding until 1979. Featuring university photographs and articles in The Lanthorn, the exhibit underscored students’ social justice efforts. The exhibit also included more recent examples of student activism on campus, inviting viewers to consider the question “How do you define activism?” Special thanks to Andrew Collier, who served as the OURS Undergraduate Research Assistant on this project, and undergraduate student Courtney Wagasky, who designed the exhibit posters.

8th Annual Local History Roundtable (52 Photos)

Held on Thursday, March 23, 2017 in GVSU's Mary Idema Pew Library and Kirkhof Center (Allendale, Michigan), the 8th Annual Local History Roundtable focused on the theme "Reconstructing Home." Highlights included presentations by Professor Bich (Beth) Minh Nguyen (MFA in Writing Program at University of San Francisco).  Julie Tabberer, head of the Grand Rapids Public Library's Local History Department, and Nathan Nietering, Executive Director of Saugatuck Douglas History Center,  as well as a panel discussion on the value of History Harvests, focusing on work in Oceana County.