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July 26, 2022

A Conversation with Genesee Historical Center Archivist Colleen Marquise

A Conversation with Genesee Historical Center Archivist Colleen Marquise
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Colleen Marquise, Associate Archivist at the University of Michigan-Flint, Francis Willson-Thompson Library, takes podcast listeners on a virtual tour of the Genesee County (MI) Historical Center archive collection. This historical collection has a fascinating collection of oral histories, documents, papers, etc. 

The Center has three primary collections: Flint Labor History, Civil Rights, and Community Organizations such as the UAW Local 599. The local archives also contain the most definitive collection of materials on Flint area community development. The construction of I-475 through the heart of Flint was part of the disastrous urban renewal program that wiped out Flint's Floral Park and St. John Street neighborhoods. Memories of those African-American neighborhoods are found in a collection of recorded oral histories about the people, families, and culture. 

The Center also has a remarkable collection of oral history materials ranging from musical histories of the area, including rapper MC Breed, Ira Dorsey, and others going back to Flint bands in the 1960s. 

The Genesee Historical Center has recently developed a history collection about the COVID pandemic and protests. 

Colleen Marquise shares with the podcast listeners stories about prominent Flint area historical figures such as Genora Johnson and Rev Bradford Pengelly, the colorful rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church during the 1920s. This virtual podcast tour of the University of Michigan-Flint, Francis Willson-Thompson Library is fascinating. This episode is Part 1 of a two-part podcast.

The public can visit and listen to some local history collections online by going to the University of Michigan-Flint Library website. 

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Colleen MarquisProfile Photo

Colleen Marquis

I am the archivist at the University of Michigan Flint. I am a native Michigander hailing from Detroit. I received a degree in History from Eastern Michigan University and a Masters in the Science of Information/Archival studies from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus. In my work in Flint, I focus on community outreach and the diversity of the collection. My research involved archives as locus of community memory and shared trauma.