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Ernest Ronn papers

Identifier: MSS-029

Scope and Contents note

This collection documents Ernest "Ernie" Ronn's activity as a union organizer and labor leader for the United Steel Workers headquartered in Negaunee, Michigan. The collection includes photographs, personal memorabilia, books on labor history, manuscripts of his memoirs, and correspondence. The collection also includes an oral history interview conducted by Dr. Russell M. Magnaghi on December 15, 1998. A new accession to the original collection includes memorabilia, photographs, awards, plaques, and an original, handwritten, manuscript of Ronn's memoirs. The photographs largely document his activities as a labor leader, particularly meetings with national labor leaders and politicians. The collection materials cover the period between 1946 and 1999.


  • 1946 - 1999


Conditions Governing Access note

No restrictions. Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from the Ernest Ronn papers, MSS-029, must be obtained from the University Archivist. The University Archivist may be reached by phone at 906-227-1225, or e-mail, The University Archivist may also be reached in Room 126 of the Learning Resource Center, Northern Michigan University, Marquette, MI.

Biographical Note

Ernest "Ernie" Ronn was born on Anne Street in Negaunee, Michigan, in 1925. He started work as an underground miner after high school in 1943. Ronn entered service in the United States Army in 1944 and returned to mine work following his discharge in 1946. In 1970, Ronn was appointed sub-district director, District 33, of the United Steelworkers of America and remained in this position until his retirement in 1996. Ronn held numerous appointed political positions, including member of the United States Interior Department's Advisory Committee on Federal Metal and Nonmetal Mine Safety (1971-1975) and served as the committee's chairman (1974-1975). In 1997, Ronn was inducted into the Upper Peninsula Labor Hall of Fame. For a complete history of Ronn's life and work, see his published memoir entitled "52 Steps Underground." Ronn died on December 18, 2004.


1.3 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement note

The materials of this collection are arranged into two series: I. Photographs and II. Correspondence and Manuscript Material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition Note

Gift of Ernest "Ernie" Ronn in 1997.

Separated Materials note

Historical photographs of iron mines and work sites were separated from the collection. Please see the Archives staff for help accessing these photographs.

Ernest Ronn papers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives Repository

Harden Learning Resources Center 126
1401 Presque Isle Ave
Marquette 49855 United States
906-227-1333 (Fax)


This collection guide includes collections from member organizations of UPLINK (the Upper Peninsula Digital Network) as well as the Central Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan University Archives. UPLINK collections document the history of the Upper Peninsula broadly, while the Central UP & NMU Archives focuses on such topics as Northern Michigan University history, the local iron mining industry, and the politics, economics, religion, environment, and culture of the Central Upper Peninsula region.

These finding aids will give you an overview of the contents and context of each collection. Finding aids only exist for collections that each organization has shared with UPLINK or (in the case of the NMU Archives) for processed collections. For a more comprehensive list of collections that might help with your research, please contact the relevant heritage organization(s) directly.

Northern Michigan University
1401 Presque Isle Ave. • Marquette, MI 49855-5301 • 906–227–1000
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