New curator wants to bring life to history museum
La Clair appointed curator of Monroe Labor History Museum in January

MCCC students have the opportunity to learn Monroe history with Edmund La Clair, the new curator for Monroe County Labor History Museum. 

In January La Clair, associate professor of history, was offered the position as Curator at the Monroe County Labor History Museum. He had expressed interest about the museum to Board of Trustees member Trent Varva. 

La Clair has a long history of working at museums. Before La Clair came to work at MCCC 16 years ago, he was working at the Monroe County Historical Museum. He places students at both the Monroe County Historical Museum and River Raisin National Battlefield as interns.

Edmund La Clair, associate professor of history, is the new curator of the Monroe County Labor History Museum in downtown Monroe. (Photo by Reese Bowling.)

“I’ve done internships myself at the Monroe County Museum which is why I believe so strongly in internships,” La Clair said. “It’s sort of how I was able to get the job here at the community college.” 

Varva said he recruited La Clair and invited him to museum meetings. 

Varva said that La Clair will bring unique perspectives to the museum and provide knowledge to the community. 

Varva encourages that people come and check out the museum, as labor history is very important.

La Clair was interested in this position because he is a proponent of history. He also thinks there is a need for the community to give credit to the labor workers who are a part of Monroe’s history. 

“We need to do more to acknowledge and share the stories of the people who really built Monroe,” La Clair said, “We have a long history of labor in Monroe that people don’t even know about.” 

Beverly Tomek, dean of Humanities and Social Sciences Division, believes that La Clair’s involvement with the museum will bring opportunities to students on campus. 

“It gives him connections that he can then use to help our students,” Tomek said, “so that our students can get new learning experiences.” 

La Clair talked about the internships he has provided to his students at the battlefield and he now hopes to do the same at the museum. He said he thinks students planning on going into archival work would benefit from an internship at the museum. 

He said this partnership would benefit the community by preserving and providing access to the county’s history – a history that most are unfamiliar with. 

La Clair stresses that the museum is always looking for volunteers, especially on Saturdays where members of the Board of Trustees dedicate their own time in order to keep the doors open. 

“I want to talk to people who have been involved in labor,” La Clair said, “I want to save those stories before they are lost.” 

For more information on internship opportunities, contact Edmund La Clair, associate professor of history, at elaclair@monroeccc.edu or 734-384-4238.