A year ago we explained how "deferred maintenance" of the Rasmuson Library building would help to preserve our collections. A reallocation approved by the Regents in June will enable us to rearrange our space as well. Among the changes in the latest draft plan:
- Current workspaces surrounding the Research Room will be reassigned to provide a reception area for conversations between researchers and staff, an office and workroom for the Oral History Program, two workrooms for the Archives, and carrels with light and sound control for media equipment.
- Project Jukebox will have a larger space in a more public location near the oral history curator's office.
- The Photo Lab will have a workroom for its expanding digital operations (and the lab manager will be able to reclaim his office).
- A storeroom will be converted to a second media vault. This will make it possible to house the magnetic and filmstock holdings of the Alaska Film Archives at different temperatures. It will also accommodate original oral history recordings and preservation masters from the photographic and micrographic programs.
- A climate-controlled space will be set off from the open stacks for books that have become scarce or fragile enough to be considered "medium rare."
As funding permits, we will increase Archives storage capacity with compact shelving.
The hidden cost of these improvements is that every public service point and every collection item will be moved twice. Most of our disruption is scheduled for 2002 first on level 3, then level 2. We hope to maintain access to all collections with only brief interruptions while materials are in transit. We will be urging researchers to work with us as much as possible on timing their visits and selecting materials in advance.
Gunnerius Ingvald Isachsen. Exploration du nord-ouest du Spitsberg enterprise sous les auspices de S.A.S. le prince de Monaco par le Mission Isachsen-- 5 v. Monaco: Impr. De Monaco, 1912-1914.
Part of Prince Albert's sponsorship was the loan of his yacht.
- John Flavel Mines. The heroes of the last lustre: a poem-- New York: D. Dana, Jr., 1858. Dedicated to missionary efforts in the Arctic.
U.S. Department of the Treasury, Special Agents Division. Report upon the Customs District, public service, and resources of Alaska territory. By William Gouverneur Morris. Washington, D.C.: G.P.O., 1879.
An account of the cruise of the Revenue Cutter Wolcott to "procure articles of Indian manufacture for the Centennial exposition."
- U.S. Navy. 45th Construction Battalion. Chechakho to sourdough: the story of the Forty-fifth United States Naval Construction Battalion in Alaska, World War II. San Francisco, 1944.
- Economic geography and structure of the Russian territories of the Barents region. Edited by Tero Lausala and Leila Valkonen. Rovaniemi, Finland: Arctic Center, University of Lapland, 1999.
- Pauline Higgins. Sisters of Providence education ministry in Alaska, 1902-1978. Seattle: Sisters of Providence, 1999.
- Leroy Stewart Townsend. The Alaska gold rush letters and photographs of Leroy Stewart Townsend, 1898-1899. Edited by Peggy Jean Townsend, Patricia Roppel, Art Petersen. 1st ed. Auke Bay, Alaska: Klondike Research, 1999.
- Adolf Achtsnit. Polarschiff Admiral Tegetthoff: die Osterreichisch-Ungarische Polarexpedition 1872-74. Wien: Verlag Osterreich, 1997.
- Puteshestviia I podvigi sviatitelia Innokentiia: mitropolita Moskovskogo, apostala Ameriki I Sibiri--Moskva: Pravila Very; Danilovskii blagovestnik, 1999.
Carte de l'ocean Pacifique au Norde do l'Equateur, 1780/1781.
This is the earliest folio-sized printed map of Captain James Cook's third voyage.
- Anaktuvuk Caribou Skin Masks (H99-26-01/10). Ten interviews conducted by Margaret Blackman during summer 1999 with makers of caribou skin masks in Anaktuvuk Pass.
- Dianne Inglima Brown interviewed by Robyn Russell (H99-31). Retired First Sergeant Dianne Brown, the highest-ranking woman in the Alaska State Troopers, talks about her 20-year career in law enforcement, her childhood in Seldovia, and problems she encountered as a woman in a male-dominated field.
- Flat-Iditarod Historic Building Survey Project (H 2000-05-01/03). Twenty-one tapes and transcripts of interviews conducted by Rolfe Buzzell of the Alaska Office of History and Archaeology with John Miscovich and other former residents regarding the histories of these towns, which are no longer inhabited.
- Geophysical Institute 50th Anniversary (H 2000-18-01/18). Six audio and five video interviews conducted or recorded by Bill Schneider. Various scientists reminisce about their work at GI over the years.
- Pioneering Women of Alaska Oral History Project (H 2000-07-01/02). The first two of fifteen interviews projected in this series. Karen Brewster interviews Florence Weber, a geologist and longtime USGS employee, and Vera Alexander, dean of the School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences. This project is supported by the President's Special Projects Fund at the UA Foundation.
Manuscripts and Photographs
- Cecil H. Kornegay Photograph Collection, 1946-1948: 124 images, principally from the Fairbanks region, including views of the 6-Mile Army Ordnance site, Fairbanks, and landmarks along the Richardson Highway. Kornegay took the photographs while he was here with the U.S. Army. His accompanying narrative provides descriptive and contextual detail. This is a processed collection with inventory and online catalog record.
- Addition to the David Hopkins Papers: 21 cubic feet of personal papers including field notes, correspondence, and photographs reflecting Dr. Hopkins's leadership in Quaternary geology as well as his wide-ranging interests in Quaternary and Arctic science. Of special interest is the correspondence with other scientists, exchanging ideas about groundbreaking research. This is an unprocessed collection with further additions expected.
- Elizabeth Wood Albums, 1902-1914: 5 albums with a total of 433 photographs. The photographs were taken by Wood as well as by better-known Northern photographers Goetze, F.H. Nowell, B.B. Dobbs and A.L. Bell. The images are from northwestern Alaska, including the Seward Peninsula, Nome, Teller, and Cape Prince of Wales. Subjects include well-known personalities such as Roald Amundsen, Sinrock Mary, and Fridtjof Nansen. Other images include reindeer herding, ships of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, the 1905 Nome fire, Inupiaq and commercial whaling, town and village scenes, and many portraits of Inupiaq people. The albums document the daily lives of both indigenous people and settlers and the activities by which they made their living. This is a processed collection with inventory and online catalog record.
Films and Videotapes
- Lowell Thomas, Jr. More than 50 reels, 16mm/color, 1950s-1960s. These are from his filmmaking for the University of Alaska before he became lieutenant governor.
- Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. 385 videotapes, ¾?/color, 1980s. Many of these programs were produced in Alaska. The Alaska Native Magazine series produced by KUAC is notable among those that appear to be unique.
- Charles L. Stevens. 1 reel (650 ft.), 16mm/color, 1930s-1940s. Travel footage in Southeast and along the Yukon River.
- Bum Phillips. 12 reels (4,800 ft.), 16mm/color, 1950s-1960s. Gold mining in the Interior with unusual overland travel images.
- Ben Atkinson. 8 reels (5,300 ft.), 16mm/color, 1950s-1960s. Naval Arctic Research Laboratory and DEW line construction.
- H.A. "Red" Boucher. 69 videotapes (34 hr.), ¾?/color, 1997-1999. Interviews with Alaskan personalities.
"A Fraction of the Yukon Flats." Facsimile of a hand-drawn map by William Yanert, 1916. Vegetation and geological features indicated with color and shading. Includes his notes on vegetation and surface features including cabins, shacks, and a whirlpool in the Yukon River.
This item will complement the William Yanert Papers in the Archives.
" Map of Preliminary Survey & Application for Right-of-Way, Alaska Midland Railway Company, Southwestern Branch Line, Trans-Alaska-Siberian Railway System Section No. 1, 1909." One map on two sheets. Hand-drawn with notarized survey of route on map.
Once again we are thankful for those who enable us to build these collections:
- Elmer E. Rasmuson, for purchase of books, manuscripts, and photographs.
- Candy Waugaman, for gifts from her personal collection.
- the many Alaskans and Outsiders who trust us with treasures and traditions.
- the Alaska State Legislature, which approved the item in the University's FY01 budget request to help cover the increasing cost of current publications.
As digital pioneers, we know that wholesale reproduction of special materials is still some distance in the future. Our preference has been to design and carry out projects that will make a difference to identified groups of potential users. It is very expensive to provide the contextual materials and search capabilities that make these productions inviting, especially for our prime audiences at remote locations who may be unaccustomed to archival research. Such sophisticated work is beyond our regular budget, but we have been fortunate to receive support from those who share our commitment to community access and tolerate the trial and error of pioneering.
Jim Ketz and Jeff Pederson achieved their longstanding goal of making the Wenger Anthropological Eskimo Database searchable with Web software. The greatest challenge was to prepare a style sheet that would display the database properly with the Internet Explorer 5 browser. Software from InMagic, Inc. has been chosen for the search engine, and half of the database has been converted. Fairbanks software expert Ken Irving solved several difficult problems in making the style sheet work with the browser. Rose Speranza finished revising the index and then shifted to full-time work in the Archives. Mrs. Beatrice Wenger sustains her vision of the project as well as financial support.
The Project Jukebox staff completed six more projects, for a total of twenty-seven so far:
- The Sitka National Historical Park Project Jukebox, done in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.
- The Chenega, Tatitlek, and Nanwalek/Port Graham jukeboxes, all sponsored by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game.
- The main portion of the Wrangell Project Jukebox, August 1999. An additional group of interviews will be completed this fall.
- The Katmai National Park Jukebox, currently in the community review phase. Additional interviews were conducted in Kokhanok in fall 1999 with participation of Don Callaway of the National Park Service. Village presentations and review are planned for fall 2000.
Karen Brewster, Bill Burke, Jarrod Decker, and Dave Krupa were the lead workers, with help from student assistants.
The Jukebox staff also made great advances in access to older projects
- The North Slope jukeboxes (Barrow Photo Album, Marvin Peter Photo Album, and Chipp-Ikpikpuk and Meade Rivers Oral History Project) were installed on the North Slope Borough's Local Area Network so that people throughout the region can have access to them. This was the first network installation for Project Jukebox. Karen Brewster was the project coordinator. Dave Krupa provided technical support and developed methods for converting the Mac-only Hypercard format into cross-platform Web-compatible versions. Karen, Bill Burke, and Jarrod Decker performed the conversions.
- Dave Krupa completed the Oral History Workstation in the Research Room, making both the Hypercard and HTML-based jukeboxes far more accessible for students at UAF. This project was funded by the UAF Technology Advisory Board.
- Karen Brewster and Bill Schneider received a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum to survey current practices in Internet access to oral history recordings and examine the ethical issues in making them available this way.
The Wenger Database and the North Slope jukeboxes were highlighted in a weeklong conference in Barrow titled "Approaches to the Study of Eskimo History and Culture." This conference brought together elders, teachers, curriculum specialists, cultural resource experts, and visiting international scholars to discuss methods of integrating Inupiaq history and culture into existing curriculum and developing new teaching resources. The North Slope Borough, the Inupiat History, Language, and Culture Commission, and Ilisagvik College in Barrow were co-sponsors. Mrs. Beatrice Wenger took part in the conference and supported it generously. The seminar was available for UAF graduate credit or Ilisagvik undergraduate credit. The staff contributors in Fairbanks and Barrow were Karen Brewster, Jarrod Decker, Colleen Jones, Jim Ketz, Jeff Pederson, and Bill Schneider.
Last year we completed the traveling exhibit, "The Butler Brothers' Gold Rush: The Nome Album, 1900-1901." Now it is on the World Wide Web at http://itdc.elmer.uaf.edu/butler/. Matt Sill, student assistant in the Photo Lab, designed and built this presentation.
We are collaborating with the Library of Congress on the "Meeting of Frontiers" digital library project, the prototype of which is at http://frontiers.loc.gov:8081/intldl/mtfhtml/mfsplash.html. Our first contribution will be images and descriptions of 200 of our 800 rare printed maps. Marvin Falk developed the proposal and selected the maps. Richard Veazey and Peggy Asbury are performing the digitization and cataloging.
Cataloging / Indexing / Organizing
Both UAF freshmen and professional anthropologists are able to find out about our oral history interviews because Robyn Russell and her student assistants in the Oral History Program listen to the recordings and describe them in the online catalog. This year they processed 429 recordings, up from an average of 260 over the last two years. Some were new acquisitions; others were drawn from the backlog of earlier accessions. The reward for these efforts is that circulation of cassette copies increased from 573 in 1997-98 to 654 in 1998-99 to 959 this year.
The staff of the Alaska/Polar Periodical Index not only keeps up with current periodicals but also does retrospective work when additional funding is available. The latest special project is Farthest North Collegian, published from 1923 to 1935 by the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines and through 1950 by the University of Alaska. This year a grant from the Interlibrary Cooperation program of the Alaska State Library made it possible to index the 1923-1935 segment, exceeding the promise to extend through 1930. Contributors in those years included both present and future Alaska luminaries such as Charles Bunnell, Otto Geist, and Margaret Thomas '24 (better known as Margaret Murie). The Collegian will be completed with a second ILC grant in the coming year. Ron Inouye, Robyn Russell (mornings), and Liam Wescott (afternoons) collaborate on current periodicals, and Liam works on special projects designed by Ron. The index was used 37,127 times via Rasmuson Library's public service network in 1999 and 2,618 times via the Internet (http://sled.alaska.edu) in this fiscal year.
A grant from the Center for History of Physics, funded by the Richard Lounsbery Foundation and the Friends of the Center, made it possible to complete the arrangement and description of the papers of the mathematician and geophysicist Sydney Chapman, after whom UAF's Chapman Building is named. Rose Speranza designed and carried out the project with student assistants, completing it on time and on budget even though some portions needed far more item-level work than anticipated. Greg Good, historian of earth science at West Virginia University, helped us evaluate the earlier work on this collection. The finding aid will be indexed with those contributed by other institutions on the Center's Web site this fall.
The Alaska Film Archives has depended on grants and gifts to improve access to its holdings:
- The "Alaska Films before Statehood" project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission is complete. This grant enabled Dirk Tordoff and student assistants to evaluate, organize, and describe the raw film footage produced by Fred and Sara Machetanz for their documentaries in the 1950s. An inventory of the collection is at http://www.uaf.edu/library/collections/apr/Machetanz1.htm. The reels have been entered individually in the online catalog (accessible via http://sled.alaska.edu).
- A grant from the Interlibrary Cooperation program of the Alaska State Library made it possible to catalog 200 archival films. VHS copies are available through interlibrary loan.
- The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded $70,000 for "Alaska Natives on Film," to begin in September. Continuing support for film preservation from the National Bank of Alaska helped us reach the required 50/50 match of federal funds.
Because of the growing reputation and increasing accessibility of our film collections and services, inquiries increased nearly 20 percent and circulation of VHS copies more than doubled.
The Japan Television Workshop, KUAC and KFXF in Fairbanks, the Craighead Environmental Institute, and several production companies obtained footage for public presentation.
We were proud to participate in the celebration of Rasmuson Day on May 5, honoring Elmer and Mary Louise Rasmuson and Ed and Cathy Rasmuson for their many contributions to Rasmuson Library and UAF. Gretchen Lake prepared an exhibit for the main floor of the library. Dirk Tordoff presented a film montage at the well-attended forum in Schaible Auditorium. We are grateful to UAF history professor Terrence Cole for making this day happen and to the Rasmuson family for enabling us to honor them in the university and community.
More than 700 people benefited from staff presentations about the collections this year: 9 UAF classes; 11 Elderhostel groups; 15 gatherings at the Senior Center, Pioneer Home, and Denali Center; 2 delegations from Native associations; 1 junior high class; and local organizations of nurses and photographers. The principal presenters were Gretchen Lake (with Rose Speranza and Sylvie Savage as Archives alternates), Dirk Tordoff, and Robyn Russell.
Ron Inouye's latest community outreach is a column titled "Things Alaskan," prepared for the Heartland section of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner and distributed statewide. Other contributors have included Cal White (on African-American pioneers), Robyn Russell (on gardening), and Dirk Tordoff (on polar aviation).
Tamara Lincoln and Dirk Tordoff made presentations about their respective collecting areas at the biennial Polar Libraries Colloquy in Winnipeg.
Seven of us attended the annual meeting of the Oral History Association in Anchorage. Bill Schneider was co-chair of the program committee. Karen Brewster demonstrated Project Jukebox as she participated in a panel discussion on multi-media uses of oral history. Dave Krupa moderated a session on issues of cultural representation. He also took part in a session on oral history in museum exhibits at the annual meeting of the Northwest Oral History Association.
Karen Brewster offered a workshop in Nome for 11 people from the Kotzebue region on how to document culture through oral history. The National Park Service was the sponsor. A weeklong workshop in Barrow on "Approaches to the Study of Eskimo History and Culture," described on page 5, had community as well as academic participants.
The Noel Wien Library in downtown Fairbanks sponsored an exhibit on Bill Berry to mark the restoration of his enchanting mural in the Berry Children's Room. UAF art professor Todd Sherman not only restored the mural but also curated the exhibit, which featured 13 posters, 2 large panels, and 36 drawings from our Berry Papers.
Our rare books and maps are the largest U.S. contribution to the impressive "Science under Sail" exhibit now at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. Curator Emeritus Marvin Falk served on the advisory committee and assisted exhibit curator Barbara Sweetland Smith with her selections from our holdings. He also presented a paper to the Cook Inlet Historical Society entitled "Captain Cook and Russian Cartography" as part of the warm-up series for the exhibit in March and will deliver "On Whose Authority? Compiling Maps on the North Pacific, 1700-1860" at a conference at the museum just before the exhibit closes. Peggy Asbury assisted with revisions in the selection of items for exhibit and worked with museum staff on preparing them for transport. For preservation and security, the Photo and Micrographic Labs reproduced everything that had not been previously photographed or microfilmed.
A second grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation has yielded a new negative and print for Alaska, 49th State by Fred and Sara Machetanz in addition to the three films preserved through last year's award for the Treasures of American Film Archives "orphan film" program. The foundation marked the completion of the original project with a showing and reception at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The Treasures will be available for purchase on DVD in October. Our contributions The Chechahcos, People of the Tundra, and A Trip to the Cleary Hill Mine are available now on VHS.
Marvin Washington interrupted his filming of current Alaska newspapers to make a preservation copy of a complete run of Alaska Citizen, published in Fairbanks from 1910 to 1917 (and then continued with a change of title). This new filming was necessary because the existing microfilm edition had missing, damaged, and unreadable issues, as reported by the Alaska Newspaper Project. The opportunity for new filming arose because June Pinnell-Stephens, collection services manager for the Fairbanks North Star Borough Libraries, discovered the papers at the Noel Wien Library during renovation.
Having completed their volume-by-volume preservation assessment of the rare book collection, Peggy Asbury and student assistant Heidi Kristenson were ready to resume the packaging of fragile items to prevent damage from movement on the shelves. The earlier practice was to make each container by hand. This year they experimented successfully with acid-free envelopes and folded enclosures ready-made for pamphlets and small books. While Heidi spends the coming year abroad, Peggy will experiment with outsourcing of custom boxes for larger volumes. Heidi's studies in Yakutsk will include a bibliographic research project supervised by Arctic bibliographer Tamara Lincoln and funded by the Provost's Office.
Richard Veazey, Cal White, and several student assistants in the Photo Lab made 4x5 master and copy negatives of 4,690 items, up from 3,809 the year before. This is in addition to negatives produced in the course of filling orders for prints. They also made 35mm slides of the 468 lantern slides in the Stephen Foster Collection.
University-Funded Faculty and Staff
|Peggy Asbury||Tamara Lincoln||Dirk Tordoff|
|Susan Grigg||Robyn Russell||Richard Veazey|
|Ron Inouye||Sylvie Savage||Marvin Washington|
|Colleen Jones||Bill Schneider||Cal White|
|Gretchen Lake||Rose Speranza|
Administrative assistant Colleen Jones left us to become Business/Office Manager for the Frontier Research System for Global Change in the new International Arctic Research Center. Film archivist Dirk Tordoff at last has a permanent half-time position to support acquisitions, public service, grant-writing, and outreach.
Project Faculty and Staff
|Karen Brewster||Robert Drozda||Dave Krupa|
|Bill Burke||Marvin Falk||Jeff Pederson|
|Jarrod Decker||Jim Ketz|
Bill Burke and Jarrod Decker moved up from "Student and Seasonal Staff" to the new research assistant positions on Project Jukebox shortly after graduating in May 1999.
Student and Seasonal Staff
|Danielle Arnold||Sara Harriger||Dona Rule|
|David Benson||Delores Huffman||Angela Schmidt|
|Jeff Bickmeier||Shanna Isbell||Michael Seyfert|
|Erika Brown||Leon Kotsch||Matthew Sill|
|Loren Champlin||Heidi Kristenson||Robin Smith|
|Jarrod Decker||Richard Miller||Veronnica Smith|
|Daniel Dickerson||Monique Musick||Joseph Thomas|
|Jennifer Eason||Carrie Nebert-Topp||Yumiko Uchiro|
|Rosemary Eaton||Kim Ognisty||Nora Vaughan|
|Samantha Elliott||Amy Prosser||Chris Wadeson|
|John Hagen||Lissa Robertson||Liam Wescott|