About the Collection
The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives (APRCA) holds exceptional resources for the study of Alaska history, politics, and culture, as well as significant international Polar research materials. APRCA serves a local, national, and international research community with more than 150,000 monograph and serial volumes; over 11,000 rare books, rare maps, and manuscript maps; over 20,000 linear feet of archives and manuscripts; in excess of 1 million photographs; tens of thousands of historical films and videotapes, and over 11,000 hours of oral history recordings.
Most APRCA collections are accessed in the Paul H. McCarthy Research Room, located on Level 2 of the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library. These materials include University records, historical manuscripts, historical photographs, rare books and maps, oral histories, and archival films documenting life in Alaska from before the Russian period through the twenty-first century. The Alaska Native Language Archive (ANLA) joined the department in 2013. ANLA collections include both published and unpublished materials. Original records include linguistic field notes and audio and video recordings. Published materials include books, reprints, copies of materials held in other archives and copies of Alaska Native Language Center publications.
Special projects include the ANCSA project, and the Rasmuson Translation Series project.
Find Alaska and Polar Regions Materials:
- Library Catalog--for books, rare books & maps, oral histories, archival film, and most manuscript collections.
- Alaska & Polar Periodical Index--for periodical and newspaper articles.
- Alaska's Digital Archives--to view selected historical photographs, archival film, oral histories, rare maps, historical documents, and museum objects.
- StarArchives--for more detailed descriptions of manuscript and archival collections.
- Project Jukebox--for oral histories presented in a multimedia exhibit.
- Alaska Native Language Archive
- AHP CPSU and ANCSA 14(h)(1) Historical Places and Cemetery Sites Collection
- Access Digital Collections & Exhibits
- Visit the Research Room (view hours) for more ways to find historical Alaska material.
- Use our Collection Guides to help you with Alaska and archival research.
- Archives West--Archives West provides access to descriptions of primary sources in the western United States, including select finding aids from manuscript and archival collections from the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives.
Contact the research room for help: UAF-APR-reference-Service@alaska.edu
Stop by the Paul H. McCarthy Research Room (check hours first)
Gifts & Donations
The Alaska and Polar Regions collections are largely the result of thousands of donations over many years from people who share our commitment to Alaska and the circumpolar world.
If you have photographs or personal papers, films or videos, oral history recordings, publications, or other documents that you might be willing to donate, we are eager to hear about them.
Before sending materials, please talk to a curator. This enables us to ensure that the materials are suitable for our collections and that you are satisfied with our proposals for taking care of them.
If you would like to share your family letters, diaries, or photograph albums without giving them up, speak with us about loaning them about making copies so that one set will be available for public research and another set will remain in your family. This protects your materials from loss while enabling other people to learn about your family's place in history.
Cash gifts through the University of Alaska Foundation are also very welcome to preserve the materials you or others have given and to purchase additional items.