Research Rooms Hours effective September 1, 2014

Research Rooms Hours effective September 1, 2014

Tuesday-Friday, 10 am – 4 pm

Saturdays by appointment only, pending staff availability

New Project Jukebox!

The Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council (PWSRCAC) are proud to announce the completion of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Project Jukebox, available online at http://jukebox.uaf.edu/exxonvaldez, People who visit the site can access oral, visual, and written resources that offer a rich understanding of the 1989 Exxon Valdez Oil Spill.

Exxon Valdez tanker leaking oil in Prince William Sound, April 13, 1989. Photo by Charles N. Ehler. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Collection, ARLIS.

Exxon Valdez tanker leaking oil in Prince William Sound, April 13, 1989. Photo by Charles N. Ehler. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Collection, ARLIS.

This project highlights conversations with 20 people talking about the oil spill, the impact the spill had on their lives and on the environment, the cleanup response, the long-term effects of the spill, and changes in the oil industry monitoring system.

On this 25th Anniversary of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, Project Jukebox has helped preserve stories from people that may not be well-known and have made them accessible to the public. The information discussed in these interviews will be of interest to local residents of Prince William Sound who were impacted by the spill, to Alaskans who want to know more about the event from the people who experienced it, and to people around the world hoping to prevent similar accidents in their coastal waters.

This project was supported by funding from the Alaska State Library, Institute of Museum and Library Services, the Alaska Resources Library and Information Services, and the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council.

For more information about this project, please contact: 
Leslie McCartney, Curator of Oral History, University of Alaska Fairbanks

lmccartney@alaska.edu  (907)474-7737

Alicia Zorzetto, Digital Collections Librarian, Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council

alicia.zorzetto@pwsrcac.org   (907)277-7222

 

Thanks be to Elmer: the Elmer E. Rasmuson Papers

Our indexer Dee has finished describing 36 items — including photographs, letters, and other physical artifacts — of the Elmer E. Rasmuson Papers, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

I’ve worked at the Rasmuson Library for 11 years now, and, for my first few years here, I passed by this portrait of Elmer E. Rasmuson hanging up at the south entrance of the library, mistakenly thinking it was our dean at the time.  To my new employee eyes, they looked remarkably the same!

Official photograph of Elmer Rasmuson used in advertising for his 1968 U.S. Senate campaign.  (Elmer E. Rasmuson Papers, UAF-2001-128-19)

Official photograph of Elmer Rasmuson used in advertising for his 1968 U.S. Senate campaign. (Elmer E. Rasmuson Papers, UAF-2001-128-19)

When I discovered that this was actually the eponym of the library, I have to say, I was unimpressed.  Because, to me, it looked like a thousand other portraits of philanthropists and politicians.  I felt a bit of gratitude and respect for the man, but not much past that.

But indexing this collection of photos was a pleasure — a true honor, to be honest.

This philanthropist and politician…  Well, he was very very engaged, very instrumental to Alaska’s development, and very philanthropic.  It’s no wonder he has a library named after him!

I strongly encourage you all to read the gems of information about him and his family that can be found here: http://library.uaf.edu/rasmusonbio/.  This collection was curated by our very own Lisa Morris who works in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collection & Archives at the Rasmuson Library.

I will now pass by Elmer’s portrait, and I will honor him.  I nod to you, Elmer, with much appreciation, with all due respect.

An Epic Expedition: Norman H. Read Mount Logan Papers

Our indexer Dee has finished describing 14 photos of the Norman H. Read Mount Logan Papers, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

This collection consists of a mere 14 photos depicting a team of mountaineers described as a “hodgepodge of Brits, Americans, Canadians, privileged alpinists, World War I veterans, and inveterate Sourdoughs” who were the very first to ascend Mt. Logan, Canada’s highest peak, and the largest base circumference of any non-volcanic mountain on earth.  Sure, it’s shorter than Denali, but “because of its remoteness (St. Elias Range of Northwestern Canada in the Yukon Territory) and fierce storms, Logan has seen fewer climbers in its entire human history than one year’s traffic on Denali.”*

Six men pulling two sleds loaded with gear.  (UAF-1992-174-1092, Norman H. Read Mount Logan papers.)

Six men pulling two sleds loaded with gear. (UAF-1992-174-1092, Norman H. Read Mount Logan papers.)

The team of six, led by the Canadian Alpine Club-appointed Albert MacCarthy, walked 70 miles up the Chitina River, dragging sleds of gear and supplies until they arrived at the glacial trough, the King Trench, on the west side of the mountain.  This final climb took the team more than two weeks to cross the tough terrain and reach the summit, arriving on June 23, 1925 at 8pm.

Along the way, they dealt with fiercely cold weather, storms, blizzards, and avalanches that resulted in frostbite, delays, and exhaustion.  They climbed in grueling conditions at altitudes of over 18,000 feet.

This climb has been described as the “most extraordinary epic of hardship and endurance in the annals of North American mountaineering.”** And we’ve got photos of this epic journey in our very own collection.  Maybe you should all stop by Rasmuson Library and see these photos for yourself!

Team of mountaineers geared up with backpacks and expedition poles.  (UAF-1992-174-1080, Norman H. Read Mount Logan papers.)

Team of mountaineers geared up with backpacks and expedition poles. (UAF-1992-174-1080, Norman H. Read Mount Logan papers.)

*Waterman, Jon. Great mountains of the world: Mt. Logan | adventure journal.  http://www.adventure-journal.com/2012/07/great-mountains-of-the-world-mt-logan-2/
**Highpoints of Canada: Mount Logan.  http://www.highpointsofcanada.com/mount-logan.html

Mostly Mining: Hanot Family Papers

Our indexer Dee has finished describing the photos of the Hanot Family Papers, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

With all due respect to the Hanot family, I thought it was my true misfortune to have been assigned the unfortunate task of indexing this collection.  After a quick perusal of the collection, I saw mostly pails, pulleys, sluices, and gold scales.  Four gold scales to be exact.  In short, lots and lots of photos of mining doodads, thingamajigs, and doohickeys. Fairbanks.  (UAF-2007-212-30, Hanot Family Papers)

Fairbanks. UAF-2007-212-30, Hanot Family Papers.

Turns out though, that I’m not so unfortunate after all, in that the collection took a turn to the mildly interesting with this photo of a man (with an outrageously large moustache) and woman canoeing a flooded street in Fairbanks.

Damaged Dominion Commercial Company building.  (UAF-1997-212-41, Hanot Family Papers)

Damaged Dominion Commercial Company building. (UAF-1997-212-41, Hanot Family Papers)

For a less recreational view of the flood that hit the Interior during this time period (possibly May 1911), look at the damage that occurred to local businesses such as the Dominion Commercial Company.  The impact it had on Fairbanks must have been devastating.

MVP (Most Valuable Photo) goes to the one of the skull graffiti commemorating George Buchanan, a Detroit coal merchant who began bringing boys and girls to Alaska on adventure trips in 1923, continuing these excursions for approximately 50 kids every summer for 15 years.  His goal was to help young people learn the art of earning and saving money.  To accompany Buchanan on these special excursions, a young person had to earn one third of the cost of the journey.  The parents could pay one third and Buchanan contributed one third.  If necessary he assisted the would-be adventurer to earn his share of the costs.  (https://www.wpyr.com/history/facts.html)

On to Alaska with Buchanan -1928.  (UAF-1997-212-50, Hanot Family Papers)

On to Alaska with Buchanan -1928. (UAF-1997-212-50, Hanot Family Papers)

So among the mining doodads, I uncovered a moustached man paddling a flooded street and a skull drawn on a mountain to celebrate a generous, adventurous man.  I sluiced out some gems among the dirt!

Historical photograph display at Sadler’s!

Sadler's display with sign

 

Historical photograph reproductions from the Alaska & Polar Regions Collections & Archives. Reproductions made by Digital Photographic Services at the Rasmuson Library.

New exhibits on level 2 and 3

This exhibit covers local Fairbanks businesses from the 1890s to the present and was curated b​y Nicholas Evans, and arranged by Nicholas Evans and Monika Frey, both student archives assistants. Each exhibit case follows a specific theme in its arrangement.
 
The first case is entirely about a long-standing popular Fairbanks clothing store, Sargent & Pinska’s, later called Martin A. Pinska’s. 
 
The second case is devoted to Fairbanks industry and trade, and features original material from the Northern Commercial Company, Fairbanks Banking Company, Fairbanks Gold Dredging Company, and more. 
 
The third case highlights Fairbanks’ long beer brewing history, from the early 1900s all the way to 2014, with material from both early breweries and the two currently operating in the area.
 
The fourth exhibit case showcases miscellaneous Fairbanks businesses at early points in their history like the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Pioneer Park and local institutions like radio stations and the university, as well as businesses that are no longer operating, like the Daily Times and the Blue Crystal Water Company.
In addition, the Alaska Film Archives is running 1970s commercials and outtakes for Fairbanks-area businesses on the Rasmuson Library Level 3 display near the Media Classroom. Clips are from the KTVF Collection, and include scenes from Nerland’s Home Furnishings, Russell’s Union 76 Station, Seekins Ford, Knitting Center, and the Pantry Market. Local persons featured include Larry Holmstrom, Darrell Russell, Ralph Seekins, and Bob “Granny” Hamme. The library display features silent footage only. To check out highlights with audio, please go to the Alaska Film Archives You Tube channel: http://bit.ly/1oSzlmT

A Nurse and a Tourist: the Grace O’Keefe Photograph Collection

Our indexer Dee has finished describing the photos of the Grace O’Keefe Photograph Collection, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she has to say:

I am woman, hear me roar.

Twelve Navy nurses.  (UAF-1994-23-3, Grace O'Keefe Photograph Collection)

Twelve Navy nurses. (UAF-1994-23-3, Grace O’Keefe Photograph Collection)

Girl power, all the way.  I suppose this is a big reason I enjoyed indexing this collection, as I got a chance to hang out with Grace O’Keefe as a Navy nurse during her stint here in 1945, and again, in 1958, when she returned as a tourist.

As a nurse stationed in Adak during World War II, Grace took many pictures of the naval base and the land around it.  My favorite shows waves splashing up onto the rocky shore, mountains peeking out across the water.

Adak shore.  (UAF-1994-23-41, Grace O'Keefe Photograph Collection)

Adak shore. (UAF-1994-23-41, Grace O’Keefe Photograph Collection)

Grace also shares photos of the wildflowers and wildlife she saw while stationed here.  Many other pictures taken during this time period are of social scenes, parties, and Adak outings where she’s seen smiling broadly in group shots with some of her Navy cronies.  She appeared to enjoy herself while here, exploring the city and engaging in social gatherings.

View of Adak harbor.  (UAF-1994-23-42, Grace O'Keefe Photograph Collection)

View of Adak harbor. (UAF-1994-23-42, Grace O’Keefe Photograph Collection)

Her first trip to Alaska as a nurse was an assignment she had to fulfill, a job duty. Even so, she did not just work, she played; she appeared to appreciate her surroundings and partake of them.  Years later, she chose to return and, this time, saw a lot more of the state from Kotzebue and Nome, to Fairbanks and Nenana, down to Juneau and the Inside Passage.

I am woman, hear me roar.  Grace roared; she took the time out of her life to see things, activities, land, and people different than her own.  The unusual, the uncommon: dog sledding, panning for gold, attending a festival that included the Eskimo blanket toss.  She witnessed subsistence first-hand with Alaska Natives whaling and drying fish at a fish camp.  She saw all these things and she roared with great life and appreciation for them.

Old Yukon River boat graveyard.  (UAF-1994-23-85, Grace O'Keefe Photograph Collection)

Old Yukon River boat graveyard. (UAF-1994-23-85, Grace O’Keefe Photograph Collection)

Research Room closed Wednesday May 14

In order to allow staff the opportunity to participate in Staff Appreciation Day on Wednesday, May 14, the research room will be closed to the public.

We are sorry for the inconvenience.

Here are some pictures from last week’s Northern Studies/APRCA seminar on April 8th, Oral History in the Making–A Family Affair.  It was a presentation by Hild Peters, Helen Peters and Guy Peters as to the process of capturing the life story of the Reverend Helen Peters through oral history.

Keep your eyes open for next semester’s seminars!