“Would-Be Heirs to a Fur Empire” talk tonight at 6 pm!

wouldbeheirs-2014

Katherine Arndt, Rasmuson Library Alaska and Polar Regions Bibliographer, will explore the research potential of one of the largest collections of business records in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives. Spanning the years 1868–1913, the Alaska Commercial Company Records document one company’s efforts to remain profitable in an economy that was shifting its focus from furs to fish and gold.

  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014 6 p.m.,
  • Research Room, Level Two Rasmuson Library
  • Free and open to the public

A Vertigo Inducing Collection – the H. C. Barley photographs

Our indexer Dee has finished describing the H.C. Barley photographs, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives. Here’s what she has to say:

Looking south from the tunnel.

Looking south from the tunnel.

Dear reader, what plans do you have after reading this blog post? I invite you stop what you’re doing (after reading this post), put on your shoes, preferably of the sneaker sort, and run, no, sprint over to the APR Research Room and look at this collection yourself. Do I have your attention? Good. Please take heed.

The online stuff just doesn’t cut it. You’ve got to hold these photos in your own white-gloved hands (not so fashionable, but compulsory), and see them with your own eyeballs to truly appreciate this collection. Stunning. Dimensional, almost three dimensional. The photos pop out at you. True story – while examining some of these photos, I experienced vertigo. The winding rails, the steep cliffs and the high mountains had me holding onto the table and swaying back and forth. The white gloves came in extra handy as I used them to wipe my damp brow.

Okay, not really. But they did make me dizzy and spellbound. Honestly, I have to say these photos made me gasp with glee. They’re breathtaking in an Oooh Ah sort of way.

Photo credit goes to H.C. Barley (also known as Harrie C. and Harry C.) who was hired as the company photographer for the White Pass and Yukon Route railroad in the spring of 1898. He worked for two years documenting the construction and early operation of the 110-mile narrow gauge railway which ran from Skagway, Alaska, to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory.

Barley was known for his daring, often risking his life to get the perfect photograph of the construction of the railway. Many of the photos show this. I wondered how he could have possibly positioned himself to capture the angle and the proximity of the subject manner? He compromised his safety and was injured at least once for the sake of the shot.

Dear reader, what are you waiting for? Go! These photos await you.

Trestle over Glacier Gorge at the tunnel.

Trestle over Glacier Gorge at the tunnel.

Film Archives table at the Wood Center!

Film Archivist, Angela Schmidt, doing outreach during Archives Month at the Wood Center. She’s there for 1 more hour today!

Alaska Historical Society/Museums Alaska Conference

Today is the beginning of the Alaska Historical Society/Museums Alaska Annual Meeting held in Seward, Alaska, this year.

Many of the faculty & staff of the Alaska & Polar Regions Collections & Archives are slated to attend & present, as they do almost every year.

To name a few, from Oral History & Project Jukebox, Leslie McCartney, Karen McCartney and Bill Schneider have presentations (or two in the case of Leslie McCartney!) From archives we have Charles  Hilton, Ulyana Korotkova and Rachel Seale all giving different presentations. Ulyana Korotkova was a recipient of a travel award from AHS for this year’s conference.

Plenty of UAF faculty & students also present, this is a fun and informative conference! I’m including the program schedule & conference abstracts, but if you’re attending, please drop in on one of our sessions! 

Conference Schedule

Alaska Historical Society’s Conference Abstracts

Museums Alaska Conference Abstracts

 

Search for the Franklin Expedition

1896 Arctic Map
The search for the Franklin Expedition

UAF-M0528

Rare Maps, M0528, Alaska & Polar Regions Collections & Archives, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

6 p.m.

Research Room
Level 2, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library

For information contact Cat Williams at
474-7224 or cat.williams@alaska.edu
Please join us for the unveiling of this rare
and historical map, new to our collection.

Talk on Tuesday!

“They are our property”:

How Alaskans viewed salmon as reflected in the Anthony J. Dimond Papers, 1937-1945

Presented by Ross Coen

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

6:00 p.m.

Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives

Level 2, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library

Sponsored by Elmer E. Rasmuson Library &  the UAF Northern Studies Program

2014.9.23 Coen talk on salmon fisheries_ssb

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