Tuesday-Friday, 10 am – 4 pm
Saturdays by appointment only, pending staff availability
Tuesday-Friday, 10 am – 4 pm
Saturdays by appointment only, pending staff availability
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.
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
Alicia Zorzetto, Digital Collections Librarian, Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council
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!
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.
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.”*
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!
*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
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.
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.
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)
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 reproductions from the Alaska & Polar Regions Collections & Archives. Reproductions made by Digital Photographic Services at the Rasmuson Library.
I am woman, hear me roar.
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.
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.
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.
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!