Category Archives: Alaska’s Digital Archives

Taylor Family Photographs

APRCA indexer Ulyana recently finished the Taylor Family Photographs and offers the following description.
The Taylor Family Photograph collection features life in interior Alaska from 1900-1920. It houses many pictures of Nenana, Iditarod, and Ruby, including the Iditarod Courthouse, Ruby Public School, and Fourth of July races and games in Ruby. William J. Taylor (1886-1985) immigrated to the United States as a child. He studied mining in Colorado, and joined the Klondike stampede in 1898. After working in the Yukon gold fields, he moved to the Iditarod region. He and his wife Margaret, whom he met in a mining camp, eventually settled in Nenana. William Taylor worked as a watchmaker and jeweler. He died shortly before his 99th birthday.

William J. Taylor, Nenana. Taylor Family Photographs, UAF-1987-184-149a, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

William J. Taylor, Nenana.
Taylor Family Photographs, UAF-1987-184-149a, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Northwestern. Juneau, Alaska. The front rail is missing because it was chopped off as it was weighing the vessel down. Taylor Family Photographs, UAF-1987-184-137, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Northwestern. Juneau, Alaska. The front rail is missing because it was chopped off as it was weighing the vessel down.
Taylor Family Photographs, UAF-1987-184-137, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Caribou Café. Note on verso reads, “The man with the apron on is Angus. The woman got married a week after I came here. She comes right from Dawson City too.” Taylor Family Photographs, UAF-1987-184-145a, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Caribou Café. Note on verso reads, “The man with the apron on is Angus. The woman got married a week after I came here. She comes right from Dawson City too.”
Taylor Family Photographs, UAF-1987-184-145a, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Charles D. Jones Papers

Ulyana recently completed indexing the Charles D. Jones Papers on Alaska’s Digital Archives. Nice work Ulyana! Read on to see what she has to say about the collection.

This collection that houses signed portraits of members of the first Alaska Territorial Legislature is one of a kind. Two sets of photographs that are pasted inside two albums feature Alaska Territorial Senate and House members, first and second Governors of Alaska Territory, and Senate and House in session. The two albums belonged to Rep. Charles Davenport Jones (terr. H.R. 1913-15; terr. Sen., 1947-51, 1953-57). Throughout his career, he worked as Seward Peninsula Railway employee, prospector, miner, Alaska Road Commission foreman, and U.S. Marshal in Nome area. 

The Territory of Alaska and the Alaska Territorial Legislature were created through passage of the Second Organic Act in 1912. In 1913, the new legislators traveled to Juneau via dogsleds and a steamship. Their first act was to give women the right to vote, seven years before the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified by the states.

Charles D. Jones, Nome. First Territorial Legislature, 1913. House. Charles D. Jones Papers, UAF-913-50, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Charles D. Jones, Nome. First Territorial Legislature, 1913. House.
Charles D. Jones Papers, UAF-913-50, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

 

First Alaska Territorial House of Representatives, 1913. Charles D. Jones Papers, UAF-913-27, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

First Alaska Territorial House of Representatives, 1913.
Charles D. Jones Papers, UAF-913-27, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

 

First Alaska Territorial Senate, 1913. Charles D. Jones Papers, UAF-913-26, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

First Alaska Territorial Senate, 1913.
Charles D. Jones Papers, UAF-913-26, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Happy Halloween from APRCA!

The devilish gal in this photo is identified as Madeline Solomon.  John D. Lyle Papers, UAF-2012-133-241, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The devilish gal in this photo is identified as Madeline Solomon.
John D. Lyle Papers, UAF-2012-133-241, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Happy Halloween from the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives!

Halloween pictures are scattered throughout our collections, proving you never can tell what gems you may find. This one is from the John D. Lyle Papers, a 3-box collection of materials about Kaltag, Alaska, a village on the Yukon River. This photo shows an adorable Madeline Solomon as a young girl dressed in a devil costume. Sorry Madeline, but you’re way cuter than you are scary. It doesn’t matter…we still love your costume! Happy Halloween everyone!

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William R. Cashen Papers

Ulyana, APRCA’s rockstar processing assistant, recently completed indexing the William R. Cashen Papers on Alaska’s Digital Archives. Ulyana walks us through Cashen’s life below.

William R. Cashen Papers belonged to University of Alaska Fairbanks alumni who edited the first college newspaper, Farthest-North Collegian, from 1934 to 1937. Born in 1914 in Douglas, Alaska to a family of eight children, Bill Cashen left for Fairbanks in 1933 because of an unused Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines scholarship that was passed down to him. He majored in Mathematics, and graduated in 1937 with General Science degree. While in school, he was a member of College Dramatic Club, and one of several students “qualified” as motion picture projectionists. Bill Cashen took his first airplane ride in Noel Wien’s airplane on July 4, 1934, and his first trip outside Alaska on the Alaska Steamship Aleutian in 1939. He became a faculty member in 1942, and was listed as an assistant professor of civil engineering and mathematics from 1943. The photographic part of the collection consists of slides that portray Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines (University of Alaska Fairbanks) from 1915 Cornerstone Ceremony to 1970s.

First six matriculates on cornerstone – September 18, 1922. Art Loftus, Roden Davis, Earl Foster, Donald Morgan, Dorothy (Roth) Loftus, Ethel Bailey. William R. Cashen Papers, UAF-2005-6-10, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

First six matriculates on cornerstone – September 18, 1922. Art Loftus, Roden Davis, Earl Foster, Donald Morgan, Dorothy (Roth) Loftus, Ethel Bailey.
William R. Cashen Papers, UAF-2005-6-10, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

 

Jeep in front of Main Dorm – 1944. William R. Cashen Papers, UAF-2005-6-41, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Jeep in front of Main Dorm – 1944.
William R. Cashen Papers, UAF-2005-6-41, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Geophysical Institute, 1969. William R. Cashen Papers, UAF-2005-6-88, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Geophysical Institute, 1969.
William R. Cashen Papers, UAF-2005-6-88, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers

Our indexer Ulyana processed photographs from Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers. Here is what she had to say about the collection:

Gaustad-Bartlett family photographs depict Fairbanks, Sitka, and Hoonah during 1910 – 1920. The collection includes rare images of the George C. Thomas Memorial Library and Fairbanks public school, as well as photos of Alaska tribal buildings, private houses, and community events.

Interior of the Fairbanks Library, 1915. Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers, 1972-156-125, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Interior of the Fairbanks Library, 1915.
Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers, 1972-156-125, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Vide Marie Gaustad Bartlett (1904-1976) attended school in Fairbanks during the school year, and joined her father, O. P. Gaustad, in the Livengood mining district, during summers. Vide completed her high school in Los Angeles, and subsequently earned a university degree and teaching certificate. She taught in Wrangell, Alaska, and in Washington State before marrying E. L. “Bob” Bartlett in August 1930.

Fairbanks soldiers off for the war, 1918. Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers, 1972-156-313, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks soldiers off for the war, 1918.
Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers, 1972-156-313, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

E. L. “Bob” Bartlett (1904-1968) was a prominent Alaska politician and a member of the Democratic Party. He attended the University of Washington and Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reporter and associate editor, Bob Bartlett also worked as secretary to Alaska’s delegate to Congress Anthony Dimond. He served as Alaska’s delegate to Congress seven times from 1945. E. L. “Bob” Bartlett became Alaska’s first U.S. Senator in 1959.

Fairbanks public school, 1919.  Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers, 1972-156-126, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Fairbanks public school, 1919.
Gaustad-Bartlett Family Papers, 1972-156-126, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

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W.H. (Bill) Carroll Photographs

Indexer extraordinaire Lisa just finished updating the W. H. (Bill) Carroll Photograph Collection on Alaska’s Digital Archives. W. H. (Bill) Carroll came to Alaska in 1936, and attended the University of Alaska in Fairbanks in 1938. His field of study was Mining Engineering, but his studies were interrupted by World War II. Most of these black-and-white photos were taken between 1938 and 1940, and most are mining photos or pictures of student life at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks. There are several photos of Bill Carroll, but my favorite of him is in a point field, manning a “point hammer.” He evidently worked at the thaw fields in the summertime.

Bill Carroll at his summer's pastime. W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-39, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Bill Carroll at his summer’s pastime.
W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-39, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

I always enjoy photos that have a story behind them, like this photo that captured the continuing search for some “store boughten teeth” in the middle of the gold field.

Man digging with pickaxe. W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-196, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Man digging with pickaxe.
W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-196, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Quite a number of the photos in this collection were focused on the Fairbanks Ice Carnival, and the beauty pageant that was associated with it. The photos depict the queen and her court on a specially carved ice throne, dressed in parkas. Below is Miss Alaska from either 1938 or 1939.

Miss Alaska. W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-151, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Miss Alaska.
W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-151, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

There were many interesting photos of student life at the University of Alaska, so it was hard to choose just one or two to highlight. There are several photos of R.O.T.C. members, such as this one where Army R.O.T.C. cadets were “on guard at the gym.”

Gym with the R.O.T.C. on guard. W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-71, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Gym with the R.O.T.C. on guard.
W. H. Bill Carroll Photograph Collection, 1988-168-71, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Some things about life on campus don’t seem to change much, but clothing styles certainly have. I am always amazed at how suits were commonly worn by men in that time period, even if they were just studying. One thing that doesn’t change is the enjoyment of hanging out with friends on campus, and there are hints of that in many of these photos. I hope you will take the time to look further into this collection, for it is well worth delving into!

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Alaskan Air Command Photograph Collection

Our indexer, Alex has finished describing the The Alaskan Air Command Photograph Collection which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives. Here’s what he has to say:

This is an album comprised of twenty-five photos documenting Operations Rainbow and Fish for Kids, the Air Command’s efforts to stock Lake Louise, Green Lake, Gregory Lake, and Six Mile Creek with rainbow trout during the summer of ’55. Mostly practical but occasionally striking, the photos are composed in black and white, with captions that provide fairly detailed descriptions of the steps involved in stocking Alaska’s waterways.

Carried in suspension by the water.

Carried in suspension by the water.

Carried in suspension for the water,” for example, depicts several hundred trout fry being introduced to Six Mile Creek via a long hose attached to a tank in the back of a truck. “Past tests have proven losses are negligible by this method,” says the caption, though, to my mind, the most interesting thing about this photo is its composition: While two men labor to operate the hose in the foreground, in the background, a film crew has set up on the banks of the creek. In this way, an entire scene is evoked.

Rainbow fry in the troughs

Rainbow fry in the troughs.

Similarly, “Rainbow fry in the troughs” is a dynamic image that offers insight into an earlier step in the fish-planting process. “This is the start of Project ‘Fish for Kids,’” reads the caption, and the picture itself is positively brimming with different energies and textures: sun and shadow; the still, sturdy grid formed by the troughs; the squiggling and the wriggling of the fish.

Personnel that made the plant.

Personnel that made the plant.

Finally, “Personnel that made the plant” gives us a look at the men involved in these projects, putting a human face on the whole operation. It’s the final photograph in the collection, which I think is fitting. Though the Alaskan Air Command Photograph Collection is probably of most interest to those involved in fisheries or in the history of fish-stocking in Alaska, it’s also full of unique and compelling images from a bygone era.

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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.

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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.

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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

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