Category Archives: Film Archives

New! Alaska & Polar Regions Collections and Archives Digital Repository

Elmer E. Rasmuson Library is pleased to announce the launch of the Alaska & Polar Regions Collections and Archives (APRCA) Digital Repository accessible at

The APRCA Digital Repository was created to provide access to some of Rasmuson Library’s unique digital resources, including items from the Alaska Film Archives, the Archives unit, the Oral History unit, and the Rare Books & Maps unit.

Visitors to this site are invited to browse by subject, collection, topic and type of object. The repository is in its early phase and library units are continuing to add content.

Funding for this project was provided as a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

For inquiries about this project, contact Ilana Kingsley at

Alaska & Polar Regions Collections and Archives (APRCA) Digital Repository

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It’s Archival Film Friday! Snowy travel in Alaska, 1950s

Watch Snowy travel in Alaska, 1950s on our YouTube Channel

Snowy travel in Alaska, 1950s Alaska artist and filmmaker Fred Machetanz and his wife, author Sara Machetanz, travel in their car along narrow, snowy roads from their log home to nearby Palmer, Alaska, during winter in the late 1950s.

This scene was filmed to demonstrate a typical Alaskan wintertime experience, so that it could be shown to audiences in the Lower 48.

The Machetanz films were some of the earliest films collected by the University of Alaska Fairbanks for preservation purposes. This film has recently been scanned in high definition by the Alaska Film Archives at UAF, and the original 16mm film print is being preserved in a specialized climate-controlled film vault housed inside the Rasmuson Library at UAF (Color/Silent/16mm film).

This sequence contains excerpts from AAF-1091 from the Machetanz collection held by the Alaska Film Archives, a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives Department in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The Alaska Film Archives is supported by Rasmuson Rare Books Endowment.

For more information please contact the Alaska Film Archives.

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Showcasing Alaska Anniversaries

There are so many important anniversaries in Alaska this year that we had to reach into our collections to share some of what we have with you! So we’ve put together special displays on Level 2 in Rasmuson Library. They are packed with items from our historical collections – maps, photographs, ephemera, and much more! We are celebrating several important historical events:

  • UAF’s centennial
  • The 150 anniversary of Russia’s sale of Alaska to the United States
  • The 100th birthday of Denali National Park
  • The 75th anniversary of the Alaska Highway
  • The 75th anniversary of the Alaska-Siberia Route
  • The 50th anniversary of the Fairbanks flood

You can see (and borrow!) some of the university’s first library books. Inside the Paul H. McCarthy Research Room, two displays feature student handbooks from 1964 and 1984, and a selection of early University of Alaska catalogs.

First college books. This selection of UAF library books was reconstructed from an essay written by Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines Leslie Marchand, professor of English and French. The list of fifty-seven book appeared in Farthest-North Collegian in 1925. Courtesy of Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives, Ulyana Korotkova.

Filming Denali: Denali National Park’s 100th Birthday. Courtesy of Alaska Film Archives, Angela Schmidt.

View of exhibit. Thanks to Kathy Arndt, Angela Schmidt, Charles Hilton, and Ulyana Korotkova for making it happen! Happy Birthday UAF!

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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:
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Thank you!

Thank you to everyone who made it to last night’s showing! It was a blast!



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An OLD SCHOOL -style Film Showing!

Join us tonight for a screening of 16mm films
FREE and Open to the Public
Wednesday October 30, 7-9 pm
Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, Level 2
FILMS include:

Fairbanks Where We Live (1980)
Our Community Speaks (1974)
Alaska Is Our Campus (1971)
Alaska’s Lifeline (1970s)


For more info contact:

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Thank you!

Thanks to everyone who came out and attended Rose Speranza’s talk “Seek and Perhaps Ye Shall Find … Religious Records and Resources for the Study of Alaskan History.”



We hope to see you at our last Archives month event next Wednesday, a showing of historical Alaska Films.

Click here for more details: 30OCT2013

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Open House pics

Thanks to all who supported our Open House last week. Please join us for our next Archives Month event tomorrow: Pioneer Voices: Highlights of the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society Audio Collection presented by Leslie McCartney, oral history curator. The talk is part of the Tanana-Yukon Historical Society’s monthly meeting.


Please contact Leslie McCartney at or call 474-7737 for more information.

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Congratulations to Karen Brewster & Dirk Tordoff!

At their annual conference on September 25-28, 2013 in Haines, Alaska the Alaska Historical Society gave two awards to Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives, Rasmuson Library staff, Karen Brewster and recently retired Dirk Tordoff.

Karen Brewster received a Contributions to Alaska History Award for showing how oral history can be a significant research tool in writing Alaska history as demonstrated through her editing of Boots, Bikes, and Bombers:  Adventures of Alaska Conservationist Ginny Hill Wood.

Dirk Tordoff received the Evangeline Atwood Award, which is given to an individual for significant long-term contributions to Alaska state or local history. The award is named for one of the founders of the Alaska Historical Society who wrote, supported, and advocated for Alaska history from the 1940s into the 1990s.  Dirk retired last spring after 20 years as director of the Alaska Film Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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November Exhibits on level 2

Don’t forget to check out the exhibits on level 2 of the Rasmuson Library.

In the display case just outside of the reading room, you can hear Mary TallMountain reading No Word for Goodbye.

Here is a photograph of the Native American Heritage Display in the Archives research room. This exhibit features the limited-edition unbound copy of the Alaska volume of Edward S. Curtis’s book The North American Indian from Rare Books, a bequest of Mary Louise Rasmuson.

Research room hours are Monday-Friday, 10am to 5 pm.

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