Category Archives: Indexing

George S. Witt Photographs

The George S. Witt Photograph collection includes 157 images – mostly photographs with some real photo postcards. The photographs were taken by George S. Witt who went on walking tours of downtown Fairbanks in 1944. George Sawyer Witt (1913-1996) served in U.S. Army during World War II. He was stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1943-1944. Witt, who served as a technician, took photos of the city streets, buildings, and businesses, and wrote vivid (sometimes humorous) remarks on the blank side of his photos. The images depict Cushman Street, First and Second Avenues, Empress Theater, Northern Commercial Company, Lomen Company, Model Bakery, Berny Carr’s Department Store, Nordale Hotel, and the Alaska Railroad Depot.

Our main street – Second Avenue, looking from Lacey down toward Cushman. George S. Witt Photographs, UAF-1984-105-44, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Our main street – Second Avenue, looking from Lacey down toward Cushman.
George S. Witt Photographs, UAF-1984-105-44, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

GMC Army Truck. Fairbanks, September 1944. George S. Witt Photographs, UAF-1984-105-89, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

GMC Army Truck. Fairbanks, September 1944.
George S. Witt Photographs, UAF-1984-105-89, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

4th Street, Fairbanks. George S. Witt Photographs, UAF-1984-105-91, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

4th Street, Fairbanks. George S. Witt Photographs, UAF-1984-105-91, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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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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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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James Edwin Morrow Photographs

Old Russian Church at Kenai, Alaska

Old Russian Church at Kenai, Alaska

Our indexer Lisa has finished describing the James Edwin Morrow Photographs which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives. Here’s what she has to say:

If you have a penchant for landscape photography in Alaska, then you’ll want to take look at the James Edwin Morrow photograph collection. James Edwin Morrow (1918-2002) was a professor of zoology at the University of Alaska for seventeen years—from the 1960’s through the early 1970’s. He was author of some pieces on the fish and fisheries of Alaska, including “Illustrated Keys to the Fresh-water Fishes of Alaska.” His photograph collection, which holds 121 color slides and transparencies, has many landscape photos of a variety of locations around the state. James was the photographer of these various photos, depicting everything from aerial views of smoke from forest fires to men panning for gold in the Little Minook. Automobile enthusiasts might appreciate the old Ford pickup seen in UAF-1977-59-16 and UAF-1977-59-17. Aeronautical folks may appreciate UAF-1977-59-41, which shows a partial tail number creating a mystery as to which plane it may have been. From a road carved through a glacier on McKinley Highway to the old trading post in Rampart Village, you’ll find photos taken in Chicken, Kachemak Bay, Homer, Kenai, Seldovia, and more, all from the early to mid-1960’s. There’s also a group of pictures taken in 1971 on the North Slope. A few of my favorites images from this collection are highlighted here in this blog.  Enjoy!

Sunset at Iniakuk Lake

Sunset at Iniakuk Lake

Panning at Little Minook

Panning at Little Minook

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New Online: Tom Duerre Collection

The collection consists of 27 black and white photographs of persons, buildings, railroads, street scenes, boats, and ships taken in the Aleutian Islands and Interior Alaska during World War II.

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New Online: Tokeen, Alaska, Photograph Collection

The Tokeen, Alaska, Photograph Collection contains 34 images.  Most depict Tokeen, Alaska, with its marble quarry, workers, buildings, and operations, but the collection includes images of towns in Southeast Alaska, boats, wrecks, and landscapes.  Many of the images are mounted on cardboard; others are real-photo and commercial postcards.  Several unmounted prints carry the photographer’s initials: J.E.W.  The collection also includes one postcard, mailed from Aalesund, Norway, and written in Norwegian, to a Raunald (Rannald?) Ekrur (?) in Tokeen.  It is possible that the collection was created by that person.

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New Online: Herbert L. Heller Papers, McKinley National Park Album

Herbert Heller was an avid collector of historical material on Alaska, with emphasis on the gold-seeking pioneers of 1898. Among these pioneers was his uncle, (Robert) Lynn Smith, a gold miner, jeweler and U.S. Marshal in Alaska. Smith’s career is documented in diaries, correspondence, financial records, and photographs.

McKinley National Park Album is part of  the Herbert L. Heller papers.  The Album is s 41-page album, Mt. McKinley Park, 1929. Written inside: “Pictures taken in McKinley National Park from June 1-st to October 1-st 1929 by Herbert L. Heller.”

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New Online: Grace O’Keefe Photograph Collection

The O’Keefe collection contains photographs and slides taken primarily on Adak Island during World War II. Scenes include landscapes, persons, buildings, plants, animals and ships.

Grace O’Keefe made three trips to Alaska – as a Navy nurse, stationed on Adak Island, during World War II in 1945, as a tourist in 1958, and again in 1993. In a letter she describes her time here: “About the 1958 trip, I didn’t include many slides of Alaskan scenery…  Probably the ones from the Chena River trip and Kotzebue are the most interesting. The stop on the river was an actual summer fish camp when we were there in 1958 – and not so touristy of course. About the Aleutians in 1945 – it was one of ‘those good duties if you can get it’ deals. There were 26 women (12 Navy nurses, 12 Army nurses, and 2 Red Cross workers) and 30,000 men, so most of my pictures were about fun things. I’ve selected a few of those – otherwise selected pictures of scenery, buildings, etc. We stopped in Kodiak en route home by ship in January of 1946. I truly enjoyed my 1993 visit to Alaska. The changes about bowled me over, but they were fascinating…”

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New Online: Chatanika Power Company Photographs

The Chatanika Power Company Photographs consist of 45 color slides showing the company’s power plant site, the plant under construction, and the plant after completion.  The plant, located 31 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska, operated from 1959 to 1967.

The Chatanika Power Company, president Arnold Hanson, constructed a power plant 31 miles northeast of Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1959. Driven by water from the Davidson Ditch, it was at the time the only hydroelectric plant in Interior Alaska. It supplied power through Golden Valley Electric Association for two months in its initial year of operation, five months per year in the period 1960-1966, and three months in 1967. Following extensive damage to its penstock in the Fairbanks flood of August 1967, the plant was never put back into service.

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