Category Archives: Outreach

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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Lael Morgan Collection

Lael Morgan was a UAF professor of journalism who wrote for major U.S. and Alaska newspapers and magazines, and who wrote books about Alaska, including the popular Good Time Girls of the Alaska-Yukon Gold Rush. The photos that appear in Alaska’s Digital Archives were part of “Miles and Miles,” an exhibit about African-American builders of ALCAN (Alaska Highway). She curated the 1992 exhibit for the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

This portion of the collection preserves unique photographic images that give a glimpse into the one-third of the U.S. Army ALCAN construction troops as they build, repair, and march along the highway in 1942-1943. Several photographs from the Lael Morgan Collection are a part of the Rasmuson Library 75th Anniversary of the Alaska Highway exhibit, which is on display on Level 2 of the library.

Alaska Highway, road construction, soldiers, Afro-Americans, World War II

Walter Mason’s A Company 97th building a pioneer bridge. Lael Morgan Collection, UAF-2012-71-351, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Ernest and Helen Watson Album

After graduating from the Evansville College in Indiana, Ernest and Helen Watson went to Alaska as teachers. From 1925 to 1926, they were stationed in St. Paul on the Pribilof Islands. Their goal was to earn money and continue their education. Ernest eventually became a pediatrician, and Helen received an advanced degree in library science.

During their stay in St. Paul, the couple took photos of wildlife, people, and activities in the area, as well as their trips to or from St. Paul.

Helen Watson, teachers, St. Paul

Helen Watson on board the Vega in Bering Sea, July 1925. Ernest and Helen Watson Album, UAF-1993-186-1, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

St. Paul, villages

Village of St. Paul, 1925-1926. Ernest and Helen Watson Album, UAF-2002-158-219, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.


children, school children, St. Paul

Aleut children from the senior school on St. Paul Island, 1925. Ernest and Helen Watson Album, UAF-1993-186-2, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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Alaska, Canada and Yellowstone Park Tour Album

In 1924, Leonidas Westervelt (1875-1952) toured Alaska, Canada and Yellowstone Park. Leonidas, who graduated from Columbia University in 1903, was a renowned collector of theatrical books and manuscripts and a playwright. Sweet Seventeen, a play that lists him as an author together with Harriet Ford, Harvey O’Higgins, and John Clements, was performed at the Lyceum Theatre in New York the same year that he took his tour. He had been on the staff of the Museum of the American Indian, and was a vice-president of the New York Historical Society. Alaska’s Digital Archives selection of photographs from Alaska, Canada and Yellowstone Park Tour Album highlights features of the tour – modes of transportation, buildings, and street scenes.

Leonidas Westervelt, Alaska, Canada and Yellowstone Park Tour Album

Juneau, July 21st. Main Street. Alaska, Canada and Yellowstone Park Tour Album, UAF-1968-30-18, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

White Horse, transportation

Primitive conveyance, White Horse. Alaska, Canada and Yellowstone Park Tour Album, UAF-1968-30-34, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Silver ores, barges

Silver ore on barge. Alaska, Canada and Yellowstone Park Tour Album, UAF-1968-30-70, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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William C. Douglass Photographs

William C. Douglass Photographs feature slides of Kennecott Mines – Bonanza, Jumbo, Mother Lode, and Erie. This collection belonged to William C. Douglass, who worked as the Kennecott Mine foreman and superintendent from 1916 to 1929. The richest copper mine in the world that was named as a result of a spelling error operated near the Kennicott Glacier from 1909 to 1938. The Guggenheims and J.P. Morgan (the Alaska Syndicate) that purchased Kennecott, invested $22 million for construction of Copper River and Northwestern Railway alone. Regardless the expenditure, the copper empire did so well that when it went public in 1915, its stock rose from a few dollars to seventy-five dollars a share.

Kennecott Mine

Mill and loaded cars. William C. Douglass Photographs, UAF-2006-86-18, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Jumbo tramway, Jim Dennis

Jim Dennis, Jumbo tramway. William C. Douglass Photographs, UAF-2006-86-6, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Copper River and Northwestern Railway

Snow, Copper River and Northwestern Railway. William C. Douglass Photographs, UAF-2006-86-38, Archives, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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New Jukebox!

The Oral History Program at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks is pleased to announce completion of the Cold War in Alaska: Nike Missile Sites Project Jukebox, available on-line at

People who visit this site can listen to oral history recordings with veterans who worked at Nike Missile Sites in Anchorage and Fairbanks in the 1960s, as well as with experts on the effects of the Cold War on Alaska. You can hear about damage to the missile sites in Anchorage from the 1964 Earthquake, and what it was like working with nuclear warheads. There are stories about spies, airplanes being shot down, and the role Alaska played in the Cold War.

This project was supported by funding from the Alaska Historical Commission.

For more information about the project, please contact:

Leslie McCartney, Curator of Oral History, University of Alaska Fairbanks    (907) 474-7737

Karen Brewster, Research Associate, University of Alaska Fairbanks    (907) 474-6672

cold war jukebox_publicity announcement

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Pioneer Voices Presented by Leslie McCartney- Nov. 13th 7:00pm

Join Curator Leslie McCartney as she shares memorable audio clips from the Pioneers of Alaska Igloo No. 4 collection. The recordings, made by members of the Pioneers of Alaska, record the histories of hundreds of pioneers, from miners to homesteaders and captains of industry. The collection ranges from early gold camp days to the 1967 flood.

  • When: Thursday, Nov. 13 @ 7:00pm
  • Where: Research Room, Level 2, Rasmuson Library

For more information, contact Leslie McCartney, 907-474-7737 or

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Historical photograph display at Sadler’s!

Sadler's display with sign


Historical photograph reproductions from the Alaska & Polar Regions Collections & Archives. Reproductions made by Digital Photographic Services at the Rasmuson Library.

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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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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!

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