New exhibits level 2

Check out the new exhibits on level 2!

Don’t forget to check out the film playing on level 3! Courtesy of the Alaska Film Archives.

Re: The Lost Gold Mine of Felix Pedro

Sure, everybody knows that Italian immigrant Felix Pedro (Felice Pedroni) made the gold strike that lead to the founding of Fairbanks, but how many people know that he found–and lost–a gold mine much earlier? While prospecting on the Tanana River,  Felix found gold, marked the spot, and then left in order to get more supplies. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to locate his gold discovery again, in part due to the geographically inaccurate maps available at the time.

To hear this story and to see other cool Golden Days-related exhibits, drop by the UAF Archives, located on Level 2 of the Rasmuson Library.

Nozzling and Shoaling in the Seventymile River Region: the Abraham and Lula Meinzer Photograph Collection

Our indexer Dee has finished describing all the photos of the Abraham and Lula Meinzer Photograph Collection, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she says:

Abraham H. Meinzer (b. 1872) came to Alaska from Sandusky, Ohio, in the spring of 1898 to try his hand at mining.  We get to see nozzling, shoaling, and other hydraulic mining activities throughout in this collection of 46 photographs and real-photo postcards.  Also depicted are animals, cabins, dog teams, and people.

Men and dogs.  (Abraham and Lula Meinzer Photograph Collection, UAF-1995-260-43)

Men and dogs. (Abraham and Lula Meinzer Photograph Collection, UAF-1995-260-43)

I found it unfortunate that Abe is the only person identified in this collection.  We see him all dressed up in a short necktie and high-waisted pants, the fashion of that time.  But I want to know who the man with the bushy moustache is straddling the dall sheep!  And who’s that grinning woman donned in all black, standing outside a cabin in Eagle, Alaska — Lula, could this be you?  Abe lived in Eagle through at least 1914 and married Lula J. Meyers (1876-1968) sometime between 1910 and 1920, but we really don’t get to know them through these images.

What we do see is an important part of Alaska’s history of mining.  Hydraulic mining photos depicting nozzling, shoaling, sluicing, and more await you in this photograph collection.

Nozzling into elevator.  (Abraham and Lula Meinzer Photograph Collection, UAF-1995-260-2)

Nozzling into elevator. (Abraham and Lula Meinzer Photograph Collection, UAF-1995-260-2)

Russian Prince Sells Buildings to Alaska: Alaska Commercial Company Records, the Unalaska Station Legal Papers

Our indexer Dee has finished describing all the photos of the Alaska Commercial Company Records, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she says:

Here we have a collection of seven building sale deeds.  Prince Dimitrii P. Maksutove, representative of the Russian American Company and late governor of the Russian colonies in America, signs and seals building deeds to the individual members of Hutchinson, Kohl and Company.  Alexei Pestchouroff, the commissioner representing the Russian government, conditionally approves the buildings but not the underlying land.

Included in this collection is a list of the seven deeded buildings noting the former function of each structure, with each deed describing the construction material and the approximate dimensions of the buildings.

The company members listed in the deeds are H. M. Hutchinson [Hayward Malcom Hutchinson] of Sitka; William Kohl of Victoria; Leopold Boscowitz of San Francisco; Lewis Sloss [Louis Sloss] of San Francisco; L. Girstle [Lewis Gerstle] of San Francisco; A. Wasserman [August Wassermann] of San Francisco; and John T. Hanson [Johan Hansen] of Sitka.

Hutchinson, Kohl and Company, which became the Alaska Commercial Company, played a remarkable part in the history of Alaska.  For a time, it was known as the Northern Commercial Company; it has been a major retailer for rural Alaska.

List of seven buildings sold to Hutchinson, Kohl and Company by Prince Dmitrii P. Maksutov.  (Alaska Commercial Company Records, UAF-1971-8-1)

List of seven buildings sold to Hutchinson, Kohl and Company by Prince Dmitrii P. Maksutov. (Alaska Commercial Company Records, UAF-1971-8-1)

Tips on preserving family films & photos

Our Library Development Officer suggested this helpful & interesting article from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/05/booming/tips-on-preserving-family-films-and-photos.html?pagewanted=1&src=recg

Thanks Suzanne! This is a handy resource.

With love and kisses: the Basil Clemons papers

Our indexer Dee has finished describing all the photos of the Basil Clemons papers, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she says:

This is my house party. (Basil Clemons papers, UAF-1994-71-3)

This is my house party. (Basil Clemons papers, UAF-1994-71-3)

This collection consists of a mixture of photos and postcards, 130 in all.  Images primarily depict mining, streetscapes, and festive gatherings near Ruby, Long, Iditarod, and Flat, Alaska. There are also scenes of Fort Liscum, Valdez, and Anchorage, Alaska, and some photos taken in Seattle, Washington.

On 47 of the postcards and photos, Basil Clemons wrote personal notes to his family members, many of them written with warm affection and lovingly signed, “with love and kisses.”

I have to confess that I developed a deep fondness for Basil during the indexing of this collection.  Okay, a crush. I have a full-blown Basil crush.  How could I not after spending so much time reading through his loving notes, studying his photos, and then describing all these images photographed through his eyes?

He seemed to quickly immerse himself in the Alaska scene when he arrived in 1909.  He writes of mushing all through the night; he talks politics and the effects of elections on the construction of the Alaska Railroad; he mentions the parties he has attended.  He joined the U.S Army, training at Fort Liscum, and captured scenes of military men and parades, and writes of “Old Glory” and defending freedom against autocracy.

I love a good party, so my favorite images are of the social and civic gatherings he photographed, and they are profuse. He had a lifetime membership to the Arctic Brotherhood, and photographed festive gatherings related to this organization and other fraternal organizations.  There are group portraits taken at the harem-themed party, a necktie-and-apron party, a ship social, and even a “smoker” banquet with men shown sitting around a table, eating and smoking cigars.

I savored my time working on this collection, and fondly referred to my blocks of indexing times as my “Basil dates.” I was impressed with the passion and sense of adventure I imagined he had to have, wandering up to Alaska in his early twenties, traveling around and photographing Alaska natives, ice cutting, dogsled racing — all new and exciting people, events and things that he never saw before, growing up in Ridgeway, Texas.

If I were to write a postcard to Basil, I would express my gratitude and appreciation for the photos he’s left behind, and I myself would sign off with his signature closing, “with love and kisses!”

Ship social in Pioneers' Hall, Anchorage, Alaska.  (Basil Clemons papers, UAF-1994-71-81)

Ship social in Pioneers’ Hall, Anchorage, Alaska. (Basil Clemons papers, UAF-1994-71-81)

So many trees, so much beauty: the A.C. Kuehl Photographs.

Our indexer Dee has finished describing all the photos of the A.C. Kuehl Photographs, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she says:

During the indexing of this collection, I was on inanimate overload.  Trees, mountains, rivers, roads, more trees, bridges.  What do we have here?  More and more trees.  Oh, look, another.  Give me a living creature, I lamented.  There are very few human life forms depicted in this collection consisting of an album of 60 photographs taken along roadways in Alaska and the Yukon in 1943 and 1944.

This said, looking through these scenic views along the Alaska, Richardson, and Glenn Highways, and views of the Mentasta Lake region, I also felt a profound appreciation and pride for this great state.  This is home to me, and isn’t it a beautiful one? — the mind-blowing mountains, the meandering rivers.

Many photos lured me in, and I was struck by how little of Alaska I’ve actually seen.  This is a place I want to explore!  Camping near the Chickaloon River, bike touring the Glenn Highway: plans I now have to see what I haven’t of this vast state.

Once I got past all the spruce trees, I saw all the beauty this state possesses through these images Alfred C. Kuehl has captured.  What a lovely reminder.

Chickaloon River - Glenn Highway, Alaska.  (A.C. Kuehl Photographs, UAF-2009-1-50)

Chickaloon River – Glenn Highway, Alaska. (A.C. Kuehl Photographs, UAF-2009-1-50)

Alaska Film Archives YouTube Site Surpasses UAF YouTube Site

For a while now, UAF and AFA have been neck and neck as regards the number of subscribers to each site. Today the Alaska Film Archives moved pass UAF with 319 subscribers compared with 318 for UAF. UAF began their YouTube site on February 7,2007, more than two and a half years before AFA began on October 7, 2009. AFA has been well ahead of UAF in the number of views, with UAF having 427,836 views and AFA having 613,561 views. It can be safely said that the Alaska Film Archives YouTube site is the number one site at UAF, and perhaps even in the State of Alaska.

Big Cities and Remote Locales: The Averill and June Thayer Photographs

Our indexer Emily has finished describing all the photos of the Averill and June Thayer Photographs, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she says:

What do you get when your job requires you to fly all over Alaska?  You get a broad view of post-war Alaska.  From the sand dunes of Kobuk Valley National Park, to the immeasurable lakes of the Kenai Peninsula, to the top of Mount Troy in Southeast Alaska, this collection has a little something for everyone.

Averill Thayer worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service in the 1950s.  This allowed him to fly to many isolated locations and towns across Alaska.  In these obscure places he would photograph caribou, moose, beavers, lakes, and glaciers.  In places with human inhabitants, the subjects changed to the village dwellings and their denizens.  In the major Alaskan cities, big events were photographed, giving us a look at downtown Anchorage during Fur Rondy and at Juneau on the 4th of July.

Many of these photographs were taken during winter or during break-up, showing that, even though time marches on, some things still stay the same.  Alaskans will always stop and take note of the ice going out on a river; they will always celebrate our pioneering heritage; and they will always climb mountains and fly across the wilderness searching for that last bit of unsullied beauty where Dall sheep roam free and the sun shines bright on our majestic state.

Big hike to top of Mt. Troy. (Averill and June Thayer Photographs, UAF-2010-25-395)

Big hike to top of Mt. Troy. (Averill and June Thayer Photographs, UAF-2010-25-395)

Research Room will be closed at lunch June 3-6

The Research Room will be closed from 11:45 am to 1:15 pm on June 3, 4, 5 & 6. The research room staff will be assisting with the move of a major collection. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.