Goldstream bridge. (Woodrow Johansen Papers, UAF-2007-64-178)
When you move from a lush environment to a desert, your first impression is that it is bleak and lifeless — then, as you spend time there, the colors seem to emerge, and you spot life popping up everywhere as you never expected. I’ve been having a similar happy experience with the Woodrow Johansen Papers.
Woody Johansen was an engineer for the Alaska Road Commission, which from 1920 to 1956 built and maintained automobile-accessible roads, including the Richardson, Steese, and Elliott Highways. (An edited interview with Johansen is part of Project Jukebox’s history of the Dalton Highway.)
At first, I just saw a bunch of dull pictures of bridges, road-graders, and construction sites. It’s been a pleasure, though, to examine the Johansen photos in preparation for putting descriptive information about them on Alaska’s Digital Archives. I’m getting an amazing glimpse into the infrastructure of Interior Alaska — heavens, how much work went into making the state accessible! — and a fun look also at what my town of Fairbanks used to be like. For example, did you know about the Graehl pedestrian bridge across Noyes Slough? I’m told that it connected Slater St. and Front St., where today there are only dead ends. It tickles me to see the Minnie St. bridge, connecting to dirt roads where hardly anything was built.
Only 219 photos (out of about 1,100) have full descriptions up, but they’re all online, and I’m working slowly through them. Take a virtual drive through the history of our roads. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I have.
Today the Alaska Film Archives YouTube site surpassed the 1/2 million mark with 500,555 views from 170 countries! The top viewing countries outside of the United States and Canada are Germany, the United Kingdom, and Poland. Also we currently have 219 subscribers to our channel, including the National Library of Scotland, and, locally, Alaska Dispatch and the UAF School of Management.
The following clips are all from ORAL HISTORY 02-00-24 Opening ceremonies of the Alaska Highway at Soldier’s Summit, Yukon Territory near Kluane Lake on November 22, 1942.
This first clip sets the scene: 02-00-24 Soldiers Summit Opening Scene
This second is the official ribbon cutting: 02-00-24 Soldiers Summit Ceremony
And this last clip is an amusing song about the Alcan entitled “918 Miles”: 02-00-24 Soldiers Summit 918 Miles Song
Check out the new displays on level 2 in the Alaska collection and in the Archives research room. How do they tie in with this clip?
The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives has new materials on display in honor of Alaska Civil Rights and for Black History month. Check out the new exhibits in the display cases on level 2.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but the research room will be opening at 11 am, instead of 10 am. on January 14. There is a department meeting. Thank you for your patience!
The Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority (The Trust) are proud to announce the completion of the Alaska Mental Health Trust History Project Jukebox, available online at http://jukebox.uaf.edu/mentalhealth. This project includes interviews with twenty-nine individuals talking about the history of mental health services in Alaska ranging from the early days when people were sent to Morningside Hospital in Oregon, the legal battle and settlement over the management of the state’s mental health trust program, and changes in the delivery of mental health services through time. Themes discussed include: litigation and settlement; land selection and valuation; Morningside Hospital; psychiatry in Alaska; understanding mental illness; advocacy for Alaska’s mentally ill; Harborview Developmental Center in Valdez; Alaska Psychiatric Institute in Anchorage; and creation of The Trust.
The story about the civil rights of those with mental disabilities in Alaska, the development of a system of care to treat them, and establishment and responsibilities of the Alaska Mental Health Trust is a little-known aspect of Alaska history. It is also a land rights story of how the State took control of its land from the federal government and began to shape its own destiny, determining how the land would be managed and for what purposes. These stories, many of which have only been known by the individuals who took part in the early days of treating and caring for Alaska’s mentally ill, have never been considered popular enough to be presented in Alaska history classes alongside the signing of our state constitution. However, they are equally important foundations on which the state was built. Now, Project Jukebox has preserved these stories and made them accessible to the public.
This project is supported by funding from the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, and the Alaska Humanities Forum through the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
For more information about this project, please contact:
Karen Brewster at the Project Jukebox Office, email@example.com, (907) 474-6672
Vivian Hamilton, Chief Communications Officer, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, firstname.lastname@example.org, (907) 334-2531
Alaska & Polar Regions Research Room Hours
Monday, December 17 – Tuesday, December 18
10am – 4pm
Wednesday, December 19 – Friday, December 21
12pm – 4pm
Monday, December 24 – Tuesday, January 1
For more details, visit here:
For Rasmuson Library Hours, visit here:
Check out this month’s Winter Holidays exhibits on level 2 in the Alaska Collection and in the Archives Research Room.
Rasmuson Library will host a public presentation entitled Recognition, Honors and Gratitude for a Senator, 6:30pm Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012, with NORS graduate student Susannah Dowds in the second floor gallery.
Based on numerous plaques and awards received by Senator Stevens over the
years, Susannah has created an eye-catching exhibit that is fun, as well as
educational. The items displayed demonstrate the numerous groups and
organizations Stevens worked with and represented during his congressional
career, and the breadth of issues involved in a senator’s work. The exhibit
highlights the local connections between Stevens and his Alaskan
Light refreshments will be served.
For additional information please contact, Mary Anne Hamblen, at email@example.com
The Alaska Commercial Company Records received new material this past week. The new materials are not yet available to the public but we will let you know when they are!
For more information, check out these related news links:
To review the current finding aid for the material that has already been processed & is available to the public, go here: http://nwda.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv06507