Open House!

The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives are kicking off Archives month by hosting an Open House on Tuesday, October 8 from 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm. There will be tours of the archives stacks, vault tours, a Project Jukebox listening station and curators and archivists on hand to discuss their collections. Please join us, this event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Begin your tour in the Research Room located on level 2 of the Rasmuson Library.

Contact 907-474-2791 or for more information.

Open House flier

Research room closing early

The Research Room is closing early at 4:00 pm on Tuesday, October 8th, in preparation for the Open House at 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm.

We are sorry for the inconvenience but hope to see you at our Open House.


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.

New level 2 exhibits!!

Check out these new exhibits in display cases on level 2!

 This display curated by Nicholas Evans, Archives Student Assistant.

This display includes a clip from an interview by Patricia Williams who talks about being at UAF in the1920s and being on the girls basketball team. This display curated by Robyn Russell, Collection Manager, Oral History Program.


Original materials in the Research Room (open Monday-Friday, 10 AM – 5 PM).

Research Room displays curated by Nicholas Evans, Archives Student Assistant.

New online: Fannie Quigley Collection

Our indexer Emily has finished describing all the photos of the Fannie Quigley Collection, which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives.  Here’s what she says:

Fannie Quigley.  (Fannie Quigley Papers, UAF-1980-46-215)

Fannie Quigley. (Fannie Quigley Papers, UAF-1980-46-215)

Until I worked on this collection, I had never heard of Fannie Quigley.  Little did I know I was missing out on an amazing story.  She arrived in Alaska in 1906, during a time when women rarely set out on their own.  She survived for in Alaska for over 30 years, living off the land and braving harsh winters in the vast wilderness near Kantishna.  She and her husband, Joe Quigley, built a home for themselves, complete with many small cabins and a large garden.  Photographs of their lives were captured by her husband Joe Quigley.  They show happiness, camaraderie, and friendship.  Fannie Quigley was truly a woman ahead of her time.

This collection consists of 311 photographs, 81 nitrate negatives, and some printed materials.  Many of the photographs are scenes from the Quigley mining operations at Kantishna, while others depict scenes from Fairbanks, Mt. McKinley, Southeast Alaska, and Joplin, Missouri, plus individuals such as Lillian and Joe Crosson.

For further information, read Jane Haigh’s definitive biography, Searching for Fannie Quigley: A Wilderness Life in the Shadow of Mount McKinley.

Mr. Edmonds, Fannie Quigley.  (Fannie Quigley Collection, UAF-1980-46-242)

Mr. Edmonds, Fannie Quigley. (Fannie Quigley Collection, UAF-1980-46-242)

FYI Research room Saturday & Monday hours

The research room is open this Saturday, September 7, from 1-5 pm.

The research room will be closed to the public on Monday,  September 9th, so that we can prepare for a special exhibit for the International Map Collectors’ Society Symposium.

We are sorry for the inconvenience.



Traveling by Train, a Virtual Trip through the Last Frontier: Angier Family Papers

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

The Angier Family Papers consist of photographs given to Walter Angier from the Alaska Engineering Commission. During his time in Alaska, Angier was involved with the construction of a bridge for the Alaska Railroad over the Tanana River in Nenana, Alaska.

Tanana River Bridge, cementing abutment. (Angier Family Papers, UAF-1969-89-114)

Tanana River Bridge, cementing abutment. (Angier Family Papers, UAF-1969-89-114)

According to his obituary published by the American Society of Civil Engineers, “bridge work was his particular desire” and “he was engaged in the design and erection of several important bridges, his specialty being in connection with difficult foundation work and heavy masonry.”

We have a chance to travel (albeit virtually) all around the Territory of Alaska in the year 1922 by viewing the photographs in this collection.

In addition to the many photos of railroad and bridge construction, we also get to see the Alaska that Angier and his cronies saw while building the Railroad. There are images taken in Fairbanks, Nenana, Anchorage, Girdwood, Seward, Ketchikan, Juneau, Cordova, and Wrangell. Hanging around with the A.E.C. crew, we also get to see the Inside Passage, Resurrection Bay, and the Tanana and Nenana Rivers.

Sit back and enjoy the scenery. Chugga-chugga, chugga-chugga, CHOOO CHOOOO — and away we go!

Train ready to leave Nenana for S.  (Angier Family Papers, UAF-1969-89-50)

Train ready to leave Nenana for S. (Angier Family Papers, UAF-1969-89-50)

Busy day in the research room!

Ted Stevens Day 2013

The Ted Stevens Papers Project celebrated Ted Stevens Day 2013 with a traveling exhibit at the Fairbanks Republican Women’s Club BBQ at the Holm Town Nursery. The exhibit, Women for Stevens: Citizenship, Leadership and Grassroots Participation, highlights materials selected from the Ted Stevens Papers Collection, the papers of the League of Women Voters of Tanana Valley (1964 – 2004), the John and Edith Holm Papers (1958 – 1989), and the Fairbanks Republican Women’s Club Records (1960 – 1987), all housed in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives.

From the mid-1800s through the present, participation in local women’s clubs often serves as a springboard to develop knowledge and skills that can lead to political organization on national and international levels. The Women for Stevens exhibit revolves around themes of leadership, organizing, fundraising, education and community engagement, featuring items from the early 1972 Women for Stevens campaign, the Alaska Federation of Women’s Clubs 1926 Year Book, memorabilia from fundraisers such as the First Ladies on Parade fashion show and dinner, and scrapbooks from the Fairbanks Republican Women’s Club annual meeting with Senator Stevens as keynote speaker.


Re: Exit Glacier Jukebox now available!

Exit Glacier Header

The Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Kenai Fjords National Park are proud to announce the completion of the Exit Glacier/Kenai Fjords National Park Project Jukebox, available online at People who visit the website can access oral, visual and map resources that offer a rich understanding of the history of how people have used Exit Glacier and the Resurrection River Valley.

This project highlights conversations with twenty-three long-term residents of Seward, Alaska about their lives, and traditional activities in the area around Exit Glacier from 1950-1980. The people interviewed are a diverse group, ranging from skiers, hikers and mountaineers, to snowmachiners, hunters, dogmushers, National Park Service managers, and construction workers on the road to Exit Glacier that now provides easy access to the glacier and park nature center. Other topics discussed in the interviews include: life in Seward and how it has changed; the 1964 Earthquake; construction of the road to Exit Glacier; changes in the glacier and the local animal populations; a snowmachine tour operation on Harding Icefield; hunting; and effects of the establishment of Kenai Fjords National Park in 1980.

During the interviews, people used colored pens to mark the areas they used on USGS maps. These maps are visible on this website as interactive Google maps.

Project Jukebox has helped preserve stories from aspects of Seward’s recent history that may not be well-known and have made them accessible to the public. The information discussed in these interviews will be of interest to both local Seward residents wanting to know more about land use activities in their community, as well as to visitors interested in better understanding the community. This project was supported by funding from the National Park Service.

For more information about this project, please contact:
Karen Brewster at the Project Jukebox Office, University of Alaska Fairbanks., (907) 474-6672. Shannon Kovac, Cultural Resource Manager, Kenai Fjords National Park, Seward, Alaska., (907) 422-0541.