Our indexer Lisa has finished describing the George A. Morlander Photographs collection which we have put online in Alaska’s Digital Archives. Here’s what she has to say:
George Morlander moved to Alaska from Minnesota in 1925 to teach for the Alaska Native Service (ANS). The ANS teaching positions in various schools took George and his wife, Lona, to Kivalina, then along the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers, and then on to southeastern Alaska. George later became the superintendent of the ANS boarding school in Eklutna, Alaska. Though the boarding school moved locations twice after World War II, George chose not to move with the school. He had suffered a leg injury while traveling by dog sled, and this factored into his decision to finish his career as an administrative assistant in Bethel. Moving to Ferndale, Washington upon his retirement in 1952, George lived until 1986 when he passed away at the age of 92.
The 826 color slides that make up the George A. Morlander collection show an amazing cross-section of Alaskan geography and culture. Mostly taken between 1948 and 1950, these photos cover locations all over the state of Alaska. The varied subjects of these photos range from school children at recess, to fishing and subsistence living, to dog sledding and other travel, to landscapes, and more. Many photos capture Native Alaskans in traditional dress, as in photos UAF-1997-108-844, UAF-1997-108-878, and UAF-1997-108-765. Some evoke a feeling of wonder at the vastness of this state, and some a healthy respect for the harshness of the climate in this land. In working through this collection, I felt I became a little better acquainted with this state and its people. It was very difficult to pick out just a few photos to highlight, as there are so many great ones in this collection!