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)
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.
In the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner today (click here) is an article on the University of Alaska Museum’s special exhibit on the 100th anniversary of the Hudson Stuck Expedition’s ascent of Mt. Denali in 1913. The Walter Harper diary mentioned in the article is part of the Alaska and Polar Regions Archives and we were very happy to collaborate with the Museum to make this exhibit happen. As part of a disaster recovery workshop earlier in the year, myself and some of my colleagues got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum where we saw the planning for this same exhibit. It looked intriguing then even in its notes-stuck-to-the-walls stage and I’m looking forward to seeing the final product. If you’re in the neighborhood, be sure to stop into the UA Museum and check it out.
Dirk Tordoff, founder of Alaska Film Archives and author of Mercy pilot : the Joe Crosson story, is giving 3 mini-lectures on the first flights in Alaska that took place 100 years ago. He will discuss the people involved with getting the planes to Alaska, their roles in aviation and what they did after that historic July in 1913.
Takes place at the UAF Aviation Technology Hangar, East Ramp, 3504 South University Avenue on Saturday May 18, 2013.
Mini-lectures about 15 minutes at 10 am, 11:40 am & 1:20 pm
For more information visit Fairbanks International Airport Operators Council Facebook’s page.
In spring, Alaskans’ thoughts lightly turn to …tourism? Yes, indeed. May is traditionally the kickoff of the summer tourist season here in Fairbanks which runs from mid-May to mid-September. Here is pioneer businessman Chuck West talking about how he got into the tourism business in 1947:
Let me see now. I go back just a bit. ’47, that same summer, everything happened all at once it seemed like. While I was still on, across on First Avenue, I had two ladies walk in to see me–schoolteachers. And they said they wanted to know if there’s any sightseeing tours. And I said, “Well not that I know of. What do you want to see?” And they said, “Well, whatever there is to see.” And I said, “Well, I’ve got a Plymouth Sedan out here, 1936 Plymouth; I’ll take you around, show you what there is to see.” I, by then had two girls [Celia Hunter and Ginny Wood] working for me. I said, “Girls, mind the office. I’m going to take these ladies for a little ride around the area.” I put ‘em in the back seat of the Plymouth, took them out to the University of Alaska and showed them the Museum out there. Charles Bunnell was still there. And went around Farmer’s Loop, and a guy named Paul Elbert had a farm there, I went up and got a bucket of water from Paul and a salt shaker and went down in his garden with his permission, pulled some radishes out of the ground. They were just beautiful, big, delicious radishes–washed ‘em off, salted ‘em, gave ‘em to the ladies to eat. And they were crisp, juicy radishes like the ladies had never seen anything like it. And I took them up on the hill, let them pick some blueberries, and back into town, showed ‘em the gold dredges around Ester and so forth…had a flat tire, got eaten up by mosquitoes. RON INOUYE: People loved that experience. CHUCK WEST:They loved it. Came back to the Nordale Hotel, stopped on the way to the hotel, and I said, “Well, how did you like it?” They said, “Wonderful, what do we owe you?” I said I don’t know; you’re my first sightseeing passengers. How about $20?” They handed me a $20 bill. I said, “Great.” So rushed back to the office and said, “Girls–we’re in the sightseeing business. Get a sign made- ”SIGHTSEEING – $10.”
To hear and/or read more about Chuck West,the company that eventually became Westours, and the role of aviation in developing tourism in Alaska, click here to go the Pioneer Aviators Jukebox. Depending on your browser, you may need to download additional plug-ins to play the audio.
The research room will be closed from 11 am to 1:30 pm for the Staff Appreciation Day lunch on May 15. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!
Check out this site by the Library of Congress. It offers many resources on preserving your family treasures.
Check out the National Archives’ tips on preserving your family papers!
April 21-27, 2013 is Preservation Week! Celebrate Preservation Week by checking out resources provided on this blog and on the library’s Facebook page.