See our Library Services Updates page for information about changes to Rasmuson Library Services.

UAF students, staff, and faculty can now enter the library to pick out or to return their own materials, accessing the library by PolarExpress card.

Public library patrons can again place holds on our materials through the public library's catalog. Items can be picked up at the Noel Wien Library or the North Pole Branch.

University patrons who are reluctant to enter the library can still check materials out by appointment. Set an appointment to pick up items.

Visit the UA coronavirus information website to learn how the University of Alaska is responding to the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 situation and find links to communications, policy guidance and resources.


Ancient Clay Tablet On Display

A Bronze Age clay tablet dating from around 2040 B.C. is now on display at Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska FairbanksA Bronze Age clay tablet dating from around 2040 B.C. is now on display at Rasmuson Library. It is the oldest item in the library, and how it arrived is a mystery.

The 4-centimeter-square tablet is on extended display on the library’s main level (4) and can be viewed during regular hours.

Called an “Ur III tablet,” it records a transaction for the threshing of 2,000 bushels of barley at the Da-bad mill in the town of Umma, Sumer, in the Mesopotamian region, now southern Iraq. Da-bad translates as “side of the (great) wall.” The tablet was likely sold sometime between 1943 and 1967. The box in which it is stored offers no clues except the name of a rare book dealer in New York City who is no longer living. The tablet was donated to the library sometime before 1982.

You can find photographs and additional information on the Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative at

For more information, contact Katherine Arndt, Assistant Professor and Bibliographer and Curator of Rare Books, Rasmuson Library, at 907-474-6671, or

This page was last modified on February 22, 2016