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Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
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About Us: Background & History

About Elmer E. Rasmuson Library

About Elmer E. Rasmuson Library

The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library is the premier research library in the state of Alaska, with one of the world's finest collections of Alaska and Polar Regions materials. Collections include books, periodicals, photographs, manuscripts, films, oral histories, rare books and maps, and a wide variety of electronic resources. Located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, it is named in honor of Elmer E. Rasmuson, who served on the University of Alaska Board of Regents from 1950 to 1969 and was the board chair from 1956 to 1968, and was a major donor to the library facility and collections.

The Elmer E. Rasmuson Papers

Library Timeline

  • 1922 (Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines): Library on the second floor of the Main Building. President Bunnell’s secretary LarVern Borell was in charge or organizing the books.
  • 1935 (University of Alaska): New fireproof library to mark “coming of age of the University of Alaska”.
    • The new library was on the second story of what is now Signer’s Hall above the gymnasium/rifle range.
    • Boasted of 12,000 volumes, adjustable steel shelves, and a reading room with twenty-four electric lights.
    • The core of the library consisted of 2,250 books donated by the Brooks family and 1,500 volumes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • 1959/1960: The library, now consisting of 50,000 volumes, moves to Bunnell Memorial Building. The library quickly became inadequate for the number of volumes in held. By the end of the 1960s the library had about six times the number of books it was designed to hold.
  • 1970: The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library is completed.
    • Roughly seven times the size of the Bunnell Building.
    • It was named after Elmer E. Rasmuson who retired from the Board of Regents in 1969.

General Contact Information


Phone: 907-474-7481​

Text: 907-341-4404

Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
1732 Tanana Loop
PO Box 756800
Fairbanks, Alaska

Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
1732 Tanana Loop
PO Box 756800
Fairbanks, Alaska 99775-6800
Phone: 907-474-7481​​
Text: 907-341-4404​

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