• Due to renovations to our vault, access to our collections is limited until further notice. Please contact us for more information.

New in the Archives, November 2019

Research round-up:

Our researchers in November included UAA students, Anchorage community members, Alaskans, a variety of people from across the United States, and a professor visiting from Norway. Topics of research included the performing arts in Anchorage, maritime history, Arctic environmental science and politics, and images requested for use in websites, newsletters, commercial decor, and home decor.  We also provided about 8 hours of research appointments and about 20 hours of email and phone reference services outside our regular Wednesday-Friday open hours.

Quick reminder: if our Weds-Friday 10-4 hours don’t work for you, we may be able to offer appointments. But please contact us as far in advance as possible so we can have the best possible chance of coming up with appointment times that work for you and for us.

Collections described:

HMC-1345: Ruth Moulton and Town Square Park papers; 1965, 1980-2019.

HMC-1346: Aleyene “Dixie” Orsini Scholarship Fund records; 1984-2015.

UAA-0049: School of Business and Public Administration. Alaska Center for International Business administrative records; 1982-1998.

UAA-0153: School of Business and Public Administration. Alaska Center for International Business publications and reports; 1987-1997.

Alaska’s Digital Archives:

Nome Classroom, 1958-1960

31 images from the Fannie and John Woodiel photographs. Nome and Fairbanks in 1958-1959.

1 pdf copy of Sleetmute Recipes, a small cookbook written and illustrated by the students of the Sleetmute Day School in 1955, from the Rare Books collection. The book originally came in as part of the Christine Heller papers (an Alaskan botanist and nutritionist).


Gwen taught two classes for OLE (Opportunities for Lifelong Education). The first class was an introduction to archives and the second was on the care of family archives.

Arlene and Gwen presented some family home movies recently digitized under a grant from the Atwood Foundation at our “You haven’t seen Alaska until you’ve seen Alaska home movies” presentation for Tundra Vision at Loussac Library, November 7. Thanks to all who came out for the event!

Arlene co-taught an archival research workshop with Gina Rappaport of the Smithsonian’s National Anthropological Archives at the joint meeting of the American Anthropological Association and the Canadian Anthropology Society/Société Canadienne D’Anthropologie in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Social media:

We’ve kept up our Twitter and Facebook accounts with somewhat regular posting, Instagram less so. To help us continue promoting our holdings on social media, we’ve chosen some daily hashtags (#MiscellanyMonday for a variety of topics starting with the letter M, #TourismTuesday, #WildlifeWednesday, #RecipeThursday, and #FashionFriday) to keep us on track and to make choosing things to post a little simpler. So far it appears the #RecipeThursday is one of our biggest hits on Twitter and Facebook. People love recipes! In fact, posting a recipe for beaver tail and beans from a 4th grader named Angella Johnson, which was part of a small cookbook created by students from the Sleetmute Day School in 1955, resulted in several requests for scans of the cookbook. Since the Consortium Library has the only copy appearing in the Alaska Library Catalog and in WorldCat making it very rare indeed!, we decided to put up a digital copy of it on the Alaska’s Digital Archives (see link in that section of the report above.)


Gwen set up a DocuSign account for us to make it simpler for our researchers to complete use forms and return them to us, especially for those without a home printer or scanner.

Some of you may have seen some of the photos we posted after the November 2018 earthquake of the damage around the Archives.

Rare Books oversize materials immediately post-quake

This month we were able to take a giant step toward the last remaining bit of recovery in the Rare Books collection. That quake made it very clear that our shelving for our oversize rare books which we knew was not wonderful was, in fact, completely inadequate. Much of it came down and left the books on the floor. Thankfully only one item was seriously damaged and that was a lacquer disk which is now undergoing digitization funded by the insurance settlement. Thanks to a huge duplication order in August/September, we had sufficient funding to order replacement shelving for the oversize Rare materials. Thanks to Susan Olson of the Dean’s office for taking care of the order for us and to Shelby Lawson, Sam Rollins, and Steve Rollins for picking up and moving all the oversize Rare to temporary staging areas,

Very temporary holding area for oversize rare materials.

Very temporary holding area for oversize rare materials.

and to Sam and Steve Rollins for dismantling the shelves for us and carrying them off to be re-used in another library space where they will be adequate. The new shelving is scheduled to be installed at the end of December.

Only the wall frames for the old shelving are left and those will be removed by UAA Facilities prior to the installation of the new shelving.


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