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New in the Archives, March-April 2022

Thanks, first, to Access Services!

We’ve been very grateful to have time loaned to us by the Library’s Access Services department. Many days over the past several months, we have had a few hours of their staff time and they’ve been working away at a very complex, disorganized, and not particularly small collection that has been arriving. They’ve been rehousing the photographs, gathering and transcribing descriptive material, and basically making it so this collection in many mailing boxes and in no particular order will soon be very accessible to researchers. Thanks to the Head of Access Services, Lorelei Sterling, for fitting this into her staffing schedule and to Angelica Del Angel, Ashlee Voorhis, Darla Miller, Rey Hidalgo, and Zach Harder for all their incredibly hard work, positive spirits, engagement with the work, and being a joy to have with us in the Archives space.We appreciate you all! (And yes, some day we’ll have projects other than this one for you to work on! We promise!)

Here’s a couple of pictures of the work in progress so you can have a sense of all the work that’s going into this project.

A lot of hard work has gone into this project so far.

Grant projects and the Alaska’s Digital Archives

As part of our continuing work on the Atwood Foundation funded ANCSA materials grant that has been allowing us to create preservation digital copies of obsolete magnetic media and place those online:

“After the Land-Use Commission, What?” recordings of a symposium held at what was then the Anchorage Higher Education Consortium Library (i.e. here!) in 1974. Arlene has placed the program for the symposium and 12 recordings of symposium panel sessions (over 10 hours of video footage) online in the Alaska’s Digital Archives.

Additional recordings from the Don Mitchell oral histories collection that have been placed on the Alaska’s Digital Archives include Ken Jensen, John Katz, and Dave Hickok.

In other additions to the Alaska’s Digital Archives:

Transcriptions for 29 of the Ruben Gaines recordings have been added to the descriptions on the Alaska’s Digital Archives. Thanks to our volunteer, Alice Cone, for continuing to work her way through these recordings!

Caption on photo: This was the new Four Seasons Apartment on 9th and L. 45 people left it at 5:00 pm and the quake hit at 5:36 pm. No one was killed.

12 images from the Anne and John earthquake papers have been added to the Alaska’s Digital Archives. Anne and John were residents of the Turnagain By The Sea neighborhood, much of which was destroyed as the bluff along Cook Inlet collapsed in the earthquake. 

The 1920 cookbook from the Anchorage Woman’s Club was digitized and has been added to the Alaska’s Digital Archives. To view the whole cookbook, once you’re on the Alaska’s Digital Archives site, click the download button to the upper right of the image of the cover. It might take a moment to download since it’s a large file.

In other online additions:

A statewide topic guide to archival collections related to the environment and climate change was added to SLED. This guide is part of a follow-up to a previous Interlibrary Cooperation Grant that allowed us to create guides featuring collections around the state of Alaska relevant to selected frequently researched topics.

Newly described collections

HMC-0010: Anchorage Festival of Music records; 1955-2007. Records of an organization established to promote music in Alaska. 1.5 cubic foot addition, rehoused entire collection into more space-efficient boxes.

HMC-1136: Randy Brandon photographs; 1976-2004. Photographs taken by a professional photographer living in Girdwood, Alaska. 2 cubic foot addition.

HMC-1391: Charles Lee Nelson memoir; 1930-1955. Memoir of an Alaska Railroad worker. 

Anne and John earthquake papers; 1964. 0.01 cubic feet. hmc-1305-ahs. Letters and photographs about the 1964 earthquake from Anchorage residents.

Other work:

In March and April we had about 89 hours of appointment time for researchers working onsite with archival collections. We also put in many, many hours working with researchers via other methods like email, phone, or virtual appointments. Email requests are our most frequent method of researcher contacts and in calculating our use hours, is probably the category of use that accounts for the most time we spend working directly with researchers.

Both Gwen and Arlene been working on preparing additional statewide subject guides (like the one linked above about environmental and climate change guides) and continuing work on ongoing collection description projects. We’ve also spent quite a bit of time with collection donors and will have some wonderful materials to make available to researchers soon. Thank you to all of our collection donors who have made a point of preserving such wonderful, unique, irreplaceable materials and allowing us to provide a research home for them.

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