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John Asplund papers

Guide to the John Asplund papers

Collection number: HMC-0064.
Creator: Asplund, John.
Title: John Asplund papers.
Dates: 1955-1973.
Volume of collection: 3.5 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers of a former director of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and chairman of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough.

Biographical note:
John Asplund was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1913. He graduated from high school in 1932.  Asplund was the owner and operator of the J. M. Asplund Trucking Co. from 1933 to 1937 and the owner of the Arrow Tire Co., from 1938 to 1940, He moved to San Francisco in 1941, and to Anchorage, Alaska, in 1946.  There, he established the John M. Asplund Co., dealing in maintenance supplies and equipment. In 1953, he served as Chairman of the Greater Anchorage Wholesale Trade Commission. Active in community affairs, Asplund served as director of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce (1954-1957), and as a member and president of the Anchorage Independent School District Board (1960-1963). In 1964, John Asplund was elected chairman of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, and served in that capacity until his retirement in 1972. John Asplund died in Issaquah, Washington, in 1994.

Collection description:
The collection consists of the papers of Anchorage businessman and city official John Asplund and is divided into two series. Series one consists of John Asplund’s correspondence, articles, and speeches from his time as director of the Anchorage Chamber of commerce and as chairman of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough. Series two consists of papers concerning the projects and daily business of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, with emphasis on sewer construction, and include correspondence, minutes, reports, photographs, a color sound film on pollution prevention efforts in Anchorage, and four scrapbooks containing newspaper clippings documenting the history of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough from 1958 to 1972.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged into the following series:

Series 1: Professional papers; 1955-1973
Series 2: Greater Anchorage Area Borough files; 1961-1973

Alternative formats: A VHS access copy and Mini DV digital master of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough pollution prevention film are included in the collection.

Digitized copies: This collection has not been digitized. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives and Special Collections owns copyright to materials created by John Asplund. Materials not created by Asplund may be subject to copyright not held by Archives and Special Collections.

Preferred citation: John Asplund papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Separated materials: Selected publications were removed from the collection and added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection. These items can be found in the library catalog.

Related materials: Archives and Special Collections also holds the records of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce (HMC-0048), of which Asplund served as director from 1954 to 1957.

Acquisition note: The collections was donated to the Archives and a deed of gift signed by John Asplund in 1984. Additional materials were transferred from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and added to the collection in 2006.

Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2007. The guide to the collection was updated and publications removed by Gwen Sieja in 2017.

Container list:
Series 1: Professional papers; 1955-1973. 0.1 cubic feet.
Papers relating to Asplund’s professional activities in the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of Greater Anchorage Area Borough.

Box/Folder Description Date
1/1 Correspondence 1955-1973
1/2 Articles and addresses  1963-1964

Series 2: Greater Anchorage Area Borough files; 1961-1973. 3.4 cubic feet.
Files related to Asplund’s activities as chairman of the Greater Anchorage Area Borough, including minutes, reports, correspondence, photographs, and scrapbooks.

Box/Folder Description Date
1/3 Anchorage Borough Study: minutes of the Borough Formation Committee, Borough Study Group, Steering Committee of the Borough Study Group; and the Captain Cook Borough Steering Committee 1961-1962
1/4 Anchorage Borough Study: lists of committee members 1962
1/5 Anchorage Borough Study: reports from the Roads Committee, Boundary Committee, Borough Steering Committee, Borough Study Committee, Sub-Committee on Schools, Chamber of Commerce, Apportionment Committee, Revenue Committee, Health Committee, Schools Sub-Committee, Powers, Duties and Executive Structure Committee, Planning and Zoning Sub-Committee, and the Sub-Committee on Taxation. Also a newsletter on other Alaska boroughs, and an order and notice of election to determine whether the Anchorage Borough should be established 1962-1963
1/6 Greater Anchorage Area Borough correspondence: Correspondence to Borough Chairman, John Asplund, from various Borough officers, private individuals, and businessmen concerning various Borough projects, particularly the sewer construction project. Correspondence concerning John Asplund’s retirement as Borough Chairman, and correspondence between Borough Mayor, Jack Roderick, and various private businessmen 1963-1972
1/7 Greater Anchorage Area Borough memos: memos between various Borough officers concerning Borough functions and Borough projects, particularly the sewer construction project, and memos from the Borough Chairman to the Borough Assembly concerning Borough capital improvement estimates and Borough service areas undated, 1964-1966
1/8 Greater Anchorage Area Borough minutes: Greater Anchorage Area Borough Sewerage Study Advisory Board, and minutes of a meeting with local authorities concerning the sewer/water situation 1965
1/9 Greater Anchorage Area Borough resolutions and agreements: Resolution number 12 adopting rules of procedure for the Borough Assembly, Resolution number 20 approving a petition to the local affairs agency concerning exercise of sewer powers, and a proposed agreement between the City of Anchorage and the Greater Anchorage Area Borough concerning fire service in Spenard  1964, 1966
1/10 Greater Anchorage Area Borough reports. Includes estimated costs for sewer facilities along Campbell Creek, a Borough overview, a public notice concerning an army permit to build a sewer outfall into Knik Arm, and a rough draft of a report on estimated expenses for Borough programs undated, 1964, 1966
1/11 Greater Anchorage Area Borough photographs: Malfunctioning sewer manhole on beach adjacent to Fifth Avenue at Elderberry Park, Sep. 23, 1967 (7 prints). Headline of Anchorage Daily Times of Mar. 29, 1964 after earthquake (1 print). Newspaper photo with caption of John Asplund and Borough Mayor Jack Roderick prior to National Association of Counties convention, circa 1973 (1 print) 1964-1973
Film reel Greater Anchorage Area Borough Pollution Prevention film (16 mm). Borough produced film on efforts to prevent pollution in the Anchorage area. The film features four main borough officials: John Asplund, chairman; Bob Pavitt, planning director; Bob Morriss, public works director; and Cliff Judkins, environmental health director. Topics covered: water quality problems including Campbell Creek as a wild salmon stream, sewer systems at Lake Hood and Lake Hood, and the upcoming completion of the waste water treatment plant at Point Woronzof in two years; the borough’s environmental hotline; solid waste problems including junked cars; and air pollution problems including temperature inversions and dust, and the need for uniform standards in the three boroughs of the Cook Inlet Basin. The film shows various locations in and around Anchorage 1970
1/12 Greater Anchorage Area Borough Pollution Prevention film VHS reference copy and Mini DV digital master 1970
1/13 Anchorage Sewer Project – Reallocated Funding Request to the Environmental Protection Agency (contains 5 exhibits and 9 color photographs) 1971
Box 2 Scrapbook volume I. Contains clippings about Greater Anchorage Area Borough 1958-1966
Box 3 Scrapbook volume II. Contains clippings about Greater Anchorage Area Borough 1967-1969
Box 4  Scrapbook volume III. Contains clippings about Greater Anchorage Area Borough 1970-1971
Box 5 Scrapbook volume IV. Contains clippings about Greater Anchorage Area Borough 1971-1972


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