Guide to the Julia Willma Weber papers
Collection number: HMC-0344.
Creator: Weber, Julia Willma.
Title: Julia Willma Weber papers.
Dates: circa 1890-1910.
Volume of collection: 0.25 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Klondike era photograph album and diary.
Julia Willma Weber, daughter of William John Bunger and Myrtle Ryan Bunger, was born in Nome in 1904. Her mother, Myrtle Ryan, was born in Sangamon County, Illinois, and grew up on a Nebraska farm. During the Klondike Gold Rush, in 1900, she traveled to Alaska by herself, supporting herself as a seamstress, and trekked from Skagway to Dawson on foot. In June 1903, she married William John Bunger, a mail carrier, in Nome. They had two children, Julia and Lawrence. The family remained in Alaska for over a decade, then moved to California.
The collection consists of a photograph album and a transcript copy of Myrtle Ryan’s diary. The album contains 109 photographs and several postcards, primarily from the period 1890-1900. The photographs depict Alaskan villages, Native totems, graveyards, and chiefs, boats, houses, street scenes, and various people. The towns and villages include Afognak, Calder Bay, Cat Island, Chickamin River, Dyea, Homer, Howkan, Karta Bay, Kasaan, Ketchikan, Klawock, Kodiak, Mary Island, Shakan, Stikine River, Tuxekan, Valdez, and Wrangell. The collection also contains copy negatives of the photographs in the album. The diary covers the time period January 1, 1900 to June 1, 1901, and includes Myrtle Ryan’s travel to Alaska, her Klondike trip, and her daily life in Nome.
Arrangement: The collection contents are grouped by type.
Digitized copies: The photo album and diary transcript have been digitized. Selected photographs and the transcript can be found online at Alaska Digital Archives by searching for “Julia Willma Weber.”
Rights note: The Archives holds rights to the diary transcripts. The photographs may be in the public domain.
Preferred citation: Julia Willma Weber papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Works used in preparation of inventory: Biographical information on Myrtle Ryan Bunger was provided by the donor.
Custodial history: The photograph album was given to Julia Weber by Dorothy Boche after Boche inherited the album from her family.
Acquisition note: The photograph album was donated to the Consortium Library in 1987, and transferred to the Archives. The transcript copy of Myrtle Ryan’s diary was presented to the Archives by Julia Willma Weber in 1988.
Processing information: This collection was described in 1995. The collection was converted to current standard by Veronica Denison in 2014.