Christine A. Heller Collection Description

Guide to the Christine A. Heller papers
1895-1982

Collection number: HMC-0367.
Creator: Heller, Christine A.
Title: Christine A. Heller papers.
Dates: 1895-1982.
Volume of collection: 15.4 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Papers of an Alaskan botanist and nutritionist.

Biographical note:

Christine Anderson Heller was born on March 27, 1907, in Utica, New York, and grew up in the House of the Good Shepherd, an Episcopalian children’s home in Utica. She obtained a bachelor of science degree (1933), a master’s degree (1937), and a doctorate in nutrition (with a minor in botany, 1952) from Cornell University. She was a nutritionist in New Mexico and also worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Sacramento, California, and the California Health Department before moving to Juneau in 1945. She worked as a nutritionist in Alaska in various positions until her retirement in 1965. She also occasionally taught university courses in nutrition. Christine Heller maintained her interest in botany in Alaska. She wrote two works on botany in Alaska, Edible and Poisonous Plants of Alaska and Wild Flowers of Alaska (with Margaret E. Heller).

Collection description:

The collection consists primarily of materials relating to Christine Heller’s professional work as a nutritionist and to her work in botany. It includes the data, notes, and drafts related to The Alaska Dietary Survey, 1956-1961 and the journal and photographs from the 1948 summer trip of the Coast Guard cutter Northwind to various villages in Alaska. There are also subject files on nutrition and food, and a large collection of recipes.

Arrangement: The collection is grouped into series: personal papers; academic course work and teaching; professional correspondence, publications and speeches; Alaska Dietary Survey records; nutrition and food-related materials; art and photographic materials; and other reference materials.

Alternative formats: Some photographic prints in the collection have had copy negatives made of them.

Digitized copies: Four images from the collection are available on the Alaska’s Digital Archives (search Christine Heller). For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Access restrictions: The collection contains original data sheets from the Alaska Dietary Survey and annotated copies of sections of the 1958 Bureau of Indian Affairs census. These are closed to research at this time. Please contact the Archives for more information regarding access to the Dietary Survey data sheets. Redacted copies of the 1958 census are available through the National Archives and through the Sealaska Heritage Institute.

Rights note: The Archives does not hold copyright to the materials in this collection.

Preferred citation: Christine A. Heller papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Separated materials: In 2010, due to preservation concerns, Christine Heller’s collected botanical specimens were removed from the collection and transferred to the University of Alaska’s Museum of the North herbarium. Published items, including dietetic and botanical publications and cookbooks were transferred to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection in 2012.

Related materials:  Archives and Special Collections also holds the papers of Margaret Heller, Christine’s sister. HMC-0398. A collection of Christine Heller’s photographs is located at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center. As noted above, her botanical specimens are held by the University of Alaska Museum of the North.

Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the Archives by the estate of Margaret Heller in 1991.

Processing information: This collection was arranged and described by Michelle Wellck in the late 1990s. The guide was reformatted to current standards by Arlene Schmuland in 2012.

Series List:
Series 1: Personal records; 1938-1982.
Series 2: Academic coursework and teaching records; 1928-1956.
Series 3: Professional correspondence, publications and speeches; 1942-1974.
Series 4: Alaska Dietary Survey papers; 1955-1967.
Series 5: Nutrition and food-related work files; 1910-1973.
Series 6: Botany work files; undated, 1895-1975.
Series 7: Art and photographic materials; 1895-1970.
Series 8: Reference materials; undated, 1942-1970. 

Container list:
Series 1. Personal records; 1938-1982. 0.7 cubic feet.

This series includes membership records for various organizations and associations to which Christine Heller belonged; personal correspondence, a portion of which is correspondence with Alaska Natives who were making Native arts and craft items for purchase by Christine Heller; financial records, which includes bank statements, canceled checks, tax forms, and insurance records; and other personal records. The materials in this series are grouped by type of record.

Box/Folder Description Dates
1/1 Membership cards 1944-1974
1/2-3 American Dietetic Association records 1944-1974
1/4 American Home Economics Association records 1966-1974
1/5 Alaska Home Economics Association 1970, 1974
1/6 Herb Society of America 1954, 1966
1/7 Janet Alexander correspondence 1947-1948
1/8 Jimmie Killigivuk correspondence 1947-1953
1/9 Daisy Lane correspondence 1947-1953
1/10 Esther/Easter Lizzie Lane correspondence 1947-1949
1/11 Ruth Lee correspondence 1960, 1963, 1965
1/12 Pauline Tom correspondence 1966
1/13 Wilbur Walluk correspondence 1947-1949
1/14-16 Personal correspondence 1947-1975
1/17 Letterhead and address labels undated
1/18 Alaska Crippled Children’s Association greeting cards undated
1/19 Bank statements, B.M. Behrends Bank 1946
1/20-25 Bank statements and canceled checks, Union Bank of Anchorage 1947-1949
1/26-27 Bank statements and canceled checks, National City Bank of Cleveland 1949-1950
1/28-29 Bank statements and canceled checks, First National Bank of Ithaca, New York 1950-1952
1/30 Bank statements and canceled checks, Union Bank of Anchorage 1952
1/31 Bank statements and canceled checks, Miners and Merchants Bank of Ketchikan 1952-1953
1/32-33 Bank statements and canceled checks, Union Bank of Anchorage 1953-1954
1/34 Check stubs 1947-1954
1/35 Insurance records 1938-1982
1/36 Pay stubs and statements of earnings 1949-1968
1/37 Tax records 1947-1954
1/38 Other financial records 1945-1980
1/39 Medical laboratory results 1945

Series 2: Academic coursework and teaching records; 1928-1956. 1.0 cubic feet.

This series consists of notes, handouts, and exams from courses taken and taught by Christine Heller. It was not possible to completely separate those courses in which she was a student from those courses she taught as she was both student and teacher at different points in her graduate school years. Most folder descriptions were taken from Christine Heller’s file labels or notes. Arranged roughly in alphabetical order by course title or description.

Box/Folder Description Dates
1/40 Cornell transcript and grade report 1950, 1954
1/41 110b/Vit. D/Bone/Ca 1933-1934, 1947
1/42 120-Flavor 1928, 1936, 1954
1/43 184 1936, 1934, 1946
1/44 215-Advanced animal nutrition 1938-1939
1/45 Animal husbandry 215 1950
1/46 Biochemistry 102 1950
2/1 Biochemistry/nutrition 220 1951
2/2 Biochemistry 1949-1950?
2/3 Biochemistry 1951
2/4 Biology/physiology 361 1949
2/5 Biology/physiology 361/362 1949-1950
2/6 Foods and nutrition 234 1955
2/7 Home economics 1 1956
2/8 Home economics 1 and 3, course outlines undated
2/9 Physiology 361 1949
2/10 Physiology 361/362J 1949-1950
2/11 Physiology 362/362J undated
2/12 Physiology 362J 1950
2/13 Physiology 1949
2/14 Sociology/anthropology 690 1950?
2/15 Handouts from unknown course 1945
2/16 Notes from unknown courses 1951
2/17-19 Notes from courses 1945-1955
2/20 Notes regarding teaching a nutrition course? undated

Series 3: Professional correspondence, publications and speeches; 1942-1974. 0.6 cubic feet.

This series is arranged into five groupings: professional correspondence; nutrition publications and drafts, botany publications, speeches and presentations, and publications mentioning or citing Christine Heller. Arranged by document type, generally chronologically within.

Box/Folder Description Dates
2/21-22 Professional correspondence 1947-1974
2/23-3/2 Nutrition drafts and publications 1942-1964
3/3 Botany publications 1953-1966
3/4-10 Speeches and presentations undated
3/11-13 Publications citing Heller 1943-1973

Series 4: Alaska Dietary Survey papers; 1955-1967. 1.7 cubic feet.

This series consists of materials relating to the Alaska Dietary Survey of 1956-1961. The series includes drafts of portions of the report, compilations of data, daily food records, and reference materials. Access to portions of this collection is restricted as noted below: please consult archivists for more information.

Box/Folder Description Dates
3/14 Village nutrient intake report drafts undated
3/15-16 Village nutrient intake tables undated
3/17 Nutrient source data undated, 1962
3/18 Village nutrient intake study—calcium intakes undated, 1962
3/19 Village nutrient intake study—per capita intakes undated, 1962
3/20 Village nutrient intake study—preschool children undated, 1959-1962
3/21 Village nutrient intake study—preschool children—calcium intake Unated, 1962
3/22-23 Village nutrient intake study—preschool diet undated, 1962
4/1 Infant nutrient information undated
4/2-3 Infant feeding practices, drafts and notes undated, 1962
4/4 Infant feeding—table drafts undated
4/5-12 “Infant feeding practices among Alaskan Eskimos and Indians” drafts and notes undated, 1962-1963
4/13 “Infant Dietary Practices Among Alaskan Eskimos and Indians”-by Christine A. Heller-for presentation in the Symposium on Cultural Influence on Diet at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science 1963-1964
4/14 Map undated
4/15 Store foods—yearly supply from invoices and inventory, Shishmaref, Newtok, and Hooper Bay 1956-1957
4/16-19 References undated, 1958-1961
4/20-21 References 1953, 1955, 1961
4/22-5/34 [Closed to access: see restriction notes above] Alaska Dietary Survey daily food records 1956-1961
5/35-39 [Closed to access: see restriction notes above] Bureau of Indian Affairs census schedules, annotated 1958

 

 Series 5: Nutrition and food-related work files; 1910-1973. 9.25 cubic feet.

This series includes Christine Heller’s files relating to her nutrition and food-related work other than the Alaska Dietary Survey. Generally grouped by type of document or subject.

Box/Folder Description Dates
6/1-2 Journals 1948-1949
6/3 “Summary of trip aboard Coast Guard Cutter Northwind—June 6 to August 6, 1948” Circa 1948
6/4 Application for federal employment Circa 1953
6/5 “Nutrition lesson plans for Eskimo Mothers” undated
6/6 Meat storage and spoilage notes undated
6/7 Tularemia questionnaire, Arctic Health Research Center 1960
6/8 Recipes for Pioneer Home (?) undated
6/9 Professional notes undated
6/10 Notes from books and articles undated
6/11-12 Native foods and food sources reports undated, 1946, 1948
6/13 Food surveillance study undated
6/14 Blank monthly record form of Native foods, store foods, and income undated
6/15 List of foods from Chevak undated
6/16 Hooper Bay notes 1966
6/17 Hooper Bay and Newtok food notes 1968
6/18 Kivalina notes undated
6/19 Selawik notes 1966
6/20 Wainwright nutrition study proposal undated
6/21 Wainwright notes undated
6/22 Point Hope diet records 1971-1972
6/23 Protein and iodine references undated
6/24 Appetite and food habits subject file 1943-1955
6/25 Artificial feeding, University of Utah subject file 1955-1956
6/26 Biotin subject file 1935-1952
6/27 Calcium subject file 1938-1956
6/28-29 Child development and nutrition subject files 1929-1952
6/30 Child guidance subject file 1929-1944
6/31 Color changes in food subject file 1951
6/32 Constipation and diarrhea subject file 1924-1947
7/1 Diabetes subject file 1935-1952
7/2 Diet and disease subject file 1942-1956
7/3-4 Diet and dietary diseases subject file 1920-1955
7/5 Dietherapy subject file undated
7/6-8 Fats subject files 1935-1955
7/9 Fats and oils subject file 1941-1953
7/10 Fatty acids subject file 1954-1959
7/11 Food costs subject file 1946-1951
7/12 Food microbiology and food borne diseases subject file 1962-1966
7/13-14 Food preservation subject file 1924-1954
7/15 Geriatrics and nutrition/diet and disease/diet restriction subject file 1934-1948
7/16 History of nutrition subject file 1943-1953
7/17 Hormones subject file 1946, 1955
7/18 Infant feeding general/newborns subject file 1928-1956
7/19 Infant nutrition subject file 1928-1948
7/20-22 Iron subject file 1924-1951
8/1 Lactation and pregnancy subject file 1934-1947
8/2-4 Mineral metabolism subject file 1934-1954
8/5-6 Nutrition subject file 1939-1954
8/7 Nutrition surveys subject file 1945-1946
8/8-9 Poultry/protein subject file 1943-1952
8/10-12 Pregnancy subject file 1932-1950
8/13 Pregnancy/obesity subject file undated
8/14-18 Protein subject file 1932-1954
8/19 Protein denaturization subject file undated
8/20 Radiation references—Alaska Eskimos subject file 1956-1964
8/21 School children subject file 1937-1951
9/1 School nutrition undated
9/2-4 Vitamins subject file 1935-1955
9/5 Vitamins in fish and fish products subject file undated, 1962
9/6 Nutrition reference index cards undated
9/7-12/15 Cooking and food subject files 1910-1968
15-19 Recipe cards undated
12/16-23 Notecards from cookbooks 1959-1973

Series 6: Botany work files; undated, 1895-1975. 0.5 cubic feet.

This series consists of notes and publications most likely used in the development of Christine Heller’s Wild Flowers of Alaska.

Box/Folder Description Dates
12/24-26 Botany notes undated, 1959
13/1 Lists of plants (referencing photographs?) undated
13/2-4 Notes related to wildflower book undated
13/5 Ideas regarding “Alaskan Notes” undated
13/6 “Alaska plants collected near Fairbanks, 1950” list 1950
13/7 Flower drawings undated
13/8 Pressed flower bookmark and card undated
13/9-12 Botany reference works and notes 1895-1970

Series 7: Art and photographic materials; 1895-1970. 1.0 cubic feet.

This series includes some artwork, photographs, postcards, and a filmstrip. Materials are grouped by type.

Box/Folder Description Dates
13/13 Wilbur Walluk drawings (four) undated
13/14-15 Portraits of Christine Heller undated
13/16 Family photographs undated
13/17 Unidentified images undated
13/18 Dogs photographs undated, 1963-1970
13/19 Children of friends and relatives photographs undated, 1967
13/20 Alaska Dietary Survey related photographs undated
13/21 Unidentified images (possibly from 1948 trip) undated
13/22 Tunanak, Nelson Island photographs undated
13/23-28 Unidentified villages and individuals photographs undated, 1949-1961
13/29-33 Flower photographs undated, 1954-1970
13/34 Fish filleting step-by-step photographs undated
13/35 “Chilkat Chiefs in Dancing Costumes, Alaska”-Winter and Pond photograph 1895
13/36 Unidentified photographs undated
13/37-38 Northwind trip photographs, including Christine Heller, Cmdr. Smeuton(?), Dr. Coenraad F.A. Moorrees [D.D.S. in Harvard group], Dr. Price [ship’s doctor], Esther Schaubel [ANS field nurse], Mr. Grant [ship’s photographer], Mr. Stockman [boatswain mate], Mr. Fredette, Lt. Russel, Mr. Crutcher, Snooze Jensen, Mr. Murray, Captain Thomas, Mr. Ottinger, Mrs. Kate Smith [ANS social worker], Mr. May [archaeologist in Harvard group], Mr. Ralph Calvert, Mrs. Edith Clark, Dr. Bill Braye, Mr. Scotto, the Northwind, the Northwind‘s landing craft, the Harvard Expeditionary Force [going to the Aleutians], Eskimos coming to the CGC for dental care, Eskimo families, Eskimo homes (exterior and interior), missionaries at Galovin, Kagamil Island, Mt. Carlisle, Nunivak Island, Cape Mendenhall, Mekoryuk, Nome, King Island, Teller, Teller Mission, Little Diomede, Big Diomede, Shismaref, Kotzebue, Point Hope, St. Paul Island, Nash Harbor, Gambel, St. Lawrence Island, Mt. Fairweather, plants, seals, seal pokes, barabaras, bird skins drying, and walrus meat drying. 1948
13/39 Alaska-Anchorage (38 postcards, 20 images) undated
13/40 Alaska-Animals-Bears (59 postcards, 34 images) undated
13/41 Alaska-Animals-Birds (55 postcards, 17 images) undated
13/42 Alaska-Animals-Caribou/Reindeer (31 postcards, 16 images) undated
13/43 Alaska-Animals-Goats (14 postcards, 7 images) undated
13/44 Alaska-Animals-Moose (40 postcards, 18 images) undated
13/45 Alaska-Animals-Sheep (33 postcards, 15 images) undated
13/46 Alaska-Animals-Walrus/Seals/Sea Lions (20 postcards, 13 images) undated
13/47 Alaska-Animals-Misc. Animals (37 postcards, 25 images) undated
13/48 Alaska-Cabins (11 postcards, 7 images) undated
13/49 Alaska-Cordova (5 postcards, 4 images) undated
13/50 Alaska-Fairbanks (9 postcards, 9 images) undated
13/51 Alaska-Flowers (38 postcards, 28 images) undated
13/52 Alaska-Glaciers (44 postcards, 28 images) undated
13/53 Alaska-Juneau (5 postcards, 3 images) undated
13/54 Alaska-Mt. McKinley (49 postcards, 31 images) undated
13/55 Alaska-Natives (mostly Eskimos) (125 postcards, 76 images) undated
13/56 Alaska-Skagway (8 postcards, 7 images) undated
13/57 Alaska-Totem Poles (35 postcards, 26 images) undated
13/58 Alaska-Miscellaneous (91 postcards, 76 images) undated
14/1 Animals (Non-Alaskan) (21 postcards, 19 images) undated
14/2 Arizona (49 postcards, 44 images) undated
14/3 Birds (Non-Alaskan) (12 postcards, 10 images) undated
14/4 California (5 postcards, 5 images) undated
14/5 Canada (9 postcards, 8 images) undated
14/6 Connecticut (8 postcards, 8 images) undated
14/7 Flowers (Non-Alaskan) (30 postcards, 28 images) undated
14/8 Massachusetts (42 postcards, 36 images) undated
14/9 Miscellaneous countries (14 postcards, 14 images), includes correspondence undated
14/10 Montana (8 postcards, 7 images) undated
14/11 New Jersey (12 postcards, 10 images) undated
14/12 New Mexico (29 postcards, 28 images) undated
14/13 New York (145 postcards, 134 images) undated
14/14 New Zealand (6 postcards, 6 images) undated
14/15 Oregon (14 postcards, 11 images) undated
14/16 Paintings (23 postcards, 17 images) undated
14/17 Vermont (19 postcards, 16 images) undated
14/18 Washington (5 postcards, 5 images) undated
14/19 Wyoming (30 postcards, 30 images) undated
14/20 Unsorted (26 postcards, 26 images), includes correspondence undated, 1948
14/21 Postcards sent to Miss Christine A. McDonald, Utica, NY(9 postcards, 9 images), includes correspondence 1907, 1909
20 “How to package frozen foods” filmstrip by National agricultural Supply Co. undated

Series 8: Reference materials; undated, 1942-1970. 0.65 cubic feet.

This series includes includes some notes and publications on Alaskan food and Eskimos; and index cards which include references related to medicinal uses of herbs, Alaskan edible plants, ascorbic acid analysis, and other references.

Box/Folder Description Dates
14/22-26 General reference notes 1942-1970
20 Index note cards including Alaska edible/useful plants, ascorbic acid analysis, and medicinal herbs undated

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