Guide to the Richard Rissman photographs
Collection number: HMC-0534.
Creator: Rissman, Richard.
Title: Richard Rissman photographs.
Volume of collection: 0.7 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Images from a Chemical Warfare Service soldier and amateur photographer stationed at Fort Richardson during World War II.
Richard Rissman was a technical sergeant and chemist with a Chemical Warfare Service company at Fort Richardson during World War II. He received his initial training at Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland in 1942. Rissman was then stationed at Fort Lewis near Seattle, Washington, before coming to Alaska, probably in late 1942. While at Fort Richardson and Anchorage, he worked at the post’s photo lab and associated with various members of the 11th Army Air Force. Rissman was also an amateur photographer, taking many images of Fort Richardson, Anchorage, and surrounding areas. Richard Rissman probably left Alaska in early 1944.
The collection consists of Richard Rissman’s World War II photograph album and loose photographic prints, taken primarily in Alaska. The collection consists of a xerographic copy of Rissman’s World War II photograph album (76 pages); the photographic prints from that album (347 black and white prints); and loose photographic prints of Alaska (125 black and white prints). Subjects or locations of the photographs from the album include: family; Edgewood Arsenal, Maryland (1942); Fort Lewis, Washington (1942); Fort Richardson, Alaska; the Matanuska Valley; McKinley National Park, the McKinley Park Hotel (interior and exterior), and other park buildings; and other scenic views and post cards. Specific locations and subjects at Fort Richardson include the Tap Room (a service club); the Kashim (an 11th Air Force club); Ingrid Bergman eating at a mess hall (Christmas 1943); army tent camps; a firing range; a mess hall and kitchen; and barracks. Specific locations in Anchorage include: the USO Building (interior and exterior); Providence Hospital; the Fifth Avenue Beauty Salon; the South Seas Club; and the airport. Other subjects in the album include: friends, Sunday outings, and area scenery. Subjects of the loose photographs of Alaska include: Richard Rissman, Vern Brickly, Gene Guryiak, and others working at the Alaska District Photo Lab at Fort Richardson; a Matanuska Valley farm family; the Kashim club interior; several scenic views of McKinley National Park; several aerial views of Mount McKinley, the Alaska Range, and other mountains and glaciers; and other miscellaneous subjects. Individual soldiers identified include: Melvin Wachtel, Doug Woodward, Ernest Bishop, Frank Martin, Chico Lugelle, Tony Bocchieri, Martin Bauer, Mel Oswald, Nelson F. Rhoads, Bill Waters, Tex Windham, and Carl Wright.
Arrangement: The collection begins with the xerographic copy of the album, followed by the photographs and copy Photographs in the collection have been mostly arranged by size of print.
Digitized copies: 7 images from the collection have been digitized and placed online in the Alaska’s Digital Archives (search Rissman). For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.
Alternative formats: The collection contains a xerographic copy of the original album so the original order and context of the materials may be viewed. Copy negatives of 39 of the photographs are included in the collection.
Rights note: Copyright to the materials in this collection is not held by Archives & Special Collections.
Preferred citation: Richard Rissman photographs, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Acquisition note: This collection was purchased by the Archives at internet auction in 2001.
Processing information: This collection was arranged and described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2001.