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John James Brennan papers

Guide to the John James Brennan papers

Collection number: HMC-0596.
Creator: Brennan, John James.
Title: John James Brennan papers.
Dates: 1906-1987.
Volume of collection:1.8 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers of a geologist from Anchorage.

Biographical note:
John James Brennan was born in Anchorage in 1935. His parents were John J. Brennan and Esther Fielding Brennan. His father worked for the Alaska Railroad in Anchorage from 1914 until his retirement in 1950, and died in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1964. John James Brennan attended Anchorage High School, served in the U. S. Air Force, and earned a bachelor’s degree in geology from Texas Christian University in 1961. He then worked for the Alaska Department of Highways. He also worked to develop gold and silver mining claim prospects in the Opal and Markup Creek area near Chitina, Alaska, and examined the oil and gas geology of the North Foothills section of the North Slope of Alaska.

Collection description:
The collection consists of the papers of Alaskan geologist John James Brennan. The collection contains: biographical materials; mining claim records concerning the Opal and Markup Creek area; photographs; maps and plans of the Opal and Markup prospects near Chitina, Alaska; and maps of the generalized geology of a portion of the North Foothills Section of the North Slope of Alaska. The biographical materials include: membership cards, a certificate of appreciation for service to the Alaska Department of Highways, Brennan’s own childhood book about places in Anchorage in 1942, Anchorage school musical programs, and his commencement program and other memorabilia from Texas Christian University. The mining claim records include location notices, geological reports, contracts, correspondence, a daily diary from 1979, a patent survey, assays, and maps. Subjects of the photographs include: Brennan, his family and friends in Anchorage and Fort Worth Texas; the Alaska Railroad; vacations; Brennan’s dogs; and hunting in Alaska. Subjects of the color slides include: Brennan and his friends and family; scenery around Anchorage; the Alaska Railroad; vacations in the western U.S.; hunting in Alaska; and geological field trips. The maps and plans of the Opal and Markup prospects include: a map of the lode claim groups made using an area quadrangle map; a surface drill hole plan; a composite surface plan; a horizontal loop survey; a magnetometer survey; and a map of the geology of the claim group.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged into the following series:

Series 1: Papers; 1926-1987
Series 2: Photographs; 1906-1973
Series 3: Maps; 1968-1975

Alternative formats: Xerographic copies of original photograph albums have been made to indicate the original order.

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 James Brennan. Materials not created by Brennan may be subject to copyright not held by the Archives.

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

Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the archives by Colleen King in 2002. A deed of gift was signed in 2002.

Processing information: This collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2006. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard and publications removed by Gwen Sieja in 2016.

Container list:
Series 1: Papers; 1926-1987. 0.7 cubic feet.



Description Date
1/1 Esther Fielding report cards from Fort Worth Central High School 1926-1927
1/2 Membership cards 1948-1949
1/3 Certificate of appreciation for five years service to the State of Alaska, Department of Highways 1966
1/4 “Anchorage 1942” (child’s illustrated book) 1942
1/5  Anchorage school musical programs undated, 1943
1/6  Texas Christian University memorabilia; 1954-1964
1/7 Mining claim location notices 1966, 1968
1/8 Markup mining claim location notices 1965, 1968
1/9 Claim notices and rights/labor 1965-1981
1/10 Report on Markup Creek, Opal: Gold/Silver Prospects, Chitina Area, Alaska 1968 September 15
1/11 Reports on Markup Creek, Opal: Gold/Silver Prospects, Chitina Area, Alaska 1969 July, September
1/12 Report on Markup Creek, Opal: Gold/Silver Prospects, Chitina Area, Alaska 1970
1/13 Opal and Markup Report: Master Copy (original with color photographs) 1968-1987
1/14 Report on general geology 1971
1/15 Einar C. Erickson report on gold-silver objectives 1970
1/16 Opal report by Dr. Donald J. Cook, University of Alaska 1972
1/17 Contract with Al M. Fielding and related records 1970-1972
1/18-19 Correspondence 1963-1971
1/20 Daily diary 1979
1/21 National Park Service request for proposal of gross mineral appraisal reports 1977
1/22 BLM claim patent information 1976
1/23 BLM patent survey application 1976-1979
1/24 Opal partnership assessment; 1978
1/25 Assay 1974
1/26 Maps undated, 1972, 1981

Series 2: Photographs; 1906-1973. 0.7 cubic feet.



Description Date
1/27 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: xerographic copy of original album. People identified include: John J. Brennan, Sr., John James Brennan, Esther Fielding Brennan, Phyllis Gene Fielding, Gary Fielding, Ruby Fielding Daniel, Delores Hansen, Virginia Rice, Delane Mintz, Patricia Rice, Bess Rice, Martha Lee Schober, Bud Seely, Paul Johnson, Dick Button, Alan McDaniels, Donald Epperly, Richard Conn, Gerald Brown, Kenny Wausku, and Joseph Flowers. Locations identified include: Anchorage, Alaska; Fort Worth Texas; Sun Valley and Shoshone, Idaho; and Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. Includes many photographs of the Alaska Railroad. Dillingham Air Service airplane. Lake Spenard shelter 1906-1949
1/28-29 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: small prints (3.5 X 3.5 inch or smaller) undated, 1919-1947
1/30 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: medium size prints, (approximately 3.5 X 5 inches) undated, 1921-1949
1/31 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: photo post cards and prints on post card stock. “Bear Cubs” Man with black bear cub near tent city; C. F. Peterson Photo, Anchorage, Alaska . “Str. ‘Santa Clara,’ at Dock, Juneau, Alaska. January 1906 . Dog team and sled in front of Pioneer Roadhouse. “Cordova Alaska” View toward mountains; N. D. Co. “Cordova Alaska, February 1930” Winter street scene; Roark Photo, No. 410. Anchorage High School; circa 1920s. “Sitka, Alaska. Old Russian Capitol, Founded 1799” Street scene near beach. “Ketchikan, Alaska” Frozen waterfall; No. 294. “S.S. Admiral Watson Juneau Alaska” Front portside view. “Wreck of S.S. Yukon, Sannak, Alaska.”; Grosvold photo. “Koel Bldg., First Concrete Structure in Ketchikan, Alaska.”; No. 3506. “Revenue Cutter Service in Bering Sea, Photo from Deck of Mail Steamer, Dora.”; J. E. Thwaites photo, No. 590; 1911. “Post Office. Anchorage.”; C. F. Peterson Photo. “S.S. Northwestern & Str. Starr Dock at Seward, Alaska.” undated, 1906-1933
1/32-33 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: 4 X 6 inch prints undated, 1934-1947
1/34 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: 5 X 7 inch prints. “…The Famous Columbia Glacier…”; H. W. Steward; 1929. “Mile 102 – on the route of ‘The Iron Trail” Mountain view out of railroad tunnel; H. W. Steward. Group of cub scouts near KFQD radio microphone; Portraits by C. A. Cornforth, Anchorage, Alaska. Group photos of grade 8 students and brass bands; Robinson Studios, Anchorage, Alaska; 1948-1949  undated, 1929-1949
1/35 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: 8 X 10 inch prints. “Christmas at Two Girls Cafe, 1906” Winter group photo of women and children outside café. “April 10, 1944, Ft. Worth Texas.” Class photo of children. “Ft. Worth Texas, Jan. 18th, 1944.” Group photo at Fielding family reunion?. “To Esther, Red & Jimmie with Love, Phyllis Gene, age 4 years” Portrait of Phyllis Gene Fielding. “Phyllis Gene Fielding, age 11, April 19, 1949, in front of the Gables Cafe”. “Dec. 24, ’48, Phyllis Gene & Gary. Give this to Jimmie Brennan. Children in front of Christmas tree. “Ruby ‘Fielding’ Daniel” Portrait of young woman undated, 1906-1949
1/36 Brennan and Fielding family photograph album: color prints undated, 1948
2/1  Jimmie Brennan dog photograph album: xerographic copy of original album 1947-1949
2/2 Jimmie Brennan dog photograph album: original prints 1947-1949
2/3 Jim Brennan Air Force, California and hunting in Alaska photograph album: xerographic copy of original album. Locations identified include: Fort Worth, Texas; Mekoryuk, Nunivak Island; and Chignik, Alaska 1955-1973
2/4 Jim Brennan Air Force, California and hunting in Alaska photograph album: original prints undated, 1954-1973
2/5 Group photo of workers in front of the Alaska Railroad Depot in Anchorage undated
2/6 Numbered slides. 1-10: Christmas at Brennan home; 1949. 11-16: Jim Brennan, Dick Button, Craig Johnston, Ray Baldwin and Ronald Risoh near Girdwood; 1949. 17: Sunrise over Anchorage; 1950. 18-20: Paul and dog Nugget II; 1950. 21-22: Sunrise over Anchorage; 1949. 23-26: Thunderbird Falls; 1949. 27-28. Lake Spenard; 1950. 29-35: Anchorage Fur Rendezvous races on 4th Ave; 1950. 36-37: Lower Fire Lake; 1949. 38-40: Palmer Highway; 1949. 41: Eagle River; 1949. 42: Along trail to Thunderbird Falls; 1949. 43: Bear Lake; 1949. 44-51: Airshow at Elmendorf Air Force Base 1949-1950
2/7 Mt. McKinley National Park trip 1950
2/8 Slides: King’s Lake boy scout camp; 1950. Pioneer Peak; 1950. Trip to Seattle for dog show and car trip to Texas; 1950. Minnesota; 1950 December. Dogs and trip to Fort Worth; 1951 January-April 1950-1951
2/9 Slides: Yellowstone National Park; 1953. Salt Lake City, Utah; 1953. Central City, Colorado; 1953. Royal Gorge, Colorado; 1953. Lake Minnewawa, Minnesota; 1953. Fort Worth, Texas; 1953-1954. Texas A&M University: campus, bonfire; 1953 1952-1954
2/10 Alaska Railroad scenes: Turnagain Arm, Bird Section House, Anchorage railroad yard 1954
2/11 Hunting in Alaska: Dall sheep, caribou and mountain goat hunts undated
2/12 Geology field trip in Mississippi: Arbuckle Mountains, Sycamore Limestone, Woodford Chert and bituminous shale 1960 May
2/13 Marathon field trip: Paleontology dig 1960 June
2/14 Other Alaska slides. Pana-Vue commercial tourist slides: Alaska Gold series undated

Series 3: Maps; 1968-1979. 0.45 cubic feet.

Container Description Date
Oversize folder Markup Lode Claim Group and Opal Lode Claim Group, Opal – Markup Prospects, Chitina Area, Alaska; Drawn by Jim Brennan, Geologist; Revisions: Chitina-Glennallen Recording District, Glennallen, Alaska; Reference: Valdez (C-2) Quadrangle Map, Alaska 1951 (Revisions 1963) Copper River Meridian; Scale: 1”= 2000′ 1968 February 26
Oversize folder Surface Drill Hole Plan: Opal Prospect, Chitina, Alaska; Scale: 1.25′ =50′; circa 1975
Oversize folder Composite Surface Plan: Opal Showing Opal Prospect, Chitina, Alaska; A. B. & S. Inc., Anchorage, Alaska; Scale: 1″ = 100′ 1975 October 9
Oversize folder Horizontal Loop Survey: Opal Prospect, Chitina, Alaska; A. B. & S. Inc., Anchorage, Alaska; Scale: 1″ = 100′ 1975 September 31
Oversize folder Magnetometer Survey: Opal Prospect, Chitina, Alaska; A. B. & S. Inc., Anchorage, Alaska; Scale: 1″ = 100′ 1975 October 1
Oversize folder  Geology: Opal Markup Claim Group, Chitina, Alaska; A. B. & S. Inc., Anchorage, Alaska; Scale: 1″ =400′ 1975 October 9
Map tube Generalized Geology, Portion of N. Foothills Section, North Slope, Alaska; By J. J. Brennan, Geologist: 5006 Cambridge, Anchorage, Alaska (two separate geological maps of the same area superimposed on a map of the East Arctic Slope Land and Lease area by the Alaska Map Service, Anchorage, Alaska, 1969) circa 1969

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