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David K. Brown photographs and papers

Guide to the David K. Brown photographs and papers

Collection number: HMC-0658.
Creator: Brown, David K.
Title: David K. Brown photographs and papers.
Dates: 1942-2002.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Papers and photographs of an engineer who worked on the construction of Whittier Tunnel in 1942 and other projects in Alaska.

Biographical note:
David K. Brown was born in Friend, Oregon in 1920. He first came to Alaska in 1941 and worked as a surveyor for Siems Drake Puget Sound, which constructed the U. S. Naval Air Base at Sitka.  Brown was then hired as the city engineer for Sitka, where he worked on a survey control system, a water and sewer system, and a hydroelectric dam on the Medvetcha River. After returning to Oregon, he joined the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers and headed the survey party on the Portage heading of Whittier Tunnel. After the tunnel was completed, Brown was transferred to the Anchorage area office of the Corps, where he administered survey control, primarily relating to fire control data at shore batteries. After a short period of military service in Juneau, he attended the University of Washington, where he received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1948.  Brown returned to Alaska as a field engineer in Anchorage for the U. S. Housing and Home Finance Agency, though he as later transferred to Seattle, where he worked on programs in Alaska, Washington and Oregon. During the Alaska Earthquake in 1964, Brown spent three months in Anchorage as area administrator of the agency’s programs. Some of the programs he administrated included the Bethel Hospital, University of Alaska buildings in Fairbanks, a water and sewer system for Nome, and a dam on the Medvetcha River. Brown retired from the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services as Chief of Facilities Management and Construction Services in 1980.

Collection description:
The collection consists of the photographs and papers of engineer David K. Brown. The collection contains 4 original photographs, 18 copy prints, 2 compact discs containing scans of the photographs, a two-page biography of Brown, a copy of Brown’s autobiography, photocopies of various letters and documents concerning his engineering career from 1958-1981 (including his description of conditions in Anchorage following the 1964 earthquake), and a Bethel Hospital case study for the Study Mission to the Republic of China from 1978 November. Subjects of the photographs include Portage Lake, Portage Glacier, portraits of Kuskokwim River Alaska Native families, and construction of the Whittier Tunnel in 1942.  Most of the photographs from 1942 were taken by Edwin Kreitlow, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers safety engineer for the Whittier Tunnel project.

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

Rights note: Archives does not own copyright to this collection.

Preferred citation: David K. Brown photographs and papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: This collection was donated to the Archives by David K. Brown in 2003 and 2005.

Processing information: This collection was originally processed and described by Jeffrey A. Sinnott in 2005.  The guide to the collection was revised by Megan K. Friedel in 2010.

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