George Harper papers

Guide to the George T. Harper papers

Collection number: HMC-0686.
Creator: Harper, George T.
Title: George T. Harper papers.
Dates: 1803-2004
Volume of collection: 12.7 cubic feet.
Language of materials: The collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: The papers of historian who researched African American history in Alaska.

Biographical note:
George Harper was born February 14, 1930 in Atlanta, Georgia. From 1948 to 1952 he served with the U.S. Navy and was in the U.S. Air Force Reserve from 1952 to 1956.  After he was honorably discharged in 1952 he went on to become a registered X-ray technician, pursue his Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce in 1960, and a computer programmer in 1961.  In 1981, Harper moved to Anchorage to work with the Bureau of Land Management as computer specialist and retired in 1992. After retirement he began a computer consulting business called, “One on One PC Consulting” in 1990.  In addition to working as a computer specialist he taught figure skating at the Diamond Center Ice Chalet from 1989-1993.  George T. Harper was best known for his research of African American history in Alaska and produced his first Blacks in Alaska exhibit in 1989.  He continued to do research till he passed away on January 21, 2004.  His research papers and exhibit materials were donated to the Archives in 2004 and is now the George T. Harper’s Black in Alaska History Project records. In addition to researching African American history in Alaska, George was a genealogist, tracing his roots back to Peter Cade who was born in 1803 and passed away in Wilkes, Georgia, in 1900. Another project Harper worked on was his one-man play, Two Headed Turtle, an play about his life as gay man. It debuted in 2003. George Harper was also a traveller, travelling to places in Alaska, the United States, and all over the world.

Collection description:
The George T. Harper collections contains correspondence, biographical clippings, programs/advertisements of events at which he presented or attended, papers related to his research and play, the Two Headed Turtle, a diary of interactions he had while working at the Bureau of Land Management, and Harper’s genealogical research. The bulk of his collection is photographic materials. These include slides, photographs, photograph albums and slide shows he put together.  Photographic materials depict Harper’s ancestors, family, and friends; travels around Alaska, the United States, Africa, and Europe; Blacks in Alaska exhibits and presentations; and the time he taught figure skating at the Diamond Center mall. In addition to papers and visual materials, the collections holds plaques awarded to Harper and memorabilia he collected.

Arrangement: The collection is divided by type: papers, slides, photograph and photograph albums, and artifacts.

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: The collection contains materials authored or created by organizations and individuals other then George T. Harper.  The Archives does not hold copyright to these materials. The Archives owns copyright to materials created by George T. Harper.

Preferred citation: George T. Harper papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory:

Anchoragde Daily News. “Obituaries: George Harper, 73.” February 10, 2004.

Porco, Peter. “Chronicler of Alaska’s black history dies at age 73.” Anchorage Daily News, January 23, 2004: B9.

Related materials: The Archives holds George T. Harper’s Blacks in Alaska Project records.

Acquisition note: The collection was transferred to Archives in April 2004 per George T. Harpers’ will.

Processing information: This collection was described by Mariecris Gatlabayan in 2010. One cubic foot of EEO discrimination records were deaccessioned since they are confidential records and cannot be made open for research.

Container list:

Box Description Date
1 Personal papers which includes correspondence, newspaper clippings about or written by George T. Harper, and programs from events at which he presented or attended. 1980-2004
1 Project and research files related to his research on Blacks in Alaska, the 1994 Anchorage Ordinance to institute North Anchorage Police Patrol Area, and papers related to his one man show, Two Headed Turtle. 1992-2003
1 One-to-one PC Consulting business records. 1989-1990
1-2 Computer disks containing documents related to Harper’s genealogical research, Blacks in Alaska Research, and unidentified files. undated, 1994-1995, 2002
2 Genealogical research files that include oral histories, correspondence, genealogical charts, handwritten notes, and a draft of his book documenting Harper’s family history back to Peter Cade and other branches of the family, such as the Anderson and Bradley family. 1803-1988
2 Diary Harper kept while working with the Bureau of Land Management. 1984 April- 1985 May
3-9 Slide shows created by George T. Harper. 1950-1995
9-11 Slides in chronological order. 1960-1998
12-13 Loose photographs, unsorted. 1970-2003
14-15 Photograph albums. circa 1920-1996
16 Artifacts, award, plaques, and memorabilia. undated, 1970-2005
17 Oversize charcoal drawings of Harper’s relatives and Blacks in Alaska timeline. undated

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