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Miriam Berger Patty collection

Guide to the Miriam Berger Patty collection

Collection number: HMC-0759.
Creator: Patty, Miriam E.
Title: Miriam Berger Patty collection.
Dates: 1942-1944.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials in English.
Collection summary: Materials related to and collected by a civilian war worker stationed with the Army Air Corps in Alaska.

Biographical note:
Miriam E. Patty (nee Berger) was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up in Tampa, Florida. She graduated from Hillsborough High School and attended the Business University of Tampa. Berger was also an active golfer and a member of the Forest Hills Women’s Golf Association and the Tampa Women’s Golf Association. In 1942, she joined the U. S. Army Air Corps, where she worked in supply positions. From January to September of 1943, she was stationed at Elmendorf Field in Anchorage and in the Aleutian Islands. In 1944, Miriam Berger became engaged to be married to Walter L. Patty of Colorado, who also served in Alaska.

Collection description:
The collection consists of the contents of the World War II era scrapbook of Miriam E. Berger and additional photographs and letters. The collection includes: a xerographic copy of the original 14-page scrapbook; 60 black and white photographic prints; four newspaper clippings; 21 letters written by Miriam Berger to her sister Jerry (Mrs. Joseph E. Justen, Jr.) in Tampa Florida (dated January 15 to August 9, 1943); a letter from Walter Patty to his parents (dated July 18, 1942); and eight postmarked envelopes that did not contain letters. The photographs in the scrapbook are of Miriam Berger and her friends Evelyn Baker and Dorthea Trench in Anchorage. The loose photographs are of Miriam Berger, her fiancé Chas, and friends. Most of the newspaper clippings are of articles from Tampa, Florida newspapers concerning her letters from Alaska, and the fourth is an announcement of her engagement to Walter L. Patty from February 1944. The first letter was written from Seattle, Washington, and the remaining letters were written from Anchorage. The collection also contains a transcript of an interview with Miriam Berger Patty in December 2006.

Arrangement: The materials were removed from the scrapbook and sorted by type: photographs, clippings, letters and empty envelopes.

Alternative formats: A xerographic copy of the scrapbook showing the original order of the materials as they appeared in the scrapbook is included with the collection.

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

Rights note: Copyright to the materials in the collection created by Miriam E. Patty is held by Archives & Special Collections.

Preferred citation: Miriam Berger Patty collection, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Acquisition note: The collection was purchased at internet auction by the Archives in 2005.  A deed of gift transferring ownership and rights to the Archives was signed by Miriam E. Patty in 2009. Michael L. Patty, Miriam’s son, added the interview transcript in 2010. Michael donated additional items in 2014.

Processing information: This collection was arranged and described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2005.  Updates to the finding aid were completed by Arlene Schmuland in 2010. Additions to the collection were added and the title of the collection updated by Becky Butler in 2023.

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