Guide to the Matthew M. Rigley, Jr. photograph album
Collection number: HMC-0863.
Creator: Rigley, Mathew M., Jr.
Title: Matthew M. Rigley, Jr. photograph album.
Volume of collection: 0.25 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in the collection are in English.
Collection summary: Photo album of a U.S. Army Reserve Corps field artillery soldier stationed at Fort Greely on Kodiak Island.
Matthew M. Rigley, Jr. was born in Pennsylvania in 1905. He worked for the Mobile Oil Company in New Jersey for 33 years before retiring in 1967. Rigley enlisted in the Reserve Corps of the U.S. Army at Fort Dix, New Jersey, on June 1, 1942. He trained at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, as a member of the Field Artillery. He arrived at Fort Greely on Kodiak Island, Alaska, on September 25, 1942, where he was stationed for three years as a member of a utilities detachment. While in Alaska, Rigley achieved the rank of technical sergeant. After the war, he was as an officer in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows in Woodbury, New Jersey, a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2117, and an election board officer. Matthew Rigley died in Westville, New Jersey, in 1977.
The collection contains the contents of the World War II era photograph album of Matthew M. Rigley, Jr. The collection includes: the original album cover and front pages, including memory leaves (names, addresses and comments of fellow soldiers), army diary, and “Alaska’s Flag” poem; papers mounted in, or kept with, the album; photographs; and photo post cards. The papers include: a three page letter with envelope from Matthew Rigley in Kodiak to Miss Betty Kuin in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; a Utilities Detachment menu for Christmas dinner signed by fellow soldiers; an announcement for the wedding of Rose June Eavis and Joseph Byron Comly, Jr., held at St. Dominic’s Rectory, Holmesburg, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; three poems; a cartoon; a Valentine’s Day card; a cardboard stencil for a technical sergeant’s insignia; and a newspaper article from the Daily Times of Woodbury, New Jersey, about Matthew Rigley and his work repairing and loaning wheelchairs and crutches for use by the needy. Subjects of the photographs include: Matthew Rigley and fellow soldiers at Fort Greely; the Utilities Detachment furnace and refrigeration shops and other buildings and facilities at Fort Greely; the town and people of Kodiak; and Kodiak Island scenery. The photo post cards are of the following Alaska subjects: Kodiak; Kodiak Island; the S.S. Princess Rupert stranded on March 23, 1917 (Winter & Pond photo) and other steamships; Alaska Natives; dog teams; poems; and the Fairbanks Ice Carnival. The tourist prints of Kodiak Island scenery include images of Mission Lake, Mill Bay, St. Paul Harbor, and Island Lake (Helsel photographs, copyright 1941). The post war photographs include those of a Shriner’s picnic and string band in Woodbury, New Jersey (Lu Lu Temple).
Arrangement: The collection is arranged by type. The photographs are arranged by size.
Alternative formats: The collection includes a xerographic copy of the album indicating the original order of the materials.
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 hold copyright to materials in this collection.
Preferred citation: Matthew M. Rigley, Jr. photograph album, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Acquisition note: This collection was purchased from eBay in 2006.
Processing information: The photograph album was dismantled, photographs rearranged by size, and the collection was described by Jeffrey Sinnott in 2006. The guide to the collection was converted to current standard by Veronica Denison in 2015.