Guide to the William L. Matthews papers
An Alaska Historical Society collection
Collection number: HMC-1043-AHS.
Creator: Matthews, William L.
Title: William L. Matthews papers.
Dates: undated, 1944.
Volume of collection: 0.01 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Photographs and a letter pertaining to the construction of the Canol Pipeline.
Biographical note: William L. Matthews was from Overland, Missouri. He was a civilian construction worker on the Canol (Canadian Oil) Pipeline, which ran from Norman Wells, Northwest Territories, to Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Matthews was contracted for a 9-month period between 1943 and 1944 for Bechtel-Price-Callahan, a construction company based in San Francisco, California working on the Canol Project.
Collection description: The collection contains photographs and a letter relating to the Canol Pipeline construction. The photographs consist of original black and white prints, including panoramic views, as well as colored and black and white commercial prints and photo postcards. It also includes a letter written from Bechtel-Price-Callahan to William L. Matthews, dated July 1, 1944, commending him for his efforts in the Canol Pipeline construction with an “Award of Service”.
Subjects of the original Canol Pipeline construction photographs include: scenes of the White Pass Hotel, White Horse ferry, and other areas around Whitehorse, Yukon Territory depicting buildings, vehicles, community members and other historical details; individual portraits of Canol Pipeline construction workers and scenes around BPC Camp including heavy machinery, storage facilities, drilling rigs, and pipe construction; group photos of construction workers, and scenes of vehicles and trains being dug out of heavy snow piles. Also included are photos of the Northern Lights and the midnight sun. Panoramic photos include scenes of BPC Camp, scenic views of surrounding areas, work vehicles, ferries, bridge construction, tent and native dwellings, bridges, and an airplane.
Black and white commercial prints and photo postcards include: scenes around Dawson City, Yukon; Skagway, Alaska; Dead Horse Gulch Bridge; a train climbing White Horse Pass; and scenes of ferries and rafts on Whitehorse rapids. Other post cards include nature and wildlife, the White Pass Railway, a line of workers hiking up Chilkoot Pass, churches and other buildings of the area.
Colored postcards include: scenes along the Alaska Highway, prospectors, Indigenous Peoples, river rafters, and a Yukon River steamer.
Arrangement: Collection materials are arranged by document type. Photographs are ordered numerically and by size and type.
Digitized copies: Selected items have been digitized and can be accessed on Alaska’s Digital Archives. For information about obtaining copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.
Rights note: Archives does not hold copyright to materials in this collection.
Preferred citation: William L. Matthews Canol Pipeline construction papers, Alaska Historical Society collections, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.
Related materials: Other collections about construction of the Canol Pipeline can be found in our Alaska Highway and Canol Pipeline construction collections topic guide.
Acquisition note: This collection was donated to the Alaska Historical Society in 2007 by Howard J. Snyder, son-in-law of William L. Matthews. The Historical Society retains ownership of the collection and placed it on deposit in Archives and Special Collections in 2007.
Processing information: This collection was described by Amber L. McKenna in 2017.