• Due to renovations to our vault, access to our collections is limited until further notice. Please contact us for more information.

William J. Tobin papers

 Guide to the William J. Tobin papers

Collection number: HMC-1054.
Creator: Tobin, William J.
Title: William J. Tobin papers.
Dates: 1933-2009.
Volume of collection: 17.15 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers of the editor-in-chief and assistant publisher of the Anchorage Daily Times.

Biographical note:
William J. Tobin was born in 1927 in Joplin, Missouri. He graduated from Central Senior High School, South Bend, Indiana, in 1944. He also graduated from Butler University, with a degree in Journalism, in 1948. He later served in the United States Army during the Korean War.

Tobin worked for The Associated Press for 17 years as a staff writer, regional executive, correspondent, and bureau chief. In 1963, he was asked by Bob Atwood to be the managing editor of The Anchorage Times, where he stayed for 30 years, eventually becoming Vice President and editor-in-chief.  After The Anchorage Times ceased publication in 1992, Tobin served as the senior editor of The Voice of the Times, which was published as part of the Anchorage Daily News.

After Tobin and his family moved to Alaska in 1963, he became heavily involved in community affairs. He served as president of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce from 1972-1973, was a member of the Providence Hospital Advisory Board for 17 years, and a director of Blue Cross of Washington and Alaska. He was named Alaskan of the Year in 1988, received the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Gold Pan Award for Distinguished Community Service in 1990, as well as an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Gonzaga University in 2006. William Tobin died April 5, 2009.

Collection description:
A majority of the collection consists of news clippings, editorials, and correspondence during William Tobin’s employment at the Anchorage Times. Major correspondents include Fred and Sara Machetanz, William Larkworthy, General Norton Schwartz, Jack Roderick, Bob Atwood, Rick Nerland, Janie Leask, Frank Murkowski, Ted Stevens, Walter Hickel, Cathy and Ed Rasmuson, Augie Hiebert, Bill Egan, and Arliss Sturgulewski. The collection also consists of personal correspondence, subject and research files used by Tobin for his news articles, and correspondence and papers regarding the various organizations and committees Tobin served. The collection also contains the turn signal arm of Tobin’s Buick that was crushed by the JC Penney building during its collapse in the 1964 Earthquake.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged by subject.

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

Rights note: Archives holds copyright to materials created by William J. Tobin.

Preferred citation: William J. Tobin papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory: William J. Tobin papers, William J. Tobin biography, box 7, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Separated materials: Some published material has been separated from the collection and added to the Consortium Library’s Rare Books collection.

Acquisition note: The collection was donated to the Archives in 2012 by the Tobin family.

Processing information: This collection was described by Veronica Denison in 2014. Many of the folders retain the titles given to them by William Tobin. Published materials and newspapers were removed from the collection. Please contact an archivist for further information.

Container list:

Box Description Dates
1-2 Columns and editorials 1967-2002
3 Indianapolis Star news clippings, Associated Press articles and Associated Press Log (newsletter), photographs; correspondence: committees, news associations, personal; press passes 1954-2008
4 Correspondence: personal, business, and research 1957-1998
5 Correspondence: Veco buy and Times closing, employment and moves, reader’s responses and cards, Anchorage Times, family, Alaska State Senate and state officials 1953-2007
6 Correspondence: events, Anchorage Times, Associated Press, Catholic Church, Union Club gambling, Anchorage Times lawsuit, events 1955-2008
6 Gonzaga University: correspondence, programs, photographs 2006
7 Personal and employment records: school reports, genealogical materials, songs, Veco and Veco trip, Anchorage Times, KIMO-TV license renewal, free-lance writing and articles, biography, jokes, TV and movie ideas, events, reporting notebook; photographs: Joint Civilian Orientation Conference 1935-2006
8 Research and subject files; Times records and Atwood correspondence; World War II teletypes, Alaska statehood 1941-2008
9 Research and subject files 1960-2009
10 Committees and organizations 1960-2008
11 Committees and organizations; personal records; correspondence; events; news clippings; Saturday Sundry 1933-2009
12 News clippings: Alaska history of statehood 1957-1959
12 News clippings: Chamber of Commerce 1968-1975
12 Subject file: Elections Alaska, Official Return of Elections 1960-1974
12 Subject file: Saturday Sundry column 2005-2006
12 Voice of the Times column 1994
12 Saturday Sundry columns 1963-1968
13 Saturday Sundry columns 1969-1995, 2007
14 Voice of the Times, Saturday Sundry 1968-2007
14 Certificates and autographed photographs circa 1962-1991
14 Ruben Gaines cartoon and letter 1983
15 Business cards and press passes 1962-2009
Oversize 16 1964 Earthquake memorabilia: Buick light blinker, broken glasses, JC Penney tile, news article 1964
Oversize 17 Magic and plays memorabilia undated, 1948
Oversize 18 Poster given by Wally Hickel, copied scrapbook of WWII, photographs, certificates, cartoons, Anchorage Olympic Organizing Committee 1952-2000

Comments are closed.