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Margaret Branson papers

Guide to the Margaret Branson papers

Collection number: HMC-1131.
Creator: Branson, Margaret
Title: Margaret Branson papers.
Dates: 1967-2005.
Volume of collection: 1.0 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Collection summary: Papers of a woman who was a Kenai Borough Assembly member, Alaska State House Representative, writer, photographer, and art gallery owner.

Biographical note:
Margaret Branson was born in 1927. She received her Ba.A. in Anthropology from the University of Denver in 1949. From 1972-1973, she attended the University of Orgeon to study labor and industrial relations. Margaret Branson moved to Sitka, Alaska in 1958 to work in a pulp mill. In 1966 she moved to Cooper Landing and became involved with community organizations. She was elected to the Kenai Penninsula Borough Assembly in 1977 and served till 1979. From 1979-1980, Margaret Branson served in the Alaska State House of Representatives for district 5. House district 5 included Cooper Landing, Moose Pass, Hope, Whittier, Valdez, Kenny Lake, and Glennallen. After serving in the House, she joined the the New Capital Site Planning Commission. She continued to work in public service till she passed away in 2005. She worked on numerous non-profit boards, local and state government committees and council. Examples of her public service include her time on the Cook Inlet Aquaculture Association Board, the Seward Planning and Zoning Commision, and the Seward City Council.

In addition to working in politics, Branson was a writer, photographer, and gallery owner. She wrote a column for the Seward Phoenix entitled, “Branson on the Borough.” Branson was the editor/publisher of Seward Magazine. She is a published photographer. While living in Cooper Landing she owned an art and gift gallery. In 1980, she moved to Seward where she would own another art gallery: the Resurrection Bay Gallerie.

Collection description:
The bulk of the collection contains records from 1977-1981. The collection contains materials that relate to her time on the Kenai Penninsula Borough Assembly and in the Alaska State House such as photographs of her in while serving in the legislature and on the campaign trail, campaign mailers, correspondence, speeches, and article clippings. Included in the collection are typewritten drafts of her column “Branson on the Borough,” copies of her column in the Seward Phoenix, a reminiscence of her experience during the 1964 earthquake, correspondence from personal friends, and she speeches gave at high school graduations. In addition, scattered throughout the collection are color slides of Juneau, Kalskaq, Silver Bay (Sitka), Alukanuk, and family photographs.

Arrangement: The collection arrived in no discernible order. The collection remains in the order it arrived, except for the oversize copies of Branson’s column in the Seward Phoenix. Oversized materials were separated from the collection and placed in oversize box.

Alternative formats: The Consortium Library has a complete set of the Seward Phoenix, while the Alaska State Library has a complete set of Seward Magazine.

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

Rights note: The Archives owns copyright to the materials to which Margaret Branson owned copyright. There are materials in this collection that are subject to copyright. Please ask an archivist for information about copyright status.

Preferred citation: Margaret Branson papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory:

“Margaret Branson: Obituary.” Juneau Empire, December 8, 2005.

“Roots Magazine interviews Margaret Branson in Seward Alaska.” Roots Magazine, September 23, 2005.

Related materials: For more collections with materials related to polictics in Alaska, please visit our Alaska State Legislators and legislation research guide.

Acquisition note: The collection was presented to the archives and deed of gift signed by Melissa Fouse, Margaret Branson’s daughter, in 2013.

Processing information: This collection was described by Mariecris Gatlabayan in 2013. The collection was placed in archival safe boxes. Loose papers were placed in archival safe folders. Oversize materials, such as copies of Branson’s column in the Seward Phoenix, were separated from the collection and put in an oversize box.

Container list:

Box/Folder Description Dates
1 Branson papers. 1967-2005
Oversize folder 1-2 Copies of Branson’s column in the Seward Phoenix. 1977-1981

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