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William G. Sprowls photographs

Guide to the William G. Sprowls photographs

Collection number: HMC-1464.
Creator: Sprowls, William G., collector.
United States. Air Force.
United States. Army.
Title: William G. Sprowls photographs
Date: 1964.
Volume of collection: 0.2 cubic feet.
Language of materials: Collection materials are entirely in English.
Collection summary: Photographs from throughout southcentral Alaska created by U.S. military personnel of 1964 earthquake damage.

Biographical note:
William G. Sprowls was born in 1928 in Pennsylvania. He lived in Alaska with his family from 1963 to 1967.  He served as a Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force during the 1964 Alaska earthquake. Sprowls died in 2020 in Texas.

Collection description:
This is a collection of 97 black and white photographs created by U.S. military personnel of 1964 earthquake damage throughout southcentral Alaska. The images are of Anchorage, Seward, Whittier, Kodiak, the Seward Highway, Fort Richardson, and Elmendorf Air Force Base. They depict landslides, fires, and tsunami and earthquake damage to roads, harbors, buildings, and bridges. There are also photographs of various military responses to the disaster. Named military photographers include William Witte, John Bacheller, Kenneth Puckett, and Estuardo Dell’Acqua. There are two Ward Wells’ photographs of Anchorage’s Fourth Avenue before the earthquake.

Arrangement: This collection is in the original order in which it was received in the Archives. Materials have been separated into two folders.

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

Rights note: Photographs created by the United States military personnel are in the public domain. The Archives does not hold copyright to items in this collection created by individuals other than William G. Sprowls. If you believe you are the copyright holder to an item in this collection, please contact the Archives.

Preferred citation: William G. Sprowls photographs, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Related materials: For more collections related to the 1964 earthquake, please see our “1964 Alaska earthquake” topic guide.

Acquisition note: The collector’s granddaughter Vivian Woods gifted this collection to the Archives in 2023.

Processing information: This collection was described by Becky Butler in 2024.

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