The Barbara Sweetland Smith Pathfinder Award

The Barbara Sweetland Smith Pathfinder Award recognizes contributions to the discovery and description of resources relating to Alaska history. Barbara Smith was a historian, archivist, and exhibit curator who contributed much to Alaska history and to the Alaska Historical Society. This award is not given every year. In 2013, the Pathfinder award was renamed to recognize Barbara Smith’s contributions to indexing of Alaska historical material.

2016
Richard A. Wood for his Facebook page Forty Years of Alaska History, 1847-1887
2015
Mary Ehrlander for editing and translating Albin Johnson’s Seventeen Years in Alaska: A Depiction of Life Among the Indians of Yakutat.
2014

Richard Bland of Eugene, Oregon for his more than 15 years of translating from Russian to English important scholarship on Russian America, making works that would not otherwise be accessible about Alaska’s past available to many.
2013
James Mackovjak for important reference works on timber, freighting, and salmon traps.
2012
J. Pennelope Goforth for the Lost Ledgers of the Alaska Commercial Company Project.
2011
Lost Alaskans:  Morningside Hospital History Project, and its primary researchers Ellen Ganley, Meg Greene, Karen Perdue, Robin Renfroe, Niejse Steinkruger, Sally Mead, Deborah Smith, Marylou Elton, and Vivian Hamilton.  This group uncovered the documentary record of mental health care during the years in which Alaskans were institutionalized out of state at Morningside Hospital.  Their work not only helps reveal the past, but has had an impact on the lives of living family members seeking to understand what happened to their relatives.
2010
Gregory W. Kimura, Editor, Alaska at 50:  The Past, Present, and Future of Alaska Statehood.
2006
Mike Blackwell and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for their project “Digital Bob.”
2005
Alexandra J. (A.J.) McClanahan for several publications and a weekly newspaper column.
2004
Marie and Dick Kent of Juneau for the A-J (Alaska Juneau) Mine Personnel Index, 1914-1944.  The two-year project included reading 45,000 records and compiling a database of 11,454 workers.  The searchable database has names, dates of birth or age at the time of hire, place of birth or country of origin, name of spouse, and dates of employment, and jobs at the mine.  The Juneau Genealogical Society, under the Kents oversight, have made 130 CDs of the index, 80 to be distributed to libraries and 50 for sale at the Juneau-Douglas City Museum to repay the Gastineau Channel Historical Society-City Museum research grant fund that assisted with the project.
2003
John B. Branson
2002
Kathleen Lopp Smith, Verbeck Smith
2001
Steve McCarthy
2000
Jean A. Murray
1999
The Alaska State Library Alaska Newspapers on Microfilm 1866-1998 project under the leadership of Karen Crane.  The nine-year effort located and preserved on microfilm newspapers from around the state.  It is supplemented by a catalog that has been widely distributed to Alaska libraries and historical societies.  Mary C. Nicolson, Coordinator, and Mary Anne Slemmons, Assistant, were singled out for recognition, but the entire staff of the Alaska State Library deserve the award.
1998
Betty West
1995
John Bagoy
1994
Paul McCarthy, Sharon West, Martha Andrews
1993
Katherine Arndt
1987
C. Eugene West