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.

Karen Brewster for editing the Guide to Sources for the Study of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act
Alaska State Library, Archives and Museums for the Alaska Newspaper Digitization Project

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

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.
James Mackovjak for important reference works on timber, freighting, and salmon traps.
J. Pennelope Goforth for the Lost Ledgers of the Alaska Commercial Company Project.
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.
Gregory W. Kimura, Editor, Alaska at 50:  The Past, Present, and Future of Alaska Statehood.
Mike Blackwell and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum for their project “Digital Bob.”
Alexandra J. (A.J.) McClanahan for several publications and a weekly newspaper column.
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.
John B. Branson
Kathleen Lopp Smith, Verbeck Smith
Steve McCarthy
Jean A. Murray
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.
Betty West
John Bagoy
Paul McCarthy, Sharon West, Martha Andrews
Katherine Arndt
C. Eugene West