AHS Blog

Alaska Film Archives at UAF

Date Posted: August 17, 2015       Categories: 49 History




The Alaska Film Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) holds more than 10,000 Alaska films and videos available for viewing and use by patrons and researchers. Moving images are requested every day for research and presentations by students, instructors, historians, documentary filmmakers, and persons interested in Alaska history. Items in the collection range from professional productions to amateur home-movies from the earliest days of filmmaking through the present day. Topics covered over the past century include: Alaska Native cultural and subsistence activities, gold-mining, hunting, fishing, aviation, dog-mushing, floods, fires, earthquakes, the military, political debates, statehood celebrations, the building of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, parades and festivals, and family life in communities large and small from across the state.


Since its establishment in 1993, the goals of the Alaska Film Archives have been to locate and collect film and videotape pertaining to Alaska through donation, to document the regions and dates of each item, to catalog and make items available for viewing, and to store original materials under controlled environmental conditions. The majority of collected items have been cataloged and made searchable through the UAF library catalog (http://library.uaf.edu/).


Hundreds of representative clips are viewable at the film archives’ You Tube channel (https://www.youtube.com/user/alaskafilmarchives) and at the Alaska’s Digital Archives site (http://vilda.alaska.edu/). DVD copies of thousands of archival film and video holdings are available for checkout worldwide. And all original materials are stored in the film archives’ climate-controlled Film and Magnetic Media Vaults.


The Alaska Film Archives is a unit of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives, located in the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. If you are interested in Alaska’s historical film or would like to donate film to the collection, contact Film Archivist Angela Schmidt at ajschmidt@alaska.edu or (907) 474-5357.


This link leads to a clip on You Tube showing the firefighters known as “smokejumpers” parachuting to work in the 1960s:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lY2GNnO7OA