AHS Blog

Importance of Archives

Date Posted: February 15, 2019       Categories: 49 History News

In 2018, the Alaska Historical Society (AHS) made protecting our state’s archives its advocacy priority. As part of this effort, AHS launched the Archives Video Project to highlight how archive collections are the irreplaceable basic sources of historical research. By emphasizing how collections are used in research, these videos hope to bring attention to the rich resources in the state’s archives. Public support for archives is a continuing priority of the Alaska Historical Society.

The following video testimonials from researchers around the state emphasize the key role archives have played in their work:

Dr. William Schneider on the Importance of Archives
University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Emeritus Dr. William Schneider talks about researching and examining historical photographs in archives. Schneider’s book “The Tanana Chiefs: Native Rights and Western Law,” was published in 2018. This video (copyright Alaska Historical Society, 2018) was made possible through contributions of private individuals. For more information, please contact William Schneider: wsschneider@alaska.edu
with captions: https://youtu.be/Lx4CkvDyRbQ
without captions: https://youtu.be/CXeHcnqSJdI

Dr. Mary Ehrlander on the Importance of Archives
Dr. Mary F. Ehrlander, professor of History and co-director of Arctic and Northern Studies at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, talks about her experience using archives to write her 2017 book “Walter Harper, Alaska Native Son.” The biography covers the life and story of Walter Harper, the son of a Koyukon-Athabascan mother and an Irish immigrant father, who in 1913 became the first person to reach the summit of Denali, North America’s highest mountain. This video (copyright Alaska Historical Society, 2018) was made possible through contributions of private individuals. For more information, please contact William Schneider: wsschneider@alaska.edu
with captions: https://youtu.be/D5g6JeK-uzE
without captions: https://youtu.be/fXXkyceNI4E

Professor Rob Prince on the Importance of Archives
Associate Professor Rob Prince of the Communication and Journalism Department at the University of Alaska Fairbanks talks about how his students have been using archives to delve into an ongoing mystery on campus. Archaeologist Otto Geist may have buried several mammoth tusks on the UAF campus during the 1930s. Where are those tusks today? Professor Prince and his students searched the archives for clues. This video (copyright Alaska Historical Society, 2018) was made possible through contributions of private individuals. For more information, please contact William Schneider: wsschneider@alaska.edu
with captions: https://youtu.be/cTos16–TkM
without captions: https://youtu.be/qHljBSLx6YQ

Dr. Jennifer Stone on the Importance of Archives
Dr. Jennifer Stone, Professor of English at the University of Alaska Anchorage, works with students at the UAA/APU Consortium Library’s Archives and Special Collections. Dr. Stone has integrated the archives into her curriculum in creative and innovative ways. Watch how her students have responded to this approach, and learn more about how the archives enrich the classroom experience of Alaska’s students. This video (copyright Alaska Historical Society, 2019) was made possible through contributions of private individuals and with the assistance of Ian Hartman, Assistant Professor of History at the University of Alaska Anchorage. For more information, please contact William Schneider: wsschneider@alaska.edu.
without captions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TvYbAxf5VQA
(for auto-generated captions, click on the cc button in the lower-right corner of the YouTube screen)





William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books

Date Posted: November 8, 2019       Categories: News

Do you have a favorite book about the northern or southern polar regions? Why not nominate it for the William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books? The book must have been published between January 2018 and December 2019, and the nomination deadline is March 31, 2020.

The book prize honors the best Arctic or Antarctic nonfiction books published throughout the world. The prize consists of $500 US, certificates for the author and publisher, and the right to use the William Mills Prize logo when advertising the winning book.

Qualifications for Nomination

  1. The book must be nonfiction, about the Arctic or Antarctic.
  2. The book may be any type of substantive work of nonfiction, or reference resource. Textbooks, anthologies, translations and new editions will not be considered unless they are truly outstanding contributions to polar literature.
  3. Books authored, edited or published by members of the current Polar Libraries Colloquy Steering Committee are not eligible for nomination.
  4. Individuals who are not affiliated with the Polar Libraries Colloquy are welcome to submit nominations.
  5. The book must have been published for the first time within the two calendar years before the Colloquy at which the award will be given. The timeframe for the 2020 award is January 2018 to December 2019.
  6. The official language of the Colloquy is English. For this reason books must be published in an English language version to be eligible.

For more information, please contact the William Mills Prize Coordinator, Julia Finn, at millsprize@gmail.com.

Nomination Process

  1. Nominations must include:
    • Author(s) / Corporate author(s)
    • Title
    • Publisher
    • Date of publication (for the 2020 award, must be between January 2018 and December 2019)
    • Statement of the reasons why the nominator thinks the book should be considered for the prize and the value of the title to polar literature.
  2. Nominations should be sent via email to Julia Finn, William Mills Prize Coordinator, at millsprize@gmail.com.
  3. The deadline to submit a nomination is March 31, 2020.
  4. Winning titles are announced on pollib-L, on the Colloquy web site, in the Polar Libraries Bulletin and other appropriate social media, websites and publications.

Previous William Mills Prize Recipients & Nominees

The William Mills Prize for Non-Fiction Polar Books was established in memory of William Mills, a polar librarian and author, and a core member of Polar Libraries Colloquy during its formative years. The prize was first awarded in 2006.





Suffragists Project Jukebox

Date Posted: November 2, 2019       Categories: News
In recognition of the upcoming 100th anniversary of the 1920 passage of the 19th Amendment, which gave women of the United States the right to vote, the Oral History Program at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has updated the:

Recovering Our Past, The Struggle for Women’s Suffrage Project Jukebox


This Project Jukebox contains a slideshow of images with audio excerpted from oral history interviews conducted in the 1970s with women who were directly involved with the original struggle for women’s suffrage in the Lower 48.  It is a great resource for education about this nationally important issue and anniversary, as well as serving as the basis for conversations about women gaining the right to vote in Alaska and current access to equal voting rights.

Here is a link to the Project:   http://jukebox.uaf.edu/site7/suffragists.




ANCSA Presentation by Emil Notti

Date Posted: November 2, 2019       Categories: News

Reflections on the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act with Emil Notti

Wednesday, November 20th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Lecture Hall at The Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building, 395 Whittier Street, Juneau, Alaska

Dr. Emil Notti was the first Alaska Federation of Natives president who cast the tie-breaking vote to allow the Sealaska region into Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (ANCSA), the 1971 legislation that authorized Alaska Natives to select and receive title to 44 million acres of public land in Alaska, receive $962 million as settlement of indigenous land claims, and establish village and regional Native corporations. Without his vote, Southeast Alaska would have a different political and economic landscape. Born in Koyukon, Notti is a graduate of Mt. Edgecumbe high school, holds a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical and electrical engineering from Northrop University and honorary doctorate degrees from Alaska Methodist University (Alaska Pacific University) and University of Alaska Anchorage, is a U.S. Navy veteran, and served as commissioner of the Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development.

Light refreshments provided by Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska Sacred Grounds Café will be served in the atrium prior to the presentation.

This program is co-sponsored by Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Goldbelt, Inc., and the Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.





Article About Archives Video Project

Date Posted: November 2, 2019       Categories: News

Photo by Sarah Manriquez. Courtesy of Clarity Magazine, UAF, 2019.

As part of his advocacy efforts, Bill Schneider recently wrote an article highlighting the value of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and explaining The Archive Video Project that produced videos featuring researchers using the collections. View this article, “Archives Video Project Highlights Historical Treasures” in the on-line version of the 2019 edition of Clarity, the magazine of the College of Liberal Arts, University of Alaska Fairbanks.





UAF Archives Open House

Date Posted: October 8, 2019       Categories: News