AHS Blog

2018 AHS Conference Call for Papers

Date Posted: March 6, 2018       Categories: News


Gold-seekers and their building materials at Nome City, 1899. Alaska State Library, Clarence L. Andrews Collection (P45-1054).

Tundra & Ice: History in Alaska’s Arctic

Alaska Historical Society Annual Conference

September 12-15, 2018 in Nome, Alaska

Alaska’s Arctic is fertile ground for historical inquiry. Northern topics abound like whaling in the Arctic Ocean, the gold stampedes to Nome and Kotzebue Sound, the Prudhoe Bay oil strike, and the rich history of Inupiaq and Yupik people and their contributions to environmental protection and civil rights in Alaska. This year we look northward and contemplate ways to preserve our histories and share them with the world. As always, presentations on all Alaska history topics are welcome.

This year the Alaska Historical Society and Museums Alaska will hold their conference in Nome (a first for AHS), and this year’s theme—Tundra & Ice: History in Alaska’s Arctic—invites reflection on the people, landscapes, and events that have shaped Alaska’s higher latitudes. Our featured speaker will be Dr. Lorraine McConaghy, public historian at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry and Washington State History Museum, who has many years of experience wrangling with questions of whose stories are told and how we tell them.

You are invited to submit proposals for papers, panels, and poster sessions. Presentations are limited to 20 minutes. Presenters must be registered for the conference.

To submit a proposal, please send your presentation title, an abstract (<100 words), and two sentences about yourself to Chris Allan, Program Chair, sprucetip105@gmail.com.

Proposals are due May 15, 2018.

For more information, go to “Conference Information” and “How To Shape Proposals and Presentations” on the AHS website.

Reminder: Upcoming Conference Abstract Submission Deadline

Date Posted: May 4, 2018       Categories: News

May 15 is the deadline for submission of abstracts for papers for the 2018 Alaska Historical Society Conference – Tundra and Ice: History in Alaska’s Arctic – being held in Nome on September 12-15, 2018.

To submit a proposal for papers, panels, and poster sessions, please send your presentation title, an abstract (<100 words), and two sentences about yourself to Chris Allan, Program Chair, sprucetip105@gmail.com.

For more information, go to “Conference Information” and “How To Shape Proposals and Presentations” on the AHS website.

Project Coordinator Position Available

Date Posted: May 4, 2018       Categories: News

Anway Cabin Project Coordinator 2018, Haines, Alaska


The Chilkat Valley Historical Society has for several years been restoring the Charles Anway cabin and outbuildings at 2.5 mile Haines Highway. Along with the cabin, wood shed and outhouse, the Society owns approx. one acre of the old Anway Homestead. The property includes woods, lawn, a creek (Forest Creek), and the cabin. There is also a strawberry garden that we want to enlarge. The goal of this project is to have a restored historic property with interpretation along the Haines Highway Scenic Byway that can be used as an interpretive site for visitors; a field-trip learning site for school classes; and an event site for local residents.


A to-do list was compiled this spring that includes most of the remaining projects. The CVHS has a pool of eager volunteers, many of whom have indicated the types of projects they would like to work on. The goal this summer is to complete as many projects as volunteers and time allow.

There are several types of projects on the ‘to-do’ list:
1. Repetitive projects involving a single person or small group, for example, gardening and weeding or mowing the lawn;
2. Working with Terry Jacobson, our historic preservation carpenter. He will probably work one day a week and will need differing numbers of volunteers (usually 1-4, more or less) depending on the ongoing project on cabin, shed or outhouse;
3. Short distinct projects requiring 1-2 people for example, painting the window frames; (make sure that one person is not out there doing a dangerous job, such as standing high on a ladder, by themselves)
4. Long term projects requiring multiple people (or small committee), for example finishing the interior walls – planning, purchasing, stripping and wallpapering. Another project example might be making progress with parking areas; and,
5. Large group projects/work parties, for example, clearing brush or trail building.


Working with the Anway committee co-chairs, the Project Coordinator will:
1. Familiarize him/herself with the plans and goals of the Anway project and with the list of projects to be accomplished this summer;
2. See that as many items as possible are completed on the check list;
3. Be the catalyst to match volunteers with jobs;
4. Keep workers motivated and projects happening;
5. Work with specific project organizers (for example Terry Jacobson);
6. Be the main contact person for volunteers;
7. The coordinator is encouraged to promote the project and encourage new volunteers;
8. Be at the work site (or spot check) assisting the co-chair and/or, on his/her own oversee a large work party or work project;
9. See that proper tools are available for projects; (Some tools are on-site. Sometimes people will need to bring tools, and occasionally the CVHS will purchase tools. We own a lawn mower, wheelbarrow some gardening supplies and some small tools that are stored in the shed. )
10. Be expected to help with the larger work parties; and,
11. If the work for the day requires advertising email and or calling people to help, the Coordinator will see that it is done.


1. The Coordinator will be provided with a list of volunteers and their contact information.
2. The Project Coordinator will be responsible to the Board of Directors but work directly with the Committee co-chairs or designee.
3. Work dates are: from hire date in May through end of Sept, approximately 20 weeks.
4. It is expected that the job will range from 0- 15 hours each week and average approximately 5-6 hours/week.
5. The Project Coordinator must have a valid Alaska business license.
6. Compensation is $2000.


1. The Project Coordinator must have excellent people skills;
2. Have excellent organizational skills;
3. Have phone and internet access;
4. Have a computer and know how to use Microsoft Word and Excel;
5. Be self motivated;
6. Have the ability to learn and understand the project;
7. Be able to lift 25 lbs., use hand tools and occasionally climb a ladder;
8. Be able to access all parts of the cabin and property; and,
9. Have a business license.

If you are interested in applying or have any questions, contact: Cindy Jones 907-766-2018

Grant Applications for Digitization

Date Posted: April 30, 2018       Categories: News


The Alaska State Historical Records Advisory Board (ASHRAB) is sponsoring a Digitization Archivist Program Grant during summer/fall 2018: a grant venture that will fund a Digitization Archivist’s travel to an Alaskan repository and offer six weeks of hands-on digitization services and training, and assist the institution in becoming a new contributor to Alaska’s Digital Archives. The objective of the grant is to empower a small to medium-sized Alaskan institution with training, software, and equipment so it becomes a sustained contributor to Alaska’s Digital Archives, ultimately providing new online content to the public.

Program Overview: The Digitization Archivist Program occurs after host institutions apply to the ASHRAB to receive the services of the Digitization Archivist. One institution will be awarded funding to pay the Digitization Archivist’s salary, software, membership fees for contributing to Alaska’s Digital Archives, and a new photograph scanner. The Digitization Archivist will be dispatched to the institution ideally during summer or fall 2018, spending six weeks working for the institution. Historic photographs and documents are the primary content projected for digitization.

Eligibility: Small to medium-sized Alaskan institutions, such as museums, libraries, tribal organizations, and other non-profit organizations holding archival materials are encourage to apply. Applicants must demonstrate their commitment to becoming a sustained contributor to Alaska’s Digital Archives after the six-week services of the Digitization Archivist. Institutions must have descriptive guides (finding aids) about their archival holdings available on their website at the time of review.

Application: Institutions interested in applying should contact Zachary Jones at zachary.jones@alaska.gov for an application. Applications are due May 30, 2018. Applications are two-pages in length, with fill-in-the-blank responses.

About the ASHRAB: The ASHRAB, a board overseen by the Office of the Governor, Boards and Commissions, and Chaired by the State Archivist, promotes the collection, preservation, and accessibility of historical records found in Alaskan repositories. This project is supported by a grant from the National Historic Publications & Records Commission (NHPRC).






New publication about 1867 Alaska Transfer Ceremony

Date Posted: March 14, 2018       Categories: News

The Alaska Historical Society is pleased to announce publication of:

“As the Old Flag Came Down: Eyewitnesses to the October 18, 1867 Alaska Transfer Ceremony”

 Chris Allan, 2018.

This 32-page booklet offers 16 eyewitness accounts of the 1867 Alaska Transfer Ceremony held in Sitka, Alaska. Drawn from newspaper stories, letters, and journals, there is one pre-transfer account, one post-transfer account, and 14 that describe the event. It also includes some 1868 photographs taken by Eadweard Muybridge. These accounts provide a rare opportunity to see how multiple observers remember and record the same events differently. Beyond the descriptions of the transfer ceremony, these accounts offer remarkable portraits of Sitka as a community in flux as the Americans arrive and the Russians depart and the Tlingits adapt to the new regime.

Download a pdf of this booklet..

Alaska History Day Judges Needed – March 23-30, 2018

Date Posted: March 12, 2018       Categories: News

More than 400 students in grades 6-12 across the state are participating in this year’s Alaska History Day contest from March 23-30. This annual competition is held at local, state, and national levels to engage kids in creating history projects about topics that resonate with them, connected to an annual national theme. This year’s National History Day (NHD) theme is “Conflict and Compromise in History.”

From March 23-30, the top finishers from local contests will compete in the online state contest. We are currently seeking judges to help evaluate student projects during this week. Judges give feedback that helps students understand how to improve their communication and research skills. The feedback also helps prepare winning students for the next level of competition: the national contest in Washington, D.C. in June. The more diverse the judging pool, the better the feedback and the experience for the students.

Who can judge?
Alaskans with an interest in history who have a reliable internet connection.

What training is required?
Judges will be e-mailed a brief training video with sample evaluation rubrics. In all, the training should last around 20 minutes. The National History Day organization has designed the contest so that judges need not be professional historians or academics.

What’s the time commitment?
Judges can choose their time commitment, with a minimum of one hour between March 23-30. Judging can take place any time during that week – in the evenings, during the day, or on the weekend.

Can I choose what category of projects I judge?
Judges may request preferred categories among the five types of projects: website, documentary film, paper, performance, or exhibit.

How do I sign up?
Contact state coordinator Amanda Dale at adale@akhf.org / (907) 272-5503.
Or go to the Alaska Humanities Forum Alaska History Day Webpage (akhf.org/ahd) and scroll down to the bottom of the page, and fill out the quick form.

More information:
Alaska History Day (akhf.org/ahd)
National History Day (nhd.org)