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)





Awards Deadline Extended to August 16, 2019

Date Posted: August 10, 2019       Categories: News

2019 AHS Awards: Request for Nominations

Do you know individuals and groups which have done a worthy project, made long-term contributions to local history, made historical materials better known, or written a book that has contributed to the understanding and preservation of Alaska’s history this past year? It is time to nominate these folks for recognition by the Alaska Historical Society with the annual awards it makes. The award categories are:

The Esther Billman Award of Excellence to a local or state historical society, museum, government agency, or other organization that has completed a project contributing to the preservation and understanding of Alaskan history.

The Evangeline Atwood Award to an individual for significant long-term contributions to Alaska state or local history.

The James H. Ducker Alaska Historian of the Year Award to an Alaska resident for publication of significant new material about Alaska’s past.

The Barbara Smith Pathfinder Award for indexing or preparing guides to Alaska historical material.

The Elva Scott Local Historical Society Award for a special achievement of a local society or museum.

The Contributions to Alaska History Award to recognize singular and significant recent contributions to Alaska history.

Nominations are due by Friday, August 16, 2019. A nomination letter should describe the individual’s or the group’s contributions or detail the project to be recognized. Please include supporting material, such as a copy of the publication, guide, or photographs. Nominations should be sent to William Schneider, AHS Awards Committee Co-Chair, P.O. Box 100299, Anchorage, AK 99510, or submit by email to wsschneider@alaska.edu or members@alaskahistoricalsociety.org.

Click here for more information about AHS awards and a list of previous recipients.





Conference Schedule and Registration

Date Posted: July 22, 2019       Categories: 49 History

Awauq or Refuge Rock, off the southern shore of Kodiak Island. Photo courtesy of Sven Haakanson, Jr.

Registration is now open for the 2019 Alaska Historical Society Annual Conference being held in Kodiak from September 25-28, 2019.

Visit the Museums Alaska/Alaska Historical Society joint conference website to register.

Click here to view the full program for the Alaska Historical Society sessions.

We look forward to seeing you in Kodiak!





2019 AHS Awards: Request for Nominations

Date Posted: July 16, 2019       Categories: News

Do you know individuals and groups which have done a worthy project, made long-term contributions to local history, made historical materials better known, or written a book that has contributed to the understanding and preservation of Alaska’s history this past year? It is time to nominate these folks for recognition by the Alaska Historical Society with the annual awards it makes. The award categories are:

The Esther Billman Award of Excellence to a local or state historical society, museum, government agency, or other organization that has completed a project contributing to the preservation and understanding of Alaskan history.

The Evangeline Atwood Award to an individual for significant long-term contributions to Alaska state or local history.

The James H. Ducker Alaska Historian of the Year Award to an Alaska resident for publication of significant new material about Alaska’s past.

The Barbara Smith Pathfinder Award for indexing or preparing guides to Alaska historical material.

The Elva Scott Local Historical Society Award for special achievement of a local society or museum.

The Contributions to Alaska History Award to recognize singular and significant recent contributions to Alaska history.

Nominations are due by Wednesday, July 31, 2019. A nomination letter should describe the individual’s or the group’s contributions or details the project to be recognized. Please include supporting material, such as a copy of the publication, guide, or photographs. Nominations should be sent to William Schneider, AHS Awards Committee Chair, P.O. Box 100299, Anchorage, AK 99510, or submit by email to members@alaskahistoricalsociety.org.

For more information about AHS awards and a list of previous recipients





Call For Papers 2019 Conference

Date Posted: March 15, 2019       Categories: News

Awauq or Refuge Rock, off the southern shore of Kodiak Island. Photo courtesy of Sven Haakanson, Jr.

Facing Our History

Alaska Historical Society Annual Conference
September 25-28, 2019 in Kodiak, Alaska

Call for Papers

Many of the events subjected to historical inquiry may be interpreted in very different ways. While some historians may represent them as positive events to be celebrated, to others they involve conflict, domination, and destruction. The history of Kodiak Island involves many such events, including the subjugation of Alutiiq people in the Russian colonial period, the American military rule prior to statehood, the effects of the Aleutian Campaign of World War II, and the Exxon Valdez oil spill’s impact on fisheries. This year’s theme also recognizes the historian’s difficult task of documenting and interpreting past events objectively and openly, while recognizing that the resulting narrative may spark conflict with other people. Our goal must be to find cause for inspiration and learning in even the most disturbing history.

Our keynote speaker this year is Dr. Sven Haakanson, Jr. of the Burke Museum in Seattle, formerly of Kodiak’s Alutiiq Museum. Dr. Haakanson’s work includes uncovering the history of Awa’uq or Refuge Rock, the site of a 1784 massacre of perhaps thousands of Alutiiq people on the south end of Kodiak Island at the hands of Russian fur trader Grigory Shelikov’s armed men. Dr. Haakanson also directed the project that led to publication of Giinaquq, Like a Face: Sugpiaq Masks of the Kodiak Archipelago.

Please join us in Kodiak this September. As always, we welcome presentations on all Alaska history topics. Presentations are limited to 20 minutes, and all presenters must be registered for the conference. To submit a proposal, please send your presentation title, an abstract of no more than 100 words, and two sentences about yourself to Rachel Mason, Program Chair, rachel_mason@nps.gov. Proposals are due May 15, 2019.





Funding for State Office of History and Archaeology

Date Posted: March 15, 2019       Categories: News

On March 9, 2019, the Alaska Historical Commission passed a resolution requesting the Alaska State Legislature reinstate the $150,000 in required state General Fund Match money for the Historic Preservation Fund that is currently not included in Governor Dunleavy’s proposed FY20 capital budget. These funds are critical for operation of the State Office of History and Archaeology, and for distribution to local historic preservation and historic building renovation projects.

Click here to view AHC Resolution_3-8-2019

These funding decisions are made in the House and Senate Finance committees and their respective Natural Resources subcommittees. Committee members, in particular the chairs of each committee, need to hear from Alaskans who support the State Historic Preservation Office programs of the Office of History and Archaeology, and their mission to preserve our state’s physical and cultural heritage.

Here are the names and email addresses of committee members:

AK Senate Finance Committee – 31st Legislature (2019-2020)
Senator Bert Stedman (Co-Chair) Email: Senator.Bert.Stedman@akleg.gov
Senator Natasha von Imhof (Co-Chair) Email: Senator.Natasha.vonImhof@akleg.gov
Senator Click Bishop (member) Email: Senator.Click.Bishop@akleg.gov
Senator Lyman Hoffman (member) Email: Senator.Lyman.Hoffman@akleg.gov
Senator Peter Micciche (member) Email: Senator.Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov
Senator Mike Shower (member) Email: Senator.Mike.Shower@akleg.gov
Senator David Wilson (member) Email: Senator.David.Wilson@akleg.gov
Senator Donald Olson (member) Email: Senator.Donald.Olson@akleg.gov
Senator Bill Wielechowski (member) Email: Senator.Bill.Wielechowski@akleg.gov

AK Senate Natural Resources Committee (Finance Subcommittee) – 31st Legislature (2019-2020)
Senator Click Bishop (Chair) Email: Senator.Click.Bishop@akleg.gov
Senator Cathy Giessel (member) Email: Senator.Cathy.Giessel@akleg.gov
Senator Peter Micciche (member) Email: Senator.Peter.Micciche@akleg.gov
Senator Jesse Kiehl (member) Email: Senator.Jesse.Kiehl@akleg.gov

AK House Finance Committee – 31st Legislature (2019-2020)
Rep. Neal Foster (Co-Chair) Email: Representative.Neal.Foster@akleg.gov
Rep. Tammie Wilson (Co-Chair) Email: Representative.Tammie.Wilson@akleg.gov
Rep. Jennifer Johnston (Vice-Chair) Email: Representative.Jennifer.Johnston@akleg.gov
Rep. Dan Ortiz (member) Email: Representative.Dan.Ortiz@akleg.gov
Rep. Andy Josephson (member) Email: Representative.Andy.Josephson@akleg.gov
Rep. Gary Knopp (member) Email: Representative.Gary.Knopp@akleg.gov
Rep. Bart LeBon (member) Email: Representative.Bart.LeBon@akleg.gov
Rep. Cathy Tilton (member) Email: Representative.Cathy.Tilton@akleg.gov
Rep. Kelly Merrick (member) Email: Representative.Kelly.Merrick@akleg.gov
Rep. Colleen Sullivan-Leonard (member) Email: Representative.Colleen.Sullivan-Leonard@akleg.gov
Rep. Ben Carpenter (member) Email: Email: Representative.Ben.Carpenter@akleg.gov

AK House Natural Resources Committee (Finance Subcommittee) – 31st Legislature (2019-2020)
Rep. Gary Knopp (Chair) Email: Representative.Gary.Knopp@akleg.gov
Rep. John Lincoln (member) Email: Representative.John.Lincoln@akleg.gov
Rep. Geran Tarr (member) Email: Representative.Geran.Tarr@akleg.gov
Rep. Grier Hopkins (member) Email: Representative.Grier.Hopkins@akleg.gov
Rep. Sara Hannan (member) Email: Representative.Sara.Hannan@akleg.gov
Rep. Chris Tuck (member) Email: Representative.Chris.Tuck@akleg.gov
Rep. Ivy Spohnholz (member) Email: Representative.Ivy.Spohnholz@akleg.gov
Rep. Dave Talerico (member) Email: Representative.Dave.Talerico@akleg.gov
Rep. George Rauscher (member) Email: Representative.George.Rauscher@akleg.gov
Rep. Sara Rasmussen (member) Email: Representative.Sara.Rasmussen@akleg.gov
Rep. Kelly Merrick (member) Email: Representative.Kelly.Merrick@akleg.gov