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)

Conference Tours and Events

Date Posted: September 12, 2019       Categories: News

Going to Kodiak for the Alaska Historical Society/Museums Alaska Conference on September 25?

Thinking about attending one of the special events or going on one of the interesting tours?

Conference organizers ask that you sign up for these by September 15th. Go to the joint conference website to register.

2019 AHS Conference Schedule

Date Posted: September 6, 2019       Categories: News

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

The 2019 Alaska Historical Society/Museums Alaska conference on September 25-28 in Kodiak is rapidly approaching and the organizing committee is working hard to finalize details.

While the early bird registration deadline was August 31, we still encourage people to register and attend this great gathering of practitioners of Alaska history, museum work, and cultural studies. Visit the joint conference website to view the full program schedule, to see what special events and tours are being offered, to get travel advice, and to register.

Click here for the full program for the Alaska Historical Society portion of the 2019 joint conference

Franklin Symposium September 21 – Anchorage Museum

Date Posted: September 6, 2019       Categories: News

SYMPOSIUM: Lost and Found: Uncovering the Mystery of the Franklin Expedition

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center, Auditorium

In conjunction with the major exhibition, Death in the Ice: The Mystery of the Franklin Expedition, the Anchorage Museum is hosting a symposium titled Lost and Found: Uncovering the Mystery of the Franklin Expedition on Sept. 21.

Authors and experts from all over North America will examine aspects of the Franklin expedition, from Inuit oral history to recent archaeological and underwater discoveries. Speakers include American writer and college professor Russell Potter, author David Woodman, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Paul Watson, and anthropologist Anne Jensen.

Registration is required. $35 non-members, $30 members, $20 students. Box lunch available for purchase $20. Click here to register on-line.

Early Bird Conference Registration Deadline – August 31

Date Posted: August 30, 2019       Categories: News

August 31 is the Early Bird deadline for registering for the 2019 Alaska Historical Society Annual Meeting being held in Kodiak, Alaska on September 25-28.

Register now and save $90.

Visit the Joint AHS/MA Conference website to register and for more information about the conference, speakers, and special events.

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.