AHS Blog  |  News

Abstracts and Biographies

Date Posted: September 27, 2020       Categories: News

Do you want to know more about the presentations scheduled for the AHS 2020 annual conference being held October 8-10 and 15-17 via Zoom? Abstracts of the presentations and biographies of the presenters are now available for review.

Remember to register for the conference.

Hope to see everyone there!

Conference Registration Now Available

Date Posted: September 11, 2020       Categories: News

Registration for the 2020 AHS conference is now available on the AHS website.

Thank you for your patience as we tried to plan a conference during these uncertain times and we apologize for the delay in making the registration available. Due to the conference being held in a new digital format this year, it took longer than expected to set up the online registration features.

CONFERENCE DATES: Thursday through Saturday: October 8-10 and 15-17, 2020. Morning session each day: 10:oo-11:30 am. Afternoon session each day: 2:00-3:30 pm.

Registration fee is $50. After you register, you will receive an email from Zoom that provides the link to the Zoom webinars and a passcode that you will need to use to enter them. The same link and passcode will give you access to all sessions. Registration and the schedule are available on the schedule page.

Statement on Monuments and The Need For More History

Date Posted: September 9, 2020       Categories: News

In response to current events and after much thought and discussion, the advocacy committee of the Alaska Historical Society has developed a statement about the importance of history and that different perspectives and a diversity of viewpoints matter.

Any historical debate must be informed by evidence, a close engagement with primary sources, and an acknowledgement that history does not always present clear cut answers and easily identifiable heroes and villains. It does, however, present a singular opportunity to think critically about the past, celebrate moments of triumphs, and reckon with injustice. In doing so, history promotes understanding and empathy; it expands our vision for change and enriches our public dialogue.

The Alaska Historical Society, a volunteer-based non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion of Alaska history and education of Alaskans about their heritage, encourages this debate. We believe Alaska’s history should be broadly discussed and much better understood. We encourage our fellow Alaskans to enter discussions of history based on these principles:

Alaska’s history should be understood in full context and always based on the best available evidence.

The full Alaska Historical Society’s Statement on Monuments and The Need For More History is available under the Advocacy portion of the AHS website.

AHS Conference Goes Digital: October 8-10 and 15-17, 2020

Date Posted: August 14, 2020       Categories: News

New dates for the AHS Annual Conference are Thursday through Saturday: October 8-10 and 15-17. The conference theme remains “Power and Place.”

Sitka from water, showing the Three Sisters in the background. Sitka Harbor-7, Alaska State Library Photo Collection.

Over the last few months, COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our lives. We’ve stopped gathering and traveling, and much of our usual interaction for work, school, worship or shopping is now done from home or with social distancing. Last month, the AHS board made the difficult, but necessary, decision to cancel the planned face-to-face annual conference in Sitka, October 14-17. Instead, we will hold the meeting digitally by Zoom, stretching it out over two weeks, Thursday through Saturday: October 8-10 and 15-17. To avoid Zoom fatigue, we’ll meet for 1-1/2 hours in the morning and 1-1/2 hours in the afternoon each day. There are no concurrent sessions; everyone can attend every session. The sessions will be recorded, so if you miss one or want to hear a paper again, you can access it later on the AHS website.

Participants can register for the whole conference for $50, a fee significantly less than what we would normally charge for the face-to-face conference. The $50 fee is intended to offset the cost of hiring someone to set up the digital conference. Registration will soon be available on the Conference Website linked to the AHS website. For more information, check the conference website or the Conference Information page on the AHS website.

We want to make sure that everyone who registers can access the panels. Please let us know, by sending an email to rachel_mason@nps.gov or calling 907-240-4917, if you are interested in participating in a training session in how to use Zoom. We also plan to offer training especially for presenters in how to give a paper via Zoom, including how to use PowerPoint slides. Training sessions will be held prior to the conference, likely in the first week of October. If you have impaired vision or hearing, or have other accessibility issues, please let us know in advance so that we can provide captioning or other support.

Reminder: 2020 Award Nominations Deadline August 15

Date Posted: August 11, 2020       Categories: News

Do you want to recognize an individual, local historical society, or public institution for their outstanding research, writing, or promotion of Alaska history? Nominate them for one of the Alaska Historical Society’s annual awards. DO IT NOW! Nomination deadline is August 15, 2020.

Awards to be made in 2020 and presented during our annual meeting in October:

The James H. Ducker Historian of the Year Award is given to an Alaska resident for publication of significant new material about Alaska’s past published the last sixteen months. history during the past year. Historian James Ducker edited the Society’s scholarly journal Alaska History for 30 years.

The Esther Billman Certificate of Excellence is given to a local or state historical society, museum, government agency, or other organization for a project or series of projects contributing to the preservation and understanding of Alaska history. Esther Billman’s service as curator at the Sheldon Jackson Museum is commemorated by the award.

The Evangeline Atwood Award is given to an individual for significant long-term contributions to Alaska state or local history. Evangeline Atwood was one of the founders of the Alaska Historical Society.

The Barbara Smith Pathfinder Award is given to an individual or individuals for indexing or preparing guides to Alaska historical material. Barbara Smith, a historian, archivist, and exhibit curator prepared invaluable guides to Alaska Native, Russian Orthodox, and Russian American records.

The Elva R. Scott Local Historical Society Award is for a special achievement of a community historical society or museum to make the local people and historical events known. Elva Scott was a founder of Homer’s Pratt Museum, and after moving to Eagle was the newsletter editor, tour guide, and official of that community’s historical society.

The Student and Beginning Professional Travel Scholarship Awards are cash awards given to help individuals attend and participate in the Alaska Historical Society’s annual meeting and conference.

The Contributions to Alaska History Award recognize an individual or groups that have made  singular and significant recent contributions to the promotion and understanding of Alaska history.

A letter of nomination with sufficient detail and supporting materials should be sent to the AHS Awards Committee, members@alaskahistoricalsociety.org or mailed to P.O. Box 100299, Anchorage, AK 99510.  Nominations for the Ducker Award must include a copy of the publication for the committee’s use.

Nominations are due August 15, 2020.