Fri, June 12, 2020

Cook Inlet Historical Society Virtual Lecture

In response to the COVID-19 virus, the Cook Inlet Historical Society has transitioned to a free, online speaker series.

Please tune in for Cook Inlet Historical Society’s virtual panel lecture titled:  “We’re Saving It for You:  The Value and Importance of Archives and Museums in Alaska”; 7 p.m., Thursday, June 18, 2020.  

Advance registration is required for this free virtual talk.  Online meeting details will be included in an automatic confirmation email.  Register here:

In this lecture, a local panel of archivists and museum curators will give an overview of their respective institutions’ archival, manuscript and museum holdings related to Alaska and the Circumpolar North. Archives also have been used in innovative and creative ways for community outreach, film documentaries and educational outreach. By emphasizing how these collections are used in research, the panelists will discuss the rich resources in the state’s archives. They will present what archives can do for you, how to best use them for personal and historical research, types of users, digital collections and success stories. Public support for archives and museums is a continuing priority of the Alaska Historical Society and the Cook Inlet Historical Society.

The coronavirus derailed the Historical Society’s Speakers Series in March, April and May.  The March event on the importance of history museums and archives was canceled only a few days before it was scheduled so the presenters were well along with preparations.  Recognizing this, and with many historians and researchers concerned about the pending move of the National Archives from Seattle, it is still a very timely topic. The public’s attention to issues such as closing the Seattle National Archives can be lost in these difficult times, making it easy for its proponents to proceed with little public input.


Will Schneider is Professor Emeritus at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and former Curator of Oral History, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.  He is president of the Alaska Historical Society.  He will speak on the value and importance of archives, and the Alaska Historical Society’s Archive Video Project (

Arlene Schmuland is the head of Archives and Special Collections at the Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Arabeth Balasko is Archivist at the Atwood Resource Center, Anchorage Museum.  During her archival career, she has worked as an archivist and historian at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Greenbrier Historical Society, Preservation Society of Newport County and the Arlington Public Library.

Bruce Parham retired as Director of the National Archives at Anchorage in 2011, after 22 years of federal service with the National Archives and Records Administration.  He is secretary of the Cook Inlet Historical Society Board of Directors.

This program is jointly sponsored with the Anchorage Museum, and CIHS would like to acknowledge the Museum’s technical assistance and major support.