This year’s annual Alaska Historical Society and Museums Alaska conference in Juneau featured ample opportunities to share and learn about Alaska fisheries history. Historic Alaska Packers Association maps were on exhibit within the Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff building, in addition to a section within the brand new exhibits about the history of Alaska’s seafood industry. The following a synopsis of several of the featured presentations and projects.
Bob King and Katie Ringsmuth spoke about their Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative-sponsored project to document the history of the Diamond NN cannery in Bristol Bay. Diamond NN is the oldest industrial fish processing site on the Naknek River. Bob and Katie hope to nominate the site to the National Register of Historic Places and curate several exhibits, including one about the 1919 Spanish Influenza outbreak in Bristol Bay. To learn more about this project, make sure to like Tundra Vision on Facebook. Listen to this APRN feature to learn more about the Spanish Flu in Bristol Bay here.
University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Oceanic Sciences PhD candidates Maggie Chan, Elizabeth Figus and Sonia Ibarra joined Daniel Montieth of University of Alaska Southeast in a discussion about the opportunities and limitations of using historic and archival material to establish baseline scientific data. Maggie and Elizabeth are looking at halibut fisheries in Southeast Alaska, while Sonia is researching how people sea otter populations and ecology in Southeast.
A Fisheries History Speed Talk session featured presentations by nine individuals, highlighting projects and resources related to fisheries history. Angela Schmidt of the University of Alaska’s Film Archive shared new film resources, including an acquisition from the Marine Advisory Program’s videographer and the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute. Ross Coen spoke about the acquisition of the Seafood Products Association archive by the Special Collections at the University of Washington. This archive features information on the development of methods to enhance the quality of seafood production. The donation can be attributed to the efforts of the Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative to educate the seafood industry about the importance of preserving institutional records.
Karen Hofstad announced that she and Anjuli Grantham are collaborating to publish Pat Roppel’s work on the history of canneries in Southeast Alaska. Pat spent years compiling information but died before her work was finished. Her papers were donated to the Alaska Historical Library in Juneau. This effort to revive and publish Pat’s work will be a project of the Alaska Historic Canneries Initiative.
While in Juneau, Anjuli Grantham, Bob King and Katie Ringsmuth taped a show in front of a live studio audience for KTOO’s Forum@360. “Alaska’s Historic Canneries and the People Who Worked There” will broadcast on Friday, October 7 at 8PM on 360North. The full program is available for viewing at any time on KTOO’s website.