April 6, 2013 Categories: 49 History
Pacific Fisherman, a fishing industry journal published for six decades in the early- to mid-twentieth century, was a vital source of information for fishermen in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska. Today, its countless thousands of articles, photographs, advertisements, and data on various species is an incredible resource for scholars in several fields, historians included.
The Suzzallo Library at the University of Washington recently digitized more than five thousand pages of Pacific Fisherman. The collection is available at:
According to Special Collections at Suzzallo, “The first half of the twentieth century saw critical events in the fishing industry. Questions of natural resource utilization and conservation, relationships with the federal government, Indian tribes and other countries, marine engineering, and marketing are all discussed in Pacific Fisherman. The journal has a broad base of appeal; scientists looking for long-term salmon population data, genealogists and regional historians will all find something to intrigue them.”
If a publication takes on the personality of its editor, Pacific Fisherman was very much a reflection of Miller Freeman. From the moment he started the journal in 1906, Freeman filled its pages with not only trade news but also his fiery rhetoric and political persuasions. A staunch Republican, he served on a number of boards dedicated to protecting and promoting the fishing industry, including the Pacific Fisheries Conference and International Halibut Commission. Freeman also participated in anti-Japanese groups and advocated the exclusion of foreigners from American fisheries.
The digitizing and posting of these images by the Suzzallo Library is a most welcome accomplishment and Alaska historians owe the library staff a big thank you.