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Guide to the Esther Wunnicke papers
1955-2013

Collection number: HMC-1170.
Creator: Wunnicke, Esther.
Title: Esther Wunnicke papers.
Dates: 1955-2013.
Volume of collection: 2.25 cubic feet. 
Language of materials: Materials in this collection are in English.
Collection summary: Papers of a women heavily involved in Alaska Native land rights, women’s rights, and Alaska oil and gas development and policies.

Biographical note:
Esther Wunnicke was born in 1922 and moved to Alaska in 1963 with her husband, Bill. Wunnicke received a law degree from George Washington University and began her career in Alaska in 1966 at the Federal Field Committee for Development Planning. She was later appointed, in 1977, by United States President Jimmy Carter to be Federal Co-Chair of the Joint Federal-State Land Use Planning Commission. In 1980, she became the director for Alaska’s off shore oil and gas development at U.S. Minerals Management Services. In 1982, she was appointed the Commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources by Governor Sheffield, which earned her the name “Land Lady of Alaska.” Wunnicke also served as chair of Alaska Oil and Gas Policy Council, as well as served on the Human Rights Commission, Federal Field Committee, Pollution Advisory and Prevention Board, Alaska Rural Governance and Empowerment Committee, Transportation Committee, Alaska Highway Natural Gas Policy Council, and the League of Women Voters. She also founded Alaska Common Ground and worked with Beans Café. Esther Wunnicke died in 2013.

Collection description:
The majority of the collection contains records relating to Esther Wunnicke’s professional life. The collection includes numerous speeches which Wunnicke gave to many organizations, records relating to her work on some of the committees she served, and subject files, the majority of which relate to Alaska Native land rights, women’s rights, and Alaska’s natural resources. The collection also includes personal papers, such as transcripts to interviews given by Wunnicke, and records relating to her later life. Folder titles were retained where provided.

Arrangement: The collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1. Speeches; 1968-2003, bulk 1983-1986
Series 2. Committee records; 1968-2001
Series 3. Subject files; 1955-2006
Series 4. Personal papers; 1975-2013
Series 5. Audio and visual cassettes; undated, 1987, 1989

Digitized copies: Digital copies of collection material not available online. For information about obtaining digital copies, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Rights note: Archives holds copyright to materials created by Esther Wunnicke. Copyright restrictions may apply to collection materials not produced by Esther Wunnicke.

Preferred citation: Esther Wunnicke papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Works used in preparation of inventory:
Angvik, Jane. "Esther Wunnicke made lasting contribution - COMPASS: Other points of view." Anchorage Daily News (AK) 7 Apr. 2013, Final, Main: B2. NewsBank. Web.
"Esther Wunnicke." Alaska Women’s Hall Of Fame. 28 Feb. 2011. Web. 
"The Tundra Drums - CAUYAT - "The Beat of the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta” “Esther C. Wunnicke. The Tundra Drums, 4 Apr. 2013. Web. 

Separated materials: Publications were removed from the collection and some added to Rare Books. Medical and financial documents, as well as personal family correspondence were also removed from the collection. Please contact an archivist for further information.

Acquisition note: The Esther Wunnicke papers were donated to the Archives and Special Collections by Jane Angvik on behalf of the Wunnicke family.

Processing information: This collection was described by Veronica Denison in 2014. Folder titles were retained where provided.

Container list:
Series 1: Speeches; 1968-2003, bulk 1983-1986. 0.50 cubic feet.
This series contains speeches which Esther Wunnicke gave at various events and in front of various committees. Included with some of the speeches are Wunnicke’s notes relating to the subject of her speech, speech drafts, and research. The series is arranged by the subject of the speeches.

Box/
Folder

Description

Dates

1/1

Water

1983-1986

1/2

Environment

1985

1/3

Native issues

1978, 1984

1/4

Parks

undated, 1984-1986

1/5

General speeches, notes, and drafts

1983-1994

1/6

Agriculture

1984-1986

1/7

Budget

1984-1986, 2003

1/8

Forestry

1983-1986

1/9

Mining/Alaska Mining Associations

undated, 1983-1986

1/10

Integrity in public service; UAS Commencement; Women Helping Women awards

1985, 1990, 1993

1/11

Land Management, lawsuit

1977-1999

1/12-13

Women’s issues

undated, 1968-1980, 1984-2002

1/14

Oil and gas

undated, 1983-1995

1/15-16

Public land policy, Natural Resources, DNR (Department of Natural Resources), OCS (Outer Continental Shelf), employment in Alaska

undated, 1968-1999

1/17

March 1999: notes, research, and speeches

1999 March

1/18

Various speeches

undated, 1979-1999

Series 2: Committee records; 1968-2001. 0.60 cubic feet.
This series contains the records pertaining to some of the committees in which Wunnicke was involved. Records in this series include commission reports, correspondence relating to specific committees, news articles, and Wunnicke’s notes.

Box/
Folder

Description

Dates

1/19

Alaska Rural Governance and Empowerment Committee: correspondence, reports, news articles, and notes

1998-2001

1/20

Commission on Rural Governances: draft agenda

1998

1/21

Alaska Native Commission Final Report: volume III

1994

1/22-25

Oil Spill Commission

1989-1990

1/26

Alaska Oil and Gas Policy Council: Wunnicke’s correspondence with Tony Knowles

1996

1/27

Transportation Committee

1977

1/28

Transportation Committee: Easements

1974-1977

1/29

OCS (Outer Continental Shelf): Wunnicke’s meeting with Secretary Watt; itinerary and correspondence

1983

1/30

Land Use Planning Commission: testimony, notes, research

circa 1968-1977

1/31

Governor’s Subsistence Leadership Summit: correspondence and reports

undated, 2001

1/32

Alaska Oil Spill Commission: recommendations, state analysis and scorecard

1999

1/33-2/2

Alaska Highway Natural Gas Policy Council: press and pressure; correspondence, news articles, research

2000-2001

2/3

Transition task force: report—Department of Natural Resources, speech by Governor Sheffield to Alaska Mining Association

circa 1982-1983

Series 3: Subject files; 1955-2006. 0.70 cubic feet.
This series contains records Wunnicke kept relating to specific subjects, many of which deal with Alaska Native land rights, women’s rights, and Alaska’s natural resources. Included in the series are laws relating to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act and Alaska Native Interest Lands Conservation Act, as well news and journal articles relating to Alaska Native land rights and economics as well as women’s rights and Alaska’s natural resources.

Box/
Folder

Description

Dates

2/4

Women: news articles, notes

circa 1979-1989

2/5

Feminist materials: notes, news articles, Dorothy Awes Hawland

1970-1999

2/6

Women’s concerns: notes, news articles

undated, 1982-1988

2/7

Native American Rights

1999-2003

2/8

Native jurisdictions, articles, Supreme Court cases

1965-1997

2/9

Alaska Native sovereignty

1994-1997

2/10

Indian rights: generally and Indian lands: news articles, journals, laws

1949-1997

2/11

Alaska Natives economics

1993-1998

2/12

Natives of Alaska: A Study in Class and Ethnicity by Paul Wunnicke

1983

2/13

The Foundations of Indian Law and Policy, Volume II; Superintendent’s Workshop in Indian Affairs

1997

2/14

ANILCA (Alaska Native Interest Lands Conservation Act)

undated, 1997-1999

2/15

ANCSA (Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act) and AFN (Alaska Federation of Natives)

1984-2004

2/16

1987, 1992 ANCSA amendments, and Wunnicke’s notes

1992

2/17

ANCSA

1970-2006

2/18

Meeting the Challenge” by Delegate E. L. Bartlett, Alaska Constitutional Convention

1955 November

2/19

A Plan for the Reformation of the Alaska Salmon Industry, and Wunnicke’s notes

1994

2/20

Issues to Consider Under a Proposed SGDA Contract between the SOA and Producers: presentation to PAC COM by M. K. Rutherford

2006

2/21

Revisiting the Petroleum Investment Outlook for Alaska’s North Slope—draft by Arlon R. Tussing and Associations Inc.

1995 June

2/22

North Slope Natural Gas Reports: Trans Alaska Gas System: Economics”, “Gas Line Transition Report

1983, 2002

2/23

Alaska Gas line Port Authority: AGPA Financial Model Assumptions And Results

2001 July

2/24

A Report to Governor Sheffield on the Department of Natural Resources

undated

2/25

New fold Approaches to Renewable Resources Management in the North by Milton M.R. Framan

1984 February

2/26

Alaska Natural Gas

2001-2002, 2005-2006

2/27

Gas Pipeline Contract: testimony, reports, information

2006

Series 4: Personal papers; 1975-2013. 0.20 cubic feet.
This series contains records relating to Wunnicke’s personal life. The series includes letters of reference which Wunnicke wrote, her application for Supreme Court Justice, as well as records dealing with Wunnicke’s later life, memorial services for her friends, and her death.

Box/
Folder

Description

Dates

2/28

Wunnicke’s application for Supreme Court Justice of Alaska

1975

2/29

Letters of reference written by Wunnicke

undated, 1996-1999

2/30

Course syllabus: UAA, Justice 491—Natural Resources Law

1993

2/31

Interviews with Wunnicke: transcripts

1982-1995

2/32

Memorial services, obituaries, and news articles relating to Wunnicke’s friends

undated, 1999-2013

Oversize
Folder 1

Certificate: The Alaska Legislature honoring Wunnicke

2012

2/33

Bean’s Café, poetry by Wunnicke, letter to Rodney from Bill Wunnicke, Beryl’s 80th birthday

circa 1970-2000

2/34

Wunnicke’s death: obituary, news articles, memorials

2013

Series 5: Audio and visual cassettes; undated, 1987, 1989. 0.25 cubic feet.
This series contains audio cassettes and VHS tapes of radio and television programs on the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill and the cleaning and treatment of oiled birds that Wunnicke recorded. Copyright for the materials in this series is not held by the Archives. Please contact an archivist for further information.

Box/Folder

Description

Dates

3/1

Audio cassettes: KSKA—Oil Spill—Call on Progress; tapes 1 and 2

1989 September 16

3/2

VHS: Sansorb (cleaning and treatment of oiled birds), Norway, Finland, Demo Anchorage. Patson/Brady JV

1987, 1989

3/3

VHS: Valdez Oil Spill Clean Up (Hilton Sucherman Productions, Exxon Co.)

1989 October 31

3/4

VHS: Chapter 2, 1 hr. special on Exxon Valdez Wreck, John Tracy

undated