Sowing the Seeds of Environmental Stewardship: Libraries, Schools and Children- April 23rd

Philosophy hosts free symposium next week exploring science-ethics communication

Sowing the Seeds of Environmental Stewardship: Libraries, Schools and Children
Tuesday, April 23, 6–8 p.m.
UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307

Effective and appropriate science-ethics communication is essential to help communities across Alaska address environmentally-related challenges with justice, compassion and humaneness. This symposium includes presentations by school librarians from the Anchorage School District and UAA Environmental Ethics students on understanding how scientific and ethical information flows into and is absorbed or rejected by some of the youngest members of our community and the state’s future leaders and citizens. Join us as we identify a range of strategies to engage the diverse publics across our city and state.

The symposium is sponsored by the UAA Department of Philosophy, National Library of Medicine, Environmental Health Information Partnership (EnHIP) and Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Information to Contact the Governor or the Legislature

Who to contact via email:

Governor’s Office

Public Opinion Messaging

From this website you can select specific committees.

Select Finance and Education Standing Committees and University Subcommittees
Or Select specific legislators who select on these committees

Or send emails from the Senate or House website.

Senate Finance

Senate Finance UA subcommittee

House Finance

House Finance UA subcommittee

Or Write to Legislators at:

State Capitol

Juneau AK, 99801 

Terra Non Firma

It was easier to believe in solid ground before it became common knowledge that the Earth is a sphere with tectonic plates rafting over molten rock; unlike the popular myth, not even turtles go all the way down.  It’s been nearly 4 months since the November 30th earthquake, yes, but also 55 years since the 1964 quake.  There are those who have become hypersensitive to every slight jolt and quiver, whose home pages have changed — perhaps permanently — from the innocuous Kitten War to the Alaska aftershocks website, now measuring the anxieties of their lives not in coffee spoons, but in logarithmic fractions they never paid much attention to before.

And why not?  To my mind, this particular local zeitgeist was best captured by L. Juhnke 54 years ago. The Anchorage Times was the recorder of daily Anchorage history from 1916 to the day its doors closed in 1992 (joined in the late 1940s by the Anchorage Daily News), and one editorial page feature was called Poet’s Corner (or, depending on the day’s typesetter, Poets’ Corner, or just plain Poets Corner).  On March 27th, 1965, exactly one year afterwards, Louise Juhnke’s poem March Jitters was published; it applies just as much to the aftermath of 2018 as to that of 1964.  (A little further research in the Times database revealed L. to be Louise, a frequent poetry contributor.)  For decades, the only way to find that poem would have been by looking at frame after frame of microfilm, or by choosing the right Times clippings notebook from among thousands.  But as of last October — just in time for the November 30th earthquake, if anyone had known to look for it — March Jitters and the rest of the Anchorage Times became fully available online back to 1916 — amazing.  Those thousands of clipping file notebooks were replaced by searchable full-page scans of the Times: a local historian’s dream for many decades.

It’s easy to repurpose popular songs as unintended earthquake anthems:  All Shook Up, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On, I Feel The Earth Move.  You can also find in the Times that John Hartford, composer of Gentle On My Mind, performed in Midtown at Grand Central Station on May 5th, 1984.  It was a little over 20 years after the ’64 quake when he sang California Earthquake: “Mother Nature’s got gas, her diet’s gone stale / …acid indigestion on the Richter Scale…”  To say the least.  (

Most people between 3 and 4 feet tall in pre-Star Trek 1964 were watching a science fiction puppet show called Fireball XL5 on that Good Friday (the Exxon Valdez spill also occurred on Good Friday and November 30th was also a Friday — what is it with Fridays and major disasters in Alaska?)  Here, we need to switch to the Anchorage Daily News database (which began in 1985) to find that Robert Gottstein hosted a Fireball XL5 party at the 4th Avenue Theater on the 40th anniversary of the ’64 quake in 2004: everyone remembers Colonel Steve Zodiac and his crew.  You can find episodes and the remarkably romantic theme song for its target age group on Youtube.  (

You’ll find plenty of Alaska earthquake books in the QE 535 call number area, but it was only in 2017 that the best popular book on the 1964 quake and how it changed the understanding of all earthquakes was published, The Great Quake by Henry Fountain (ALASKA QE535.2.U6 F65 2017).  For photographs, a good place to look is Alaska’s Digital Archives (; I don’t see any for the November 30th earthquake yet, but it’s just a matter of time.

For all of our own seismological woes, I still think from time to time of those poor people in Chile in 1960. (  Our 2018 earthquake lasted up to a couple of minutes, depending on where you were; think the first two verses of Led Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven.  The 1964 earthquake lasted about four and a half minutes; think a little over half of Stairway To Heaven, up to the words about the May Queen.  But Chile? Think Stairway To Heaven, and then play the first two verses over again. Ten minutes is a heck of a lot of rock and roll.

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New in the Archives: March 2019

What have we been up to in the Archives in March? You might well ask, because the answer is: quite a lot! Here’s some highlights:

New collections described

S.S. Shamrock pilothouse record, 1924-1925. Pilothouse record detailing the ports and canneries which the S.S. Shamrock stopped between 1924 November and 1925 July in Southcentral and Southeast Alaska. The record details the times and dates of the stops, as well as activities at the ports, such as ship repairs and loading fish. The weather is also recorded. Stops include Port Ashton, Cordova, Valdez, Ellamar, Yakutat, Seldovia, and Baranoff Cannery.

M.S. Decorah pilothouse records, 1928-1930. The collection contains three pilothouse records of the M.S. Decorah which date between 1928 August and 1930 September. The records detail the times and dates of the stops, as well as activities at the ports, such as loading and unloading fish and ship repairs. The Decorah stopped at various ports in the Aleutians, Southcentral Alaska, and Southeast Alaska, including Unalaska, Port Ashton, Latouche Island, Anchorage, Seward, Seldovia, and Ketchikan. The Decorah also would make periodic trips to Seattle. The pilothouse records also document the weather conditions.

Fannie and John Woodiel photographs; 1955-1966. Photographs from two Alaskan schoolteachers who taught in many places in Alaska, including Nome and Ninilchik.

HMC-1317: Eklutna Dam Removal Project photographs and video; 2016-2018. 6.94 GB.

Crane near former site of Eklutna Dam.

APU-0014: APU photographs; 1955-1980. 0.1 cubic foot addition.

APU-0026: APU commencement programs; 1961-1970, 1991-2000. 0.01 cubic feet.

APU-0027: APU baccalaureate service programs; 1961-1974, 1992-1998. 0.1 cubic feet.

Digital Archives additions

Fur Rendezvous dogsled races from the Randy Brandon photographs.

Statewide guides:

We’ve been working on an Interlibrary Cooperation Grant to put subject guides on SLED (Statewide Library Electronic Doorway) that point to primary source collections in archives in Alaska. These are the guides that we completed and which are now available on the SLED site:


Veronica was interviewed for the Northwest Archivists blog for their member spotlight feature

Gwen was elected Chair-elect for the Alaska Library Association Special Libraries roundtable.

Gwen and Veronica presented at the Alaska Library Association conference in Juneau (Arlene assisted) in a session entitled Beyond the Database

For our own topic guides, Veronica created one on collections we have from businesses, clubs, and organizations

Veronica has also been working on organizing our electronic records on our networked area storage. This has been a very time-consuming task–more than any of us had predicted.

In commemoration of Women’s History Month, our podcast this month featured some letters and recollections about life in Alaska written by women.

We even got a mention in President Johnsen’s State of the University address! (About minute 14.)


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Archiving AK Episode 13: Women’s History Month

In this episode of Archiving AK, archivists Gwen Higgins, Veronica Denison, and Arlene Schmuland share some documents from our holdings written by Alaskan women.

The links below are to the guides to each of the collections featured in this podcast.
Thelma Caulkins papers; 1936-1975
Alaska Nurses’ Association collection; 1887-1995
Barb Manz papers; 1970-1976

The post Archiving AK Episode 13: Women’s History Month appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.

African American Oral Histories Available

Thanks to the Rasmuson Foundation, UAA and APU have access during 2019 to the HistoryMakers website and to their collection of oral histories of African Americans. The grant program will also increase the number of oral histories for African Americans living in Alaska. There are currently 275 Alaska stories on the website.

Check out the website at:

New in the Archives: February 2019

Most of our time this month went to working on multi-institutional topic guides and preparing for our session at the Alaska Library Association Conference in Juneau the first weekend of March, but we also released two podcasts, described some new collections, added photographs to Alaska’s Digital Archives, including our 20,000th item, and completed a new exhibit.

Topic guides

Last year we received a $15,000 Inter-Library Cooperation grant through the Alaska State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services to create a series of guides to primary sources held at archives, libraries, and museums in Alaska. We spent a good portion of our work this month working on the guides and the first batch is now available from the SLED website. The list is below:

Collections described

Bruno Kroon papers; circa 1919-1920. HMC-1307. We received a 70MB addition to the Bruno Kroon papers. This addition contains digitized copies of letters written by Kroon to his family in the Netherlands. Since the letters are written in Dutch, Kroon’s great-niece Anja, who donated the collection, also provided us with translations of the letters. The letters were sent by Kroon while he was in Milton-Freewater and Union, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and False Pass, Alaska. In the letters, Kroon discusses the weather, hunting, music, cost of living in Alaska, and his work pay.

Alvin Doane photograph albums; circa 1942-1943. HMC-1311. Alvin Doane enlisted into the U.S. Army, and subsequently served with the 340th Engineer Regiment, which was involved in the construction of the Alaska Highway from 1942-1943. Alvin Doane died in 1987. The collection contains two photograph albums with photographs taken and collected by Alvin Doane which depict the construction of the Alaska Highway. Subjects of the photographs include men working on the Alaska Highway, equipment and machinery, bunkhouses, tents, hunting and fishing, liquor stores, Whitehorse and Carcross, scenery, and Quonset huts. The collection also includes a pressed flower and a napkin from the White Pass and Yukon Route train.

Photograph album page

Alaska’s Digital Archives

15 images from Bruno Kroon papers. The photographs depict Kroon, canneries, people, and buildings in Morzhovoi Bay and King’s Cove, and Boca De Quadra, Alaska.

Bruno Kroon with ice skates

22 photographs from Charles V. Lucier papers. The photographs added to the Digital Archives from the Lucier papers were all taken in Sheshalik, 1952.

Gordon Mitchell Sr. washing fish for his family’s supper. [Sheshalik] (Noatak camp) 1952.

We also added our 20,oooth image to Alaska’s Digital Archives. The photograph we chose, from the Charles V. Lucier papers, depicts Della Keats cooking beluga muktuk in Sheshalik, 1952. Della Keats was an Inupiat healer and the Della Keats Summer Research Program at University of Alaska Anchorage was named for her.

New exhibit

We also have a new exhibit on the first floor of the UAA/APU Consortium Library near the entrance to ARLIS. Our exhibit, titled “Faces of the Archives,” features photographs along with a brief biographical note of the people whose lives are represented in our holdings.


We also released two podcasts this month. In episode 11, Gwen interviewed Rosemary Austin, an archivist at the Alaska Aviation Museum. And for episode 12, Veronica interviewed Ian Hartman, UAA history professor. The podcasts are available below:

The post New in the Archives: February 2019 appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.

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Archiving AK Episode 12: Ian Hartman

In this episode of Archiving AK, archivist Veronica Denison speaks with Dr. Ian Hartman, history professor at the University of Alaska Anchorage. Ian discusses his research regarding African American civil rights in Anchorage, his experience with archival material, and the importance of libraries and archives.

For our March episode, we will spotlight three women from our collections in honor of Women’s History Month.

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