Getting the grants: Atwood Foundation and CLIR RAR

In 2017, I (Veronica) decided I wanted to digitize the audio, video, and film within our collections. The idea had been in my head for a while, mainly because we kept receiving requests to digitize the audio reels in the Genie Chance papers that contained radio broadcasts related to the 1964 Earthquake. Unfortunately, due to the cost of digitization, the Archives could not afford to digitize these for our users. If a user wanted the item, they would have to pay for the digitization out of their own pocket, which can be expensive. This is not something we like telling our users. Part of our mission is to make the materials in our collections accessible to our researchers, but obsolete formats can make this hard.

I decided I had enough. I began looking for grants to apply for in order help make our A/V materials more accessible. One possibility I saw was the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk (RAR) Program. For RAR, we could ask for as little as $10,000 and as much as $50,000. I knew I could apply for this grant, but the collections really had to be targeted and pertain to a specific subject given the complexity and word limit for the grant application. I set that one in the back of my head.

I remembered that the Atwood Foundation also could potentially support something like this. However, they award grants that serve Anchorage residents and the vicinity. I decided to speak with them about digitizing the A/V materials in our collections relating to Anchorage. During this meeting, I was also told their other focuses are the arts, journalism, history, and the military community. An idea formed, and I decided I could also digitize our A/V materials that related to Anchorage, which would include those 1964 Earthquake audio reels that are of interest to our users.

But applying to the Atwood Foundation would only cover some of our A/V. In 2018, we received an addition to the Walter Johnson papers. Included in this addition were about 30 audio reels, 5 dictabelts, and one film. I began thinking of our users and new collections. In the previous years, we had received a couple collections relating to Alaska public health and have seen an uptick in reference requests relating to this subject. I also figured we had just the right amount of Alaska public health materials to qualify for the CLIR RAR grant.


Deciding what I was going to apply for and what collections I wanted to include was the easy part. The hard part was figuring out the formats and number of A/V materials within our collections. When we describe collections, we were never very consistent about using the same terms for A/V materials. Film was typically described as film, rarely indicating if it was 8, 16, or 35mm. Video was typically described as video, and was rarely described as one of the many types of video such as U-matic, VHS, Betamax, Betacam, EIAJ, Hi-8, or 2-inch quad to name a few.



More video

Video again

That sent me on a task. First, I had to note every collection in our holdings that had materials in an A/V format. And then note where they were within the collection. Luckily, I also had student workers to help in this, however they would occasionally have troubles telling the difference between film and ¼-inch audio reels. And, well, video can be difficult. It’s easy if it says on the case if it’s U-matic or Betamax, but we are not always fortunate. Luckily, the Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA) shares our space and did not seem to mind my seemingly continuous confirmations on format type. (Did you know there are little U-matics and big U-matics? I didn’t.)

I not only had to make a list of the format types, I also had to determine the run time of the items which would help me receive a better estimate from our vendor, Scene Savers. Some were easy. With film, you can base it on the footage, which is sometimes indicated on the reel. If not, you can always use a ruler and a chart. Audio reels are a different story. The run time of an audio reel is dependent on the tape length, the speed at which it was recorded, if it’s monophonic or stereophonic, and if it was recorded in one direction on a single track, or both directions on a double track. Sound confusing? It was. If the creator of the reel did not mark any of this on the back of the box or the actual runtime (which is often), it was almost impossible to estimate. A 600-foot audio reel could run between 1 hour to 15 minutes, depending on all of the variables described above.

I also had to include the descriptions of the items, which would help me to determine what I wanted to have digitized. Although, I had to keep in mind that there is the potential the descriptions written on the items would not always be accurate. And in fact, this was the case for two of the films in the UAA. Athletics moving images collection. They were labeled as being basketball but ended up being footage of volleyball games and practices.

Once a list was made, I then chose the items I wanted to have digitized for the grant and received an estimate from our vendor. The first grant I applied for was the CLIR RAR grant. Writing this grant probably took me nearly four days. For many of the parts in the application, there were word maximums I had to abide by, which was difficult at times given that I was using items from multiple collections with different facets relating to Alaska public health. In a webinar I watched for the CLIR RAR grant, they do recommend choosing items from one collection. For our archives, this would be difficult, since we do not typically have whole collections of A/V materials.

The Atwood Foundation grant, which was a slightly easier application process, probably took me a day to write. Due to funding, however, the grant would have to be spread over three years. Although writing the grant didn’t take too long, determining which collections I would have digitized first took longer. I had to stay under $10,000 a year for digitization, so there ended up being a lot of math involved. I ultimately decided on what our most requested items were, what needed to be digitized due to preservation, and also what I thought would be of interest to our users even though they hadn’t been requested. In the 1990s, the former head of the Archives had several films transferred to VHS and mini-DVs. These films were scanned high resolution for their day; however, they are still on magnetic tape. Since people can view them in the Archives if requested, I decided that these ones would be digitized in the third year of the grant.

I was originally turned down for my first CLIR RAR grant, but I made the necessary changes and resubmitted the grant. It was accepted and was 1 of 20 applications awarded out of 77. My grant to the Atwood Foundation was also successful.

Items to be digitized under CLIR RAR grant.

I sent the materials to our vendor and started with the items under the Atwood Foundation. I was really excited when we received the digitized files of the materials. I plugged in the external hard drive immediately. It was amazing to be able to watch and listen to materials that have been inaccessible for years, and I am happy these are available to our users now as well.

The Atwood Foundation grant has been completed. There are about 70 audio, video, and film available on our YouTube channel, UAA/APU Archives and Special Collections. The rest of the items are available in our Research Room. We also recently received the digitized video that was completed under the CLIR RAR grant and the first materials are online.  Below is a list of the collections in which materials were digitized.

Collections with materials digitized with funding provided by the Atwood Foundation:

Collections with materials digitized with funding provided by the Council on Library and Information Resources Recordings at Risk Program:


The post Getting the grants: Atwood Foundation and CLIR RAR appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.

Sept. 16: Ask Me Anything! Chat with Chancellor Sandeen

Sept. 16: Ask Me Anything! Chat with Chancellor Sandeen

Please join Chancellor Sandeen and the Chancellor’s Cabinet for an informal chat. Hear an update on the university and get answers to any questions you have. Two upcoming sessions:

Ask Me Anything! (Anchorage Campus)
Monday, Sept. 16, 1–2 p.m.
UAA/APU Consortium Library, Room 307

Open to all members of the of the UAA community.

Creative Commons License

New in the Archives, August 2019

Notable news:

Veronica has moved on to a great new job in the Lower 48: Farewell, Veronica, safe travels, and we wish you all the best!

Change of hours: Due to several years of budget cuts at the Consortium Library and the probability of more, the library has a hiring freeze. With Veronica’s departure, this takes us from three archivists to two. Starting in September, our open hours will be reduced to Wednesday-Friday, 10 am – 4 pm or by appointment. Please note: any changes to our schedule will be displayed on our main website.


Collections newly available:

HMC-1180: Walter Parker papers; circa 1940-2014. 20 GB addition to the collection. Due to a house fire, some of Mr. Parker’s papers had condition issues (smoke smell, charred elements, water damage) when they came to us. It’s very rare that we digitize for preservation, but in this case the damage to the materials was so severe that the cost of preserving the hard copy was out of our scope. Many Consortium Library student workers as well as the archivists here spent time in digitizing the damaged materials and then evaluating the scans for quality control in order to ensure we were preserving the best copy possible.

HMC-1302: William B. Workman papers; 1963-2005. 2.5 cubic foot addition. Research and writing files from a retired UAA archeology professor.

HMC-1331: Thelma P. Langdon papers; circa 1983-2012. 0.2 cubic feet and 1.53 MB. Personal papers of a nurse.

HMC-1332: J. Ray Langdon papers; circa 1944-2015. 1.0 cubic feet and 2.3 GB. Professional papers of an Alaskan psychiatrist.

HMC-1338: James L. Simpson diary; 1917-1928, bulk 1917-1921. Diary of a man who homesteaded at Chickaloon.

HMC-1339: Alaska Light Opera Theatre records; 1986-1989. 0.46 cubic feet. Programs and set designs of a theater company in Anchorage.

HMC-1340: Epsilon Sigma Alpha. Alpha Iota Chapter records; 1960-2019. 5.0 cubic feet. Records of an Anchorage philanthropic sorority.

Does the above processing list look a little light for our productivity compared to other months? Especially compared to July’s enormous list? There’s a reason for that! On top of all the other things we do, like providing assistance to researchers, working with donors, meetings, and the occasional vacation, we received a large digitization order from researchers needing materials from one of our collections. Our page/time count for that order (so far) is 15.394 pages and over 55 hours of scanning time. Most days we’re really grateful for our overhead scanner, but right now we’re especially thankful for it! (We also used it to digitize most of the damaged documents from the Walt Parker papers mentioned above).

Alaska’s Digital Archives:

44 photographs from Juneau resident slides; undated, 1942-1986. HMC-0740

5 photographs, an identification card, and a document from the Bill Lathan papers; 1973-1977. HMC-1055. Also metadata added to 20 images from the Lathan papers that had been uploaded previously.

17 images from McGlashan and Monsen.

22 videos and 1 film from Atwood family papers, also available on the Archives YouTube channel (Atwood Foundation grant).

Outreach and other:

“Learning is Permanent!” An exhibit on curriculum materials developed for elementary and high school students in the early 1990s is now available for viewing in the Consortium Library Great Room. The documents and memorabilia in the exhibit came from the Dave Rose papers. Mr. Rose was the first executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation.

Gwen recorded a podcast with Dr. Emily Moore, an Art History professor at Colorado State University. Dr. Moore did research in the Archives for her recent book, Proud Raven, Panting Wolf: Carving Alaska’s New Deal Totem Parks.

Proud Raven, Panting Wolf

Arlene and Veronica both attended the Society of American Archivists annual meeting. Arlene attended the preconference workshop and meeting days, Veronica attended the conference education sessions.

And last (but perhaps most fun), with Veronica leaving we decided that instead of waiting to do our annual staff portrait for Halloween, we’d do it a little early this year. We took inspiration from the photo in our holdings that gets–by far–the most duplication requests for any single item we hold. We just updated it a little and made it more reflective of our own Alaskan interests.

The post New in the Archives, August 2019 appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.

Archiving AK episode 18: Emily Moore

In this episode, Gwen interviews Emily Moore, an Art History professor at Colorado State University. Emily did research in the Archives for her recent book, Proud Raven, Panting Wolf: Carving Alaska’s New Deal Totem Parks.

After this episode, Archiving AK will transition to releasing episodes more sporadically, rather than monthly, due to the ongoing budget cuts and being down a person. Thank you all for listening for the past year and a half. Keep following us on our blog and social media for future episodes and updates about what is happening in the Archives.

Check out Emily’s book, Proud Raven, Panting Wolf: Carving Alaska’s New Deal Totem Parks from the Consortium Library, or purchase it from University of Washington Press.

Find the Mildred and Robert Mowrer photograph album and other collections related to tourism in Alaska in our Tourism in Alaska topic guide.


The post Archiving AK episode 18: Emily Moore appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.

Upcoming changes

Veronica Denison, who has been one of our professional archivists here for six years, will be leaving us at the end of August and moving on to another professional opportunity. Congratulations to Veronica on the great new job but we will miss you very much.

Due to budget cuts, we will not be able to fill her position and will need to reduce our open research hours. Starting in September, we’ll be open from Wednesday to Friday, 10-4 and other times by appointment.

The post Upcoming changes appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.

How to Contact Legislators

How to contact Legislators:

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 serve on these committees

Or send emails from the Senate or House website.

Senate Finance

Senate Finance UA subcommittee

House Finance

House Finance UA subcommittee

New in the Archives, July 2019

July was a busy month for us, with a bunch of new special collections, university records, and ephemera being processed and described. We added our first batch of digitized audio and video from Veronica’s Atwood Foundation grant to Alaska’s Digital Archives. If you would like to learn more about our grant projects, we have a blog post and podcast about our project to create multi-institution topic guides, as well as a podcast episode about the two grants Veronica got to digitize audiovisual materials in our holdings. The blog post and podcasts are linked below. Thanks for reading!

Newly described collections

Special collections:

HMC-0029: Alaska State AFL-CIO records; 1943-1989. 0.2 cubic foot addition. Records of a union organization in Alaska.

HMC-0028: Alaska Repertory Theatre records; 1969-1989. 6.25 cubic foot addition. Photographs and set designs of a theatre company in Anchorage, Alaska.

HMC-0221: Lorena Showers papers; 1922-1997. 3.8 cubic feet. Anchorage labor activist and senior citizens advocate. 3 cubic foot addition to original collection, additionally separated out 2 other collections from this collection (HMC-1335, HMC-1336).

HMC-0470: Juneau resident slides; undated, 1942-1986. 0.2 cubic feet. Images of Alaska, primarily in the vicinity of Juneau, including outdoor activities and parades.

Walking on Mendenhall Glacier

Walking on Mendenhall Glacier. Juneau resident photographs, HMC-0740.

HMC-0547: John R. “Jack” Roderick papers: 1900-2016. 0.6 cubic foot addition. Materials relating to Roderick’s book about the oil industry in Alaska, Crude Dreams.

HMC-0643: Unidentified soldier photographs; undated. 0.01 cubic feet. Photos from a soldier stationed on Attu during World War II.

HMC-0737: Unidentified soldier photographs; 1944-1946. 0.01 cubic feet. Photos from a soldier stationed on Attu during World War II.

HMC-1044-AHS: Jellybean radio show fan mail; 1954-1955. 0.02 cubic feet.  Letters to a host of an Alaskan children’s radio show.

Letter to Jellybean.

Letter to Jellybean, from Jellybean radio show letters, HMC-1044-AHS

HMC-1150: Cyrano’s Theatre Company records; 1987-2013. 40.9 GB addition. Records of a community theater in Anchorage. Digital files were removed from unstable and difficult to access storage media, such as zip disks, floppy disks, and CDs and moved to our digital storage system. Additional description was provided for the files.

HMC-1253: Alaska World Affairs Council records; 1965-2017. 14.6 cubic feet and 2.53 MB. Records of an Alaska non-profit organization focused on education to improve the public’s understanding of world affairs and U.S. foreign policy. Most description done by Keith Thompson and Lauren Caraghar, UAA History Department student interns.

HMC-1314-AHS: Thomas and Virginia Milligan papers; 1946-1948. Primarily photographs from Anchorage residents.

HMC-1315-AHS: Charles Parson journal; 1899. 0.1 cubic feet. Diary of a gold rush miner in Alaska.

HMC-1316-AHS: Lena Smith letters; 1964. 0.01 cubic feet. Letters written about the 1964 Alaska earthquake.

HMC-1330: Matthew Meyer photographs; 2019. 535 MB. Photographs taken at peaceful protest rallies in Anchorage.

Save Our State Rally

View from the entrance of the Save Our State Rally, July 2019. From Matthew Meyer photographs, HMC-1330.

HMC-1334-AHS: Rose Kerfoot photographs; 1959-1964. 0.01 cubic feet. Photographs of Anchorage and 1964 earthquake damage.

HMC-1335: Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union. Local 878 records; 1942-1997. 1.0 cubic feet. Records of a local Anchorage labor union.

HMC-1336: Anchorage Senior Citizens Drop-In Center records; 1975-1995. 1.0 cubic feet.  Records related to a weekly Anchorage gathering for senior citizens.

HMC-1337-AHS: Will F. Speers papers; 1943-1944. Letters from a doctor working at Funter Bay internment camp and at St. Paul, Pribilof Islands.

UAA records:

UAA. Chancellor’s Office. Child Care Review Committee records, 1974-1985. UAA-0142 0.4 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office. Executive Council minutes, 1981-1987. UAA-0143. 2.0 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office special event files, 1983-1993. UAA-0144. 2.4 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office. Title IX Review Committee files, 1978-1988. UAA-0145. 2.6 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office. Academic Development Plan Committee records, 1980-1982. UAA-0146. 0.4 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office academic development plans, 1978-1983. UAA-0147. 0.2 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office program and school proposals, 1970-1972, 1983. UAA-0148. 0.2 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office area plans and maps, 1973-1984. UAA-0149. 3.4 cubic feet.

UAA. Chancellor’s Office. Academic Council records, 1967-1977. UAA-0150. 0.6 cubic feet.

Southcentral Regional Center administrators manual, 1974-1975. UAA-0151. 0.1 cubic feet.

Ephemera collections:

EPH-0087: Postcard collection; undated. Addition.

EPH-0175: Alaskan political memorabilia; 1970-2019.

EPH-0427: Alaskan music recordings; 1977, 1991.

EPH-0428: Chugiak-Eagle River Bicentennial Commission pamphlet; 1976.

EPH-0429-AHS: Farthest north roller rink sticker; undated.

Farthest North Roller Rink sticker

Farthest north roller rink sticker, EPH-0429

EPH-0430-AHS: U.S. Commissioner’s office forms; 1901-1908.

EPH-0431-AHS: Simeon Oliver biography; undated.

EPH-0432: Exxon Valdez Operations Team Alaska ’89 patch

EPH-0433-AHS: Alaska Historical Society map collection; undated.

EPH-0434: A birthday tribute to Robert B. Atwood program; 1967.

EPH-0435: National Bank of Alaska News Cache special edition; 1991.

EPH-0436: Alaska Outdoor Council News; 2000.

EPH-0437: Anchorage Lodge No. 1351; 1979.

EPH-0438: Alaska Labor Log newsletters; 1970-1971.

EPH-0439: Local 878 Review newsletter; 1964-1983.

EPH-0440: Views and News, Up to Date with 878 newsletter; 1977, 1979.

EPH-0441: Alaska Labor News; 1956-1961.

EPH-0442: Alaska “Cope” Reporter; 1963-1969.

EPH-0443: Alaska Federationist; 1947-1948, 1953-1954.

EPH-0444: David G. Jackson, Jr. World War II memorabilia; 1941-1945.

EPH-0445: Alaska Historical Society tourist pamphlets; 1984-1997.

EPH-0446: Princess Cruises, Inc. cruise memorabilia; 1985.

EPH-0447: Iditarod Fourth of July celebration prize list; undated.

Alaska’s Digital Archives

8 films and videos from UAA-0079: UAA. Athletics moving images. These include hockey highlights, and volleyball practices and games.

12 audio recordings and videos from HMC-0049: Anchorage Civic Opera Association records. The audio recordings and videos include rehearsals, performances, and advertisements for shows.

5 films from HMC-1058: Donald T. Griffith family films. Films depicting various seasons in Alaska, fishing, hunting, and Anchorage.

29 audio recordings from HMC-0084: Genie Chance papers. Radio broadcasts relating to the 1964 Earthquake.


Introducing multi-institution topic guides on SLED. This post highlights our recently completed, grant funded project to create a series of guides to finding collections on selected topics held by libraries, archives, and museums across the state.


This month we have two episodes of our podcast, Archiving AK:

Archiving AK Episode 17a: Gwen and Grants. In this episode of Archiving AK, Arlene and Gwen have a conversation about a recent grant project Gwen has managed for the Archives. This grant project was about creating a series of guides to popular Alaskan research topics and where primary sources about those topics can be found.

Archiving AK Episode 17b: Veronica and Grants. In this episode of Archiving AK, Arlene and Veronica discuss Veronica’s recent grant projects. Her projects involve digitizing obsolete audiovisual media in our holdings.

The post New in the Archives, July 2019 appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.

Archiving AK episode 17b: Veronica and grants

In this episode of Archiving AK, Arlene and Veronica discuss Veronica’s recent grant projects. Her projects involve digitizing obsolete audiovisual media in our holdings.

Here’s links to some of what is mentioned in the podcast:
Atwood Foundation
CLIR Recordings at Risk program
And Veronica mentioned a lot of collections! Descriptions of those collections can be found on our website by searching the name of the individual or organization. Use the search box in the upper right hand corner of the page.

The post Archiving AK episode 17b: Veronica and grants appeared first on Archives and Special Collections.