Information About Where to Vote

If you’re wondering whether you’re registered or where to vote. There is a website where you can look up this information.

To check your polling place and voter registration status, go to the My Voter Information site: https://myvoterinformation.alaska.gov/

The Voter Information Project has a page that you can put your address in and figure out polling locations and hours of polling, as well as see your location on a map. Via the map you can click on an arrow and get directions from your home to the polling place.

All Alaskans from any district can vote on the University of Alaska Anchorage campus at the Student Union on Monday 11/5, 8am to 5pm, and Tuesday 11/6, 7am to 8pm.

Remember that Governor Walker has withdrawn from the race, but polling workers are not allowed to share that information because it is considered electioneering. The Anchorage Daily News has a story explaining this. You can find the Anchorage Daily News in the Consortium Library’s resources. There is a fully digital version available via our database subscriptions.

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New in the Archives: October 2018

October, which also happens to be Archives Month, has come to an end, which means it’s time to post about what we did over the last month. Alaska’s Digital Archives is undergoing a change in hosting, so we have been unable to upload files to the site. We kept busy helping researchers, including 24 different students from the two English classes we taught this fall. We talked to, and even visited, several donors, which resulted in us taking in seven new collections or additions to collections. Last month was also packed with events. In addition to our usual table at STEM Day, we held a book enclosure workshop in celebration of Archives Month and had the first of a series of virtual meetings with archivists from all over Alaska.

Our annual archives portrait, traditionally taken on Halloween.

Our annual archives portrait, traditionally taken on Halloween.

Collections described:

EPH-0414: Knik Knak Fort Richardson Officers Wives Club newsletter; 1961 May. 0.01 cubic feet.

EPH-0402: Alaska Tourism pamphlets addition

EPH-0409: Valdez Breeze addition

EPH-0296: The Northern Limelighter; 1967. 0.01 cubic foot addition.

HMC-0121: Greater Anchorage, Inc. Fur Rendezvous records; 1938-2005. 0.2 cubic foot addition. 1964 King Regent sash won by Bill Rager.

HMC-0434: Wiseman Trading Company records; 1925-1999, bulk 1940-1945. 0.35 cubic foot addition, which includes property information. Business records of a general store on the Middle Fork of the Koyukuk River.

A map of the town of Wiseman from the Wiseman Trading Company Records

A map of the town of Wiseman from the Wiseman Trading Company Records

HMC-0879: Catherine Stadem papers; 1927-2015. 0.1 cubic foot addition. Papers of an Anchorage author and local theatre critic.

HMC-0932: Walter Johnson papers; 1902-2016, bulk 1961-1978. 0.3 cubic foot addition. Personal and work related papers of an Alaskan public health physician.

HMC-0945: Norman Rokeberg papers; 1974-2007. 9.2 cubic foot addition. The papers of a commercial real estate broker and member of the Alaska State House of Representatives from Anchorage.

A campaign flyer for Norman Rokeberg from 2002

A campaign flyer for Norman Rokeberg from 2002

HMC-1268: League of Women Voters of Anchorage records; circa 1950-2014. 0.01 cubic foot addition (Ballot Review from 2014). Records of an Anchorage civic organization that works to ensure voters have easy access to participate in political elections at every level.

UAA-0132: UAA. Native Student Services records; 1979-2017. 4.5 cubic feet.Records relating to the creation and operations of an educational support office for Native students.

People dancing at a Native Student Services graduation ceremony

People dancing at a Native Student Services graduation ceremony

Classes and events:

ENGL A351: Poetry. Instructor: Toby Widdicombe. 22 students. October 6. Students learned about where to find poetry in the Archives (it’s not always where you would expect) to use in an annotated bibliography.

UAA STEM Day. Once again we brought the stereoviews and Euclid’s Elements. New this year was data from the Audubon Society’s Christmas Bird Count and a display of  computer storage media through the years. October 6.

A crowd gathered around the Archives table at STEM Day

A crowd gathered around the Archives table at STEM Day

Alaska Archivists inaugural meeting. Alaska has a small number of archivists spread over a large area, and we have never been able to sustain the type of active statewide professional group that some states have. Thanks to generous funding from Northwest Archivists for continuing education, we were able to purchase a subscription to the video conference software, Zoom, to hold virtual meetings for people who work with archival materials as part of their jobs (whether or not their official job title is “Archivist”) to discuss issues facing archivists and archives in Alaska. The first meeting took place on October 11 and had 23 attendees.

Archives Month book enclosure workshop. 5 attendees. October 20. With funding from Northwest Archivists, we held a workshop where participants learned to make enclosures for their books out of cardstock and Velcro.

Blog and podcast

Arlene wrote a blog post about her experiences digitizing the glass lantern slides from the Clarence Leroy Andrews papers.

We released the 7th episode of our podcast, Archiving AK, in which Veronica interviews Chris Hieb and Leah Geibel from the Alaska State Archives.

That’s all for this month!

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Archiving AK episode 7: Alaska State Archives

In the seventh episode of Archiving AK, archivist Veronica Denison interviews Chris Hieb and Leah Geibel – two archivists at the Alaska State Archives. In the episode Chris and Leah discuss their roles at the State Archives, the types of users they see, the material they have, and some of the difficulties of being an archives in a hard to reach area.

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Digital conundrums: glass lantern slides

For those of you of a certain age, you may remember those interminable evenings spent watching somebody’s vacation 35 mm slides projected onto their living room wall. For those of you under that certain age, think Powerpoint or similar slidedecks. Back before photography was a thing, people would paint photos onto glass and use a light to illuminate them and would use optics to project them as well. Then photography came along, and somebody figured out how to put photographic transparencies onto glass plates. That’s not a very accurate and definitely not a complete history of magic lantern/glass lantern/35mm slides ever written, but since there’s plenty of those types of things to be found and I wanted to get on to my point about the glass lantern slides we have, I’ll let you seek out other sources if you want to look into this further.

a few glass lantern slides

At any rate, we don’t have a lot of glass lantern slides in our collections: they tended to be popular in a time for which we don’t have a lot of collections and when you start thinking about how well glass would do during transport, well, you can see why maybe not so many survived as were created.

a broken glass lantern slide. It’s still held together by the tape on the edges.

But back in the day, glass lantern slides  were used by people going out on speaking tours to add visuals to their presentations. Some were sold commercially, or you could have your own photos placed onto them.  For all that they’re glass, the images themselves are reasonably sturdy.

A commercially produced glass lantern slide from a series about the Klondike gold rush. By the Pacific Stereopticon Company of Los Angeles, California.

A slide that has been colored in.

Like the original painted glass slides, prior to the advent of color photography, sometimes the images would be colored in to add yet a little more interest to the slide presentation. Like a lot of colorization that’s been done over the years, some of it doesn’t seem terribly authentic to the original. In some cases, like the totem poles pictured here, the colors were painted in to make the totem poles, the primary subject of the image, a little easier to see than they would have been in a normal black and white photograph. (It’s also probable that the ink used has undergone some color shifting over the years, too.)

But even that wasn’t where I was going with this. (Wow, I’m burying the lede today. Are you still with me?)

We have a bunch of glass lantern slides in the C. L. Andrews papers. Some are photographs he’s taken, some are ones that were purchased from commercial producers. Even though the photographic emulsions themselves are relatively stable since glass is a great relatively non-reactive medium that generally takes a very long time to degrade, they are unexpectedly heavy, and some of the glass is shattered, and it’s probably just for the best if we try to limit how much they get handled. (Papercuts are a pretty standard workplace hazard around here. We don’t want to start filling out incident reports for glass cuts too.) So when I was placing the slides in archival enclosures, and I realized the collection also had some nitrate still negatives that were a preservation problem, and I thought about how much people would like to see these images, I decided to digitize them in order to put them up on the Alaska’s Digital Archives. Increased access, reduced handling. Great idea, right?

And then came a slide like this.

Front view. I promise we didn’t put the sticker with the number on there.

And I realized, as I placed it face down in the scanner, that oh, wait, that’s not all there is to the image. Behind that black framing on the image–not the tape around the edges of the glass but that rounded tape frame on the glass itself–is more image. Which is visible because the back side of this particular masking tape is light colored. Kind of like when you mat a photograph for framing and the mat covers over part of it.

Emulsion (back) side of the slide.

What to do? Which is the image we present? The image as the audience member at one of the events would have seen it? Or the image as it originally existed?

The image as an audience would have seen it.

A closer look at the full image.

My conclusion was that we needed to do both. A lot of the slides didn’t really have a ton of additional content in that hidden section, but some did. The one above? Included an additional structure: quite a substantial one. A well maybe? And in another case, an entire person was cut off. Would most viewers care?  Perhaps not, if they were simply looking for early Alaska images. But if they were researching how Alaskans dealt with water systems or maybe knew a little bit more about what was going on in the image with the people, cutting off those bits would misrepresent the scene.

But how to capture it? If I again scanned it as a transparency, the light coming through from the backlight on the scanner basically turned the light-colored image behind the frame dark, so it was still invisible. So I put the white reflective sheet back in the scanner and scanned it as a reflective image instead of a transparency which introduced a different problem. Most scanners are built to assume a certain focal distance to the image itself and that you’re not scanning something that is see-through. So the second scan, of the whole emulsion, is looking a little blurry in the transparency section but the edges, under the masking tape, are much clearer. Somebody much better with photo morphing software skills than I, or with considerably more time than I have, could probably join the two images together but to be really practical, digitizing things for the Alaska’s Digital Archives is time and money consuming enough without me adding that level of labor to the work, especially I’m choosing to present the clear, masked version alongside the mostly less than clear, back.

Because of some behind-the-scenes work being done on the Alaska’s Digital Archives, I can’t put the images up for another month or two anyhow. That buys me some time to do everything else that my job requires along with messing about with preparing the metadata for the images, some limited work I need to do with the image files themselves (contrast  and color correction, inverting the images scanned as reflective since those had to be scanned face up instead of face down). And to also figure out if I want to join the two photos into a single record on the Digital Archives or if I want to load them up separately and figure out another way to connect them together. And I also need to come up with a much shorter explanation than this! for the Digital Archives information so that people looking at it online can understand what the difference between the two images is.

In other words, don’t expect to see the slides up in the next month or so. But in the meantime, I have already loaded up some of the other image files from the Andrews papers and some of them are a little reminiscent of these so you can browse through them if you like. Andrews spent time in Sitka, in Eagle (he was there when Roald Amundsen dropped by in 1905 and there’s photos of that), in Sitka, and in Nome so he traveled quite a bit across the territory taking images along the way. Also since many many archives that have Alaska content have collections of Clarence Leroy Andrews’ photographs (he sold his images commercially too), if you’re particularly interested in the content you’re seeing in ours, you can easily go looking for others online now that you have his name.

Last I’ll leave off with that other image. The one of the people where the image as presented to the audience doesn’t include a person who appeared in the original photograph. I don’t know that the person who is cut off from the presentation copy will ever be identifiable, or if there’s anything to be learned from their presence in the image, but I’ll leave that to our researchers to make the decision.

The view as you would have seen it if you were in an audience, watching a slide show.

The extended play version.

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Free Workshop on U.S. Census Data & Tools

The Consortium Library will be hosting a Census workshop on Thursday, October 18, 2018, 9:30-11:00 AM. This face-to-face workshop will be led by Heidi Crawford, the U.S. Census Bureau’s Data Dissemination Specialist for Alaska, Oregon, and Washington. Heidi is based in Oregon, so having her here in person is an opportunity not to be missed.

When: 10/18/2018, 9:30-11:00 AM

Where: Library Room 309

Who can attend: Anyone (students, staff, faculty, and community members are all welcome)

Workshop title: Census Data, Census Tools and You – How Census Data and Tools Can Help Your Project

What to expect: Participants will learn about the types of data the Census Bureau produces and where to locate Census data on census.gov using various tools.  Learn how the data helps with reports, research and other projects. The workshop will include:

  • Overview of Census data, including American Community Survey data
  • Overview of Census data tools, including American FactFinder and tools on census.gov
  • Online demonstration on census.gov, including where to search for relevant data and tools and new ways to learn about data
  • Recent and future data releases

RSVP appreciated but not required.

Please contact Ruth Terry at rterry9 at alaska.edu with any questions.

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