New in the Archives: May 2019

This month was quite busy between receiving and describing new collections, preparing grant items for shipping to our vendor, editing and uploading two podcasts, and continuing to work on our electronic records.

Collections described:

William D. Workman papers; 1965-2005. HMC-1302. 6.5 cubic foot addition.
William Workman is an archeologist who has worked in a variety of Alaskan locations, primarily in southcentral Alaska. He worked as a professor of anthropology at Alaska Methodist University from 1969 to 1976 and at the University of Alaska Anchorage from 1977 on. Between 1970 and 1976 he was contracted by Alyeska Pipeline Service Company to do archeological surveys and expeditions along the proposed Trans-Alaska Pipeline route. The collection is primarily comprised of Dr. Workman’s professional and academic records. The collection includes field notes, notes, correspondence, reports, writings, class notes, and project records.

George Glotzbach papers; 1952, 1957-1957. HMC-1236-AHS. 0.1 cubic foot addition.
George Glotzbach was stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base from 1956-1957. He was the Officer-in-Charge of the Alaskan Air Command’s Anchorage Courier Transfer Station. Glotzbach was a first lieutenant during his time in Alaska, and traveled to Nome, Fairbanks, St. Lawrence Island, and Unalakleet. The addition contained photographs, mostly taken in and around Anchorage.

Lanie Fleischer papers; 1970-2012. HMC-1326.
In 1973, Lanie, along with the Bike Committee succeeded in getting a bond issue passed to construct the Chester Creek Trail. Fleischer has continued to be active in civic and outdoor recreation organizations. She served as president of the Parks and Recreation Council of Anchorage and on the board of directors of the Performing Arts Center. Fleischer helped organize the Federation of Community Councils and the eight Community Councils in Anchorage, and she served as president of the South Addition Community Council. She was a member of the citizens committee to develop the master plan for the Park Strip in Downtown Anchorage and served on the Anchorage Veterans’ Memorial Committee. Governor Tony Knowles appointed Fleischer to the Trails and Recreational Access for Alaskans Board and appointed her chair in 1995. In 1994, the Chester Creek Trail was named the Lanie Fleischer Chester Creek Trail in her honor. The collection consists of materials related to the various causes and organizations that Lanie Fleischer has been involved with in Alaska, such as notes, meeting minutes, membership lists, publicity information, plans, and reports.

Bike Routes sign


John Aho slides; 1971, 1994-2000. HMC-1325.
John Aho was born in Alaska. He received his PhD in aerospace engineering from Cornell University and was the vice president and principal project manager at CH2M in Anchorage, AK. Aho established the Alaska Seismic Hazards Safety Commission, which launched in 2002, and served on Anchorage’s Geotechnical Commission. The collection contains photographic slides depicting various buildings and houses, some of which were taken during construction, in Anchorage. The slides also depict Anchorage street scenes and aerial photographs of Downtown Anchorage.

Irish Club of Alaska records; 1988-2006, 2011, 2019. HMC-1324.
The Irish Club of Alaska is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing Alaskans with quality learning opportunities in Irish and Irish-American arts, language, music, and literature. A majority of this collection contains newsletters and member correspondence.

EPH-0417: Anchorage Celtic community posters and signs; 2004-2018.

Alaska’s Digital Archives

We added 263 photographs, three films, and one audio recording to Alaska’s Digital Archives. The Digital Archives’ records for the audio recording and films link to our new YouTube channel: UAA/APU Archives and Special Collections. Adding the films and audio recording was a test run as we prepare to receive our first batch of digitized audio, video, and film from our vendor, which we were able to have digitized with funding provided by the Atwood Foundation.

73 images from HMC-1092: Sleeper family papers. 

85 images from HMC-0761: Helen Stevens papers.

Helen M. Stevens & Earl Ohmer at Petersburg, Alaska.

57 images from HMC-0991: Bill Bacon photograph files.

Aloha massage and sauna.

48 images from HMC-0792: Ruth A.M. Schmidt papers.

1 film from HMC-0792: Ruth A.M. Schmidt papers: “Alaska 1954”.

2 films from HMC-0422: Dorothy and Grenold Collins papers: “Oldest films” and “Bristol Bay Fishing”.

Statewide libguides

We completed two more multi-institutional libguides: Performing arts and Health and medicine in Alaska. These two guides, as well as 11 others were completed with funding provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Alaska State Library. All of these guides are available on the SLED website. Stay tuned for Gwen’s blog post in the upcoming weeks regarding this project.

Podcast and other outreach

Veronica met with the Irish Club of Alaska for a donation party and tour of the Archives and Special Collections.

We also have two new podcasts available, one with researcher Dylan Harris and the other with archivist Becky Butler.

Dylan Harris is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. Becky Butler is an archivist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives.

Other updates

HMC-0076: Brooks Range Trust records: reduced by 0.9 cubic feet by rehousing and removal of duplicate items.

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Archiving AK Episode 15: Interview with Becky Butler

In this episode of Archiving AK, Gwen interviews Becky Butler, an archivist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives. The collections that she mentions in the interview, including the Ernest Gruening papers and the The Fabian Carey Collection of Fairbanks Red Light District Photographs, can be found by searching UAF’s Archives Catalog. Thanks for listening!

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Archiving AK episode 14a: Interview with Dylan Harris

In this bonus episode of Archiving AK, archivist Veronica Denison interviews researcher Dylan Harris, a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University. His research topic surrounds climate change and the way we talk about it. In this episode, we discuss his research, experiences in different archives in Alaska and the lower 48, as well as the collections he used.



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New in the Archives: April 2019

Happy May, everyone! Last month, we described 10 collections, or additions to existing collections. This included adding 217 GB of videos and photographs to the Rage City Rollergirls records, which had not been possible without our new digital storage system. To celebrate National Poetry Month, our podcast featured poems from our collection and other Alaskan Archives. Finally, Veronica’s hard work writing grants over the past several months paid off, and she was awarded a total of $29,002 from the Atwood Foundation and the Council on Library and Information Resources.

Collections described:

PFLAG Anchorage posters; undated 1997, 2002. EPH-0421.

Southeast Alaska Gay and Lesbian Alliance’s Perspective newsletter; 1992 May. EPH-0422.

Identity, Inc. records; 1977-2013. HMC-1143. 0.5 cubic foot addition. Records of a non-profit organization that provides programs supporting equality for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender community and its allies.

Guide to the Rage City Rollergirls records; 2009-2015. HMC-1193. 217 GB addition. Videos and photographs from a roller derby league in Anchorage.

Rage City bout, 2010

Rage City bout, 2010

Alaska tourist photographs; 1965. HMC-1312-AHS. Snapshots of a tourist who traveled through Alaska and the Yukon, including to Barrow, Nome, and Kodiak.

Nome photograph album; 1900. HMC-1313-AHS. Photos of Nome and mining in 1900.

Linda McClelland photographs; 1966. HMC-1321-AHS. Photos from the 1966 Fur Rondy.

Klondyke Kontact records; 1977-2002. HMC-1322. Records of a lesbian newsletter in Anchorage.

Dude Obert slides; 1959-1964. HMC-1323. Photographic slides depicting various locations in Alaska.

Dude Obert in Seward, 1962.

Dude Obert in Seward, 1962.

UAA. Chancellor outgoing correspondence; 1980-1981. UAA-0136.

Items added to Alaska’s Digital Archives

1 photograph of a howitzer shell that was part of the official Alaska statehood celebrations, from the Atwood family papers, 1906-2003. UAA-HMC-0989.

Statehood howitzer shell

Engraved howitzer shell that was used in Alaska statehood celebration.

35 photographs  from the Sleeper Family papers; 1918-2017, bulk 1947-1984. HMC-1092. Includes photographs of Red Cross workers in Anchorage and the Alaska Insect Control Project.

29 photographs McGlashan and Monsen family photographs; circa 1880-1974. HMC-1278. Photographs primarily taken in Naknek and Akutan.


Grants received:

$10,000 from the Atwood Foundation to digitize Anchorage related audio, video, and film. These materials include UAA and APU sporting events, promotional events, and programs; audio recordings of the Anchorage Civic Opera, interviews and news reports of the 1964 Earthquake, Margaret Mielke’s poetry, Alaska Repertory Theatre and Anchorage Symphony League PSA’s, and radio spots and debates of Anchorage legislators.

$19,002 from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Recordings at Risk program to digitize materials related to public health history in Alaska. These materials encompass different facets of health and social science research, which are of interest to current public health physicians and those studying the practice and establishment of health programs and institutions in Alaska.


Archiving AK episode 14: National Poetry Month. In this episode we share poetry from our collections and other Alaskan archives, read by us, along with some special guest readers.

Two Days in April poem

“Two Days in April,” a poem from the Margaret G. Mielke papers, featured on this month’s podcast.


One hour webinar on the Alaska’s Digital Archives for the Alaska State Library’s Digital Stewardship course.



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Archiving AK episode 14: National Poetry Month

In this episode of our podcast, Arlene emcees a selection of poetry writings from archival collections in Alaska.

First of all, thank you so much! to the people who volunteered to read poetry for us or who selected materials from their archives to be included in the podcast. Those wonderful people include: Becky Butler, Rose Speranza, and Robyn Russell from the University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives, Sara Piasecki of the Anchorage Museum library and archives, Faith Revell (pronounced like Ravel the composer, not like how Arlene says it in the recording, sorry Faith!) of Valdez, Corrie Whitmore of the University of Alaska Anchorage, the Consortium Library’s own Lorelei Sterling, Jennifer McKay, Matthew Meyer, Dawn Berg, and of course Gwen, Veronica, and Arlene, the archivists here at the Consortium Library.

Below are some links to collections and institutions mentioned in the podcast.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives provided selections from Mary Tallmountain, William Wood, and John Haines.

The Anchorage Museum provided selections from Louise Gallop.

The Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association provided the clip from Jay Hammond (more poetry from Governor Hammond can be found at Archives & Special Collections in his papers.)

And from our own holdings, we selected items from:

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Information to Contact the Governor or 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 Prufrock’s 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 clippings 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.  ( for a short sample.)

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

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