The two-year grant provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities in 2018 is still paving the way for more digitization of Alaskan newspapers. Patrons may now expect to see, among the newspaper titles going live on the Library of Congress website later this year, a span of 23 years of the Kodiak Mirror—from 1940 to 1963.
The name Kodiak comes from the Innuit word kikhtak, meaning island. Home of the Kodiak bear, where that species has thrived for 12,000 years, it is Alaska’s earliest Russian-American settlement, where in 1784 Grigory Shelikhov arrived with his fleet to establish a trading post.
At the time of the Mirror‘s first publication on June 15, 1940, its originator Gene Dawson was rallying for the incorporation of Kodiak as a first-class city. In a matter of weeks Dawson’s call would be answered—the courts approved incorporation on July 1, 1940. The following year, Dawson sold his printing rights to Bill and Lillian Lamme; and the paper would change hands more than a half-dozen times in the subsequent decades of its publication, before assuming its current title of the Kodiak Daily Mirror on January 27, 1976.
Follow our Instagram account to read sample articles as they are being made available in digital format for the first time.
A front-page article from the January 30, 1953 printing of the Kodiak Mirror
Atwood, Evangeline, and Lew M. Williams. Bent Pins to Chains: Alaska and Its Newspapers. (Philadelphia: Xlibris, 2006), 483.
Nicolson, Mary C., and Mary Anne Slemmons. Alaska Newspapers on Microfilm, 1866-1998. (Fairbanks: University of Alaska, 1998), 128.
Derek Stonorov, “Living in Harmony with Bears,” National Audubon Society, https://www.nps.gov/glba/learn/nature/upload/Harmony-20With-20Bears.pdf.