Different Outbreaks but Familiar Threats for Alaskan Natives

IN 1912 the Assistant Surgeon General of Alaska, R.A. Kearney, wrote that “Unless some ways are used to check tuberculosis among the native Indians of Alaska the race will become extinct there in sixty or seventy years.” In 1918 the threat from Tuberculosis was still critical, indicated by a front page article in The CordovaContinue reading “Different Outbreaks but Familiar Threats for Alaskan Natives”

The Mighty Musk Ox: A Celebration of Alaska’s Prehistoric Megafauna

Quick question: what Alaskan animal from the Pleistocene era has the softest hair? The answer may surprise you, but it’s none other than the humble musk ox. This iconic animal left over from the ice age provides qiviut, or a downy undercoat, that is knitted into warm weather clothing, without the itchiness of sheep’s wool.Continue reading “The Mighty Musk Ox: A Celebration of Alaska’s Prehistoric Megafauna”

Patsy Ann: Juneau’s Canine Mascot and Greeter of Boats

Hello all, It’s that time of year again! This week marks the start of cruise ship season in Alaska. Get used to seeing massive cruise ships in docks and harbors all along the Alaska coastline! Juneau saw its first ship this past Sunday, April 28, and we’re ready to greet more tourists and show the worldContinue reading “Patsy Ann: Juneau’s Canine Mascot and Greeter of Boats”

Earth Day: Remembering the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill

Hello readers, This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill, an environmental catastrophe that devastated the Prince William Sound. In honor of Earth Day, it’s fitting to look at news coverage of the spill that impacted the lives of countless Alaskans. Another oil spill prompted the very first Earth Day. InContinue reading “Earth Day: Remembering the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill”

Black, White, and Read All Over: News Wire Access in Alaska

One quirk of the Alaska Digital Newspaper Project is the prevalence of news coverage from all over the world. One would think that the remoteness of Alaska would make it difficult to receive news coverage from all over the state, much less the rest of the Lower 48. Instead, world news dominates the headlines ofContinue reading “Black, White, and Read All Over: News Wire Access in Alaska”

Lights, Camera, Action! Moviemaking in Alaska Historical Newspapers

Greetings, all! With the plummeting temperatures and snow showers here in southeast Alaska, it’s that time of year to stay indoors, get warm, and watch movies. Millions of people around the world have only seen Alaska through movies. In its earliest days, silent films such as the groundbreaking 1922 documentary Nanook of the North and Charlie Chaplin’sContinue reading “Lights, Camera, Action! Moviemaking in Alaska Historical Newspapers”

Black Friday and Holiday Shopping: a Post-Thanksgiving Tradition

Greetings, all! Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, many folks are hitting the shopping malls across the country to get a head start on their holiday shopping. Leafing through historic Alaska newspapers, one can find plenty of news items involving holiday shopping, too. Although Black Friday as the “busiest shopping day of the year”Continue reading “Black Friday and Holiday Shopping: a Post-Thanksgiving Tradition”

Public Library Week: Newspapers on Microfilm at Your Local Library

Greetings, all! This week marks Public Library Appreciation Week, and a great opportunity to shed light on opportunities to access newspapers through your local library. The State Library of Alaska may be a government library, but we share in the mission of public libraries everywhere to make newspapers available to the public. While many publicContinue reading “Public Library Week: Newspapers on Microfilm at Your Local Library”

Alaska Day

How does one acknowledge Alaska Day, a federal holiday to commemorate the transfer of Alaska from Russia to the United States? The holiday traditionally celebrated the westward expansion of the United States as an extension of Manifest Destiny. For many, it is a day fraught with the unexplored legacy of colonialism, of sacred land loss,Continue reading “Alaska Day”

Missionary Schools in Alaska and the Legacy of Child Separation

In light of recent events at the U.S.-Mexico border regarding separating infants and children from parents, the legacy of missionaries separating Indigenous children from their families is more relevant than ever. Viewing children from Native tribes as an affront to “Christian values” and as needing to be saved, missionaries throughout Alaska tore families apart andContinue reading “Missionary Schools in Alaska and the Legacy of Child Separation”

Greetings from the Alaska Anthropological Association Conference!

Last week, National Digital Newspaper Program (NDNP) director Anastasia Tarmann and project coordinator Janey Thompson attended the 45th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association in Anchorage to spread the word about historic Alaska newspapers and progress on the project. In addition to a poster, we prepared brochures that provided a brief overview of theContinue reading “Greetings from the Alaska Anthropological Association Conference!”