Alaska Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections
This entry was originally written by Dwight A. Radford in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources.
Several periodicals of historical and genealogical value concerning Alaska have been published. These include the Alaska Journal, published quarterly by the Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, which contains many articles on Alaska culture and history; the semi-annual Alaska History, the official journal of the Alaska Historical Society; and the Anchorage Genealogical Society Quarterly.
The Alaska State Library has compiled a 301-page guide Alaska Newspapers on Microfilm, 1866–1998, which is available for down-load on the Alaska State Library website. The films to all the newspapers are available from the Alaska State Library through interlibrary loan. An index to vital records extracted from various Fairbanks newspapers is Index of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Divorces in Fairbanks, Alaska Newspapers, 1903–1930 (Anchorage: Alaska Historical Commission Studies in History, 1986). The index was compiled by members of the Fairbanks Genealogical Society who utilized the following newspapers: Fairbanks News; Fairbanks Evening News; Fairbanks Daily News; and the Fairbanks Daily News Miner.
The Alaskan, a newspaper published in Sitka, has been indexed in Robert N. DeArmond, Subject Index to The Alaskan, 1885–1907, A Sitka Newspaper (Juneau: Alaska Division of State Libraries, 1974).
An index to the Anchorage Daily Times obituaries (1915–80) and an index to the newspapers in Petersburg are on file at the Rasmuson Library in Fairbanks.
Several newspapers were published by the Alaskan native population, some of which are on file at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland (see Oregon Archives, Libraries, and Societies). For additional information on these newspapers, see Daniel F. Littlefield, Jr., and James W. Parins, American Indian and Alaska Native Newspapers and Periodicals, 1826–1924 (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1984).
The microfilm collection of the Russian Orthodox Church Archives provides historical materials as well as the church’s parish registers. These Alaska diocesan records are divided into eight basic series (see Alaska Church Records). Because of the lack of early Alaska record sources, this is a major collection.
Although the Russians left Alaska in 1867, they had a small consulate in Nome. Their records are filed with the Seattle Russian Consulate (for additional details on these records, see Hawaii Periodicals, Newspapers, and Manuscript Collections).
The Alaska and Polar Regions Department of the Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska, Fairbanks, is a major repository in Alaska. The library attempts to collect at least one copy of everything ever printed on Alaska.
Manuscript collections outside of Alaska include the Governor Brady Collection at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut. This collection consists of the early records of the unofficial town government of Sitka. The Yale library also has most of the early maps showing the exploration of the Alaskan coast. The Library of Congress has the Russian-American Company Papers (1786–1830), which relate to the exploration and colonization of Alaska (MS 63-410).
Sheldon Jackson was the U.S. General Agent for education in Alaska. His papers, known as the Sheldon Jackson Collection, mainly consist of correspondence and cover the period from 1885 to 1907. This collection provides historical accounts of education in Alaska and its teachers and is deposited at the Presbyterian Historical Society in Philadelphia with microfilm copies at the FHL.