lesson 8: Alaskana 

Alaskana consists of various information artifacts that are specifically related to Alaska.
SLED is a directory of Alaska-focused resources for Alaskans, chosen by Alaskans.  It has been around since 1994 and is funded by the Alaska State Library and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks.  There are a number of categories to explore and each category page starts with Alaska-specific links as well as general links. The front page search only searches materials housed at sled.alaska.edu. The FAQ section of SLED at http://sled.alaska.edu/faq is a great reference resource.

1. Name two categories in SLED and provide one website from each. Does anything in SLED surprise you?

Kid’s Stuff http://www.eed.state.ak.us/temp_lam_pages/library/goldrush/index.htm

Native & Indigenous Peoples  http://www.wengereskimodb.uaf.edu/

I’m impressed with the collection of links offered and look forward to exploring the others.  I never looked at the News & Weather section before and found it to be a great collection of news sources from across our great state.  I was disappointed not to see any news blogs.  Two that I follow are Seward City News and Town Square 49.  Town Square 49 has provided a positive platform to discussion and validates Alaskan Native issues in a frank and respectful manner.

2. Using the Alaska FAQ in SLED, answer ONE of the following:

  • When did the Pope meet President Reagan in Alaska?  Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan met in Fairbanks on May 2, 1984.
  • When were Alaska Native people given US citizenship?  The Alaska Territorial Legislature offered Alaskan citizenship to Native people with a 1915 enabling act, but U.S. citizenship was extended to Alaskan Native peoples in 1924 by the U.S. Congress.

3. Using the Alaska Community Profiles, please provide one fact about the community of Eek, Alaska and how that compares to your own community.

I like the geographical map, because it showed me that Eek and Seward are pretty close in latitude.  Seward has higher taxes and different Alaska Native cultural representation. 

4. Search Alaska’s Digital Archives using your community’s name. How many items did you find? Give the “reference URL” and title for one item. Did you have a favorite?

A search for “Seward” resulted in 1199 results!  Not all are in regards to the town of Seward, but the Seward Community Library Association had contributed quite a few artifacts to this collection. 

Fourth Avenue. Seward, Alaska.  http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/ref/collection/cdmg10/id/175

This 1910 photo fascinated me:  Native family after the hunt, ca. 1910. http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm/ref/collection/cdmg10/id/380

I really appreciate that the HTML code to embed the artifacts are made available!

5. In the Alaska & Polar Periodical Index, do a search for Will Rogers. What’s one of the items? Bonus – Do a search for an Alaska related interest of your own. What did you search for and did the results look useful?

This might be worth a view on a rainy day:

#16        1995     

Famous visitor liked her ‘Chicken legs.’

Clarke, Jill.

1 copy available at Alaska & Polar Periodical Index in UAF – Level 2 – ALASKA PER MFILM

Taking up the challenge, I did a search for “Oksoktaruk,” a family name, and was surprised to retrieve 19 items!  I’ll have to check them out next time I’m in Fairbanks.

6. Using the Alaska State Museums Collection Search, can you locate a halibut hook? What’s the object id? Did you find anything else of interest?

The search for “halibut hook” retrieved 667 items, but not all were actually halibut hooks.  The object id for one is 97-32-1 made by Ernest Smeltzer (Tlingit):  Halibut hook carved of yellow cedar with ivory barb wrapped with dyed cotton twine. Depicts Humanoid eating Halibut.

Wow, I didn’t expect to find a doll made by my great-grandmother Doris Titus (I knew her as Dora)!  (object id’s II-A-5793, II-A-5652, & II-A-5792)

7. Name two projects from Project Jukebox. Who is a person interviewed in each? Try a search for an Alaska related project. Did you get any results? If any interested you, describe what interested you.

Dog Mushing in Alaska has a collection of 22 interviews along with many other resources.

Reindeer Herding: The Present & The Past is collaborative effort between the Reindeer Herders Association (RHA) in Nome, Alaska and the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Department and has a collection of 17 interviews.

I retrieved 81 results for searching for “White Mountain,” where my family is from and recognized many names, so I’ll have to visit again to check them out.

I am thrilled to have had a chance to explore the Alaskana resources!  It was my favorite lesson and a fantastic on to finish with.  I look forward to returning to use it and sharing it with others, especially family.  Quyanna to everyone who made this class possible!