Alaska State Guide
Finding Aids to Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture: Alaska Collections
The Archive of Folk Culture holds approximately 2700 collections consisting of more than 150,000 sound recordings and 3 million items. At this time only a portion of them have catalog records and finding aids. Contact the Folklife Reading Room for additional information about collections.
Folklife in Your State: Alaska
The collections of the American Folklife Center contain rich and varied material that documents the diverse ethnic, religious, and other folk traditions. Alaska's Local Legacies Projects, an exploration of local traditions and celebrations is available on the Center's Web page.
Selections from Alaska Collections
The American Folklife Center's holdings of materials from individual states are so extensive that exploration of them can be challenging. To provide an introductory tour for Library of Congress patrons, educators, researchers, and the general public — and to display some of the wonderful audio and visual treasures amassed over the past eight decades — the Center is undertaking the online National Sampler Project.
America's Library is especially designed for elementary
and middle- school students.
Explore the States: Alaska
Jump Back in Time
Purchase of Alaska, March 30, 1867
The Alcan Highway in Alaska Opened, November 21, 1942
American Treasures of the Library of Congress
From May to August 1899, the Harriman Alaska Expedition, brainchild of railroad magnate Edward Harriman, sailed from Sitka, near Juneau, to Siberia, with many stops on the way. The passengers, who included leading scientists, artists, and photographers, pursued their specialties while also joining in the ship's festivities.
Maps in Our Lives
This exhibition explores four constituent professions represented by the ACSM--surveying, cartography, geodesy, and geographic information systems (GIS)--and draws on both the Library’s historic map collections and the ACSM collection in the Library of Congress. The exhibition includes the National Geographic Map of Alaska.
The Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures
In confronting these documents, mostly written in Russian but some in the Alaskan Native languages of Aleut, Eskimo, and Tlingit, Dr. Ivanov has resuscitated the vibrant, incredibly moving human exchanges that took place between the priests of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska and Native Alaskans, during the years 1794 to about 1915.
France In America
Conceived in partnership with France’s national library, the Bibliothèque nationale de France, France in America /France en Amérique is a bilingual digital library made available by the Library of Congress. It explores the history of the French presence in North America from the first decades of the sixteenth century to the end of the nineteenth century. Search the project to find items related to Alaska.
Meeting of Frontiers: Siberia, Alaska, and the American West
Meeting of Frontiers tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Project partners include the Library of Congress, the University of Alaska Fairbanks, the Russian State Library, the National Library of Russia, and more than twenty libraries, archives, and museums located in cities in Siberia and the Russian Far East. Search the project to find items related to Alaska.
Bibliographies and Guides
U.S. State Poets Laureate
This site provides the names of all current state poets laureate of the United States. It also includes a history of the laureateship in each state, as well the District of Columbia, and attempts to provide a comprehensive listing of all prior state poets laureate. Included is information on the position of State Poet Laureate in Alaska.
to Law Online
Guide to Law Online, prepared by the Law Library of
Congress Public Services Division, is an annotated guide
to sources of information on government and law available
online. It includes selected links to useful and reliable
sites for legal information on U.S. states and territories,
Resources for Local History and Genealogy: Alaska
Compiled by Reference Specialists in the Local History and Genealogy Reading Room, this site identifies key resources for pursuing family history, and state, county and municipal historical research by state.
& Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)
Search PPOC using the subject headings United States--Alaska to find digital images related to Alaska, such as prints, photographs, and more. Search in PPOC using the term Alaska or names of cities, towns, and sites to locate additional images.
Port of Entry
Students assume the role of historical detective and travel back in time to the turn of the century. As historical detectives, they search for clues about immigrant life in the United States.
Primary Sources by State
The Library of Congress has rich documents and artifacts
from every state, the U.S. territories, and the District
of Columbia. Click on Alaska to view historic artifacts and cultural materials from
A Russian Settlement in Alaska: A Community at the Meeting of Frontiers
In the early 19th century, most of the land that is now Alaska was claimed by the Russian empire, and its most significant community was Novo-Arkhangel’sk, which today is called Sitka. From 1808 until the sale of Alaska to the United States in 1867, Sitka was the administrative center of Russian possessions in America. The town was carved out of the forested lowlands of SE Alaska and housed a small but diverse population, with Russians, U.S. citizens, Europeans, and Native Alaskans co-existing.
Creating a Primary Source Archive: All History Is Local
Examine the interplay between national,
state, local, and personal history. Students produce a
digital collection of primary sources from their family
or local community based on the collections in the Digital Collections.
Exploring Community Through Local History: Oral Stories, Landmarks and Traditions
Students explore the local history of the community in which they live through written and spoken stories; through landmarks such as buildings, parks, restaurants, or businesses; and through traditions such as food, festivals and other events of the community or of individual families.
Local History: Mapping My Spot
Students create their town’s history for coming generations and place themselves on the map in a literal as well as figurative sense, by producing portions of an updated version of an early twentieth century panoramic map from the Digital Collections.
The Alaska Purchase: Debating the Sale from Russian and U.S. Perspectives
The 1867 Treaty of Cession, in which the United States purchased Alaska from the Russian empire, marked an unusually peaceful transition. The purchase of Alaska was done under amicable circumstances, and both Russia and the U.S. felt they gained from the Treaty.
On Wednesday, March 20, 1985, at 9:00 a.m., Libby Riddles became the first woman to win the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race®, the dog-pulling sled race from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. Riddles checked into Safety, the last checkpoint before the finish line, many hours ahead of her nearest competitor. She raced with a thirteen-dog team through debilitating blizzards in 18 days, 20 minutes, and 17 seconds, and won $50,000.
On March 30, 1867, Secretary of State William H. Seward agreed to purchase Alaska from Russia for 7.2 million dollars. Critics attacked Seward for the secrecy surrounding the deal, which came to be known as "Seward's folly." The press mocked his willingness to spend so much on "Seward's icebox" and Andrew Johnson's "polar bear garden."
Thus wrote the naturalist-physician, Georg Wilhelm Steller, about the discovery of Kiska Island in the Aleutian Islands chain of present-day Alaska. Steller's journal was kept according to the Old Style (Julian) calendar, which was replaced by the Gregorian calendar in 1752, so his October 25 is November 5 by twenty-first-century reckoning. His entries provide a detailed firsthand account of the final voyage of the navigator and explorer Captain-Commander Vitus Jonassen Bering.
On November 20, 1942, U.S. Army engineers, working closely with partners in U.S. civilian agencies and Canada officially opened the Alaska Highway. This overland military supply route, originally known as the Alcan Highway, passed through the Yukon, running from the prairies of British Columbia to the Territory of Alaska. The roadway was over 1,500-miles long and connected Dawson Creek, British Columbia, to Fairbanks, Alaska. It provided Americans and Canadians on the Pacific coast new avenues for the transportation of goods, and an increased sense of security after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and escalating hostility in the Pacific.
History Project Home Page
The Veterans History Project (VHP) collects and preserves
the remembrances of American war veterans and civilian
workers who supported them. Browse the database by state
of residence to locate veterans from Alaska.