APRCA General Frequently Asked Questions

See our Research Room hours page for information on visiting the archives, such as open hours. The current hours are also regularly available on the library website towards the top of the right sidebar. The archives also observes the same holidays as the Rasmuson Library as a whole. When in doubt, check the right sidebar or call.

  • The closest parking meter kiosks are available in the Signers’ (3A), and Eielson South (3C) lots, however these lots fill up very quickly and spaces may not be available if you arrive later in the day.
  • The Nenana shuttle from the Nenana Shuttle Station in the Nenana West (4F) lot runs regularly throughout the day, and drops people off at the Wood Center, a short walk from the Rasmuson Library.
  • There is also ample parking in the Taku lot off Farmers Loop Road, if you don’t mind a bit of a walk or waiting for a shuttle.
  • More information about visitor parking on campus can be found on the Office of the Bursar's webpage.

There’s a lot you can do to prepare!

  • Check out our annual registration form and our photography form to get an idea of the rules of our Research Room and plan what you bring accordingly.
  • No pens are allowed in our Research Room, but you can bring your notes and your laptop if you’d like.
  • You may bring a camera or cell phone to take photos for research use, but no scanners are permitted. Cell phones in the Research Room should be on SILENT. If you need to make or answer a call please exit the Research Room and go out to the main area of level 2 to do so. The Research Room is a quiet area for people doing archival research.
  • You’ll be asked to leave any bags and other belongings in one of our lockers.
  • No food or drink (not even water) is allowed in the archives. These items may be stored in the locker.
  • Dress warmly, archives are naturally cooler than the rest of the building because we keep the environment of our materials at temperatures that are safer for their preservation. It’s not uncommon for you to see archivists wearing sweaters in July.
  • Do some searching before you come.
    Archival research can be difficult and time consuming. The more you can do ahead of time the faster your on-site work will be. Look through our databases and take note of collection names, as well as specific series and box numbers for that collection. Some of our collections require that you know the series as well as the box number to access the correct materials. Take a look at the questions below for some ideas on getting started on searching. Don’t forget to take a peek at the paper finding aids for our collections when you visit. Sometimes there is extra information in the finding aid folders that may aid you in your search.


We have several ways to find this information. The three main places to try are:

Conveniently, we have some records digitized and available on Alaska's Digital Archives and we suggest looking there to begin. Alaska's Digital Archives is a consortium of libraries and archives across the state who have all contributed some of their images to an online database. This means you can find images from many institutions in Alaska in one place.

You can also look for photo and manuscript collections in Star Archives.

Books, rare maps, Oral Histories, etc. can be found via the Library Catalog. Type the words you want to search for into the appropriate boxes and then from the search limit "location" choose "UAF - Level 2 - _____".  The blank underline stands for whatever specific thing you're looking for. Level 2 of the library is all material related to Alaska or archival collections. So it's a good way to limit your search results quickly. Often, using the same search term but switching between these different location choices to see what kinds of material results you’re getting can be beneficial to understanding your search results.
Limit your search to items on Level 2 Rasmuson Library


Below are links to download and print the forms you need to fill out for ordering and using photographs.

You can either mail them in, or scan and send them to us via email. We don't process the photo orders until we receive the paperwork and payment. The quickest option is to email the forms and call with credit card info (which we shred after processing the order), but you may certainly mail your paperwork and a check if you'd like. University of Alaska Fairbanks orders can be paid by JV number.

  1. To order photographs, fill out our "Pink" sheet.
  2. Next, read and fill out a Statement of Intended Use form.
  3. There will likely be associated fees with your print or scan order. Review the following to understand our fee schedules:

For any questions regarding the process and/or paperwork contact the reference archivists.

After making sure that the image belongs to UAF (look for “Holding Institution”), the process for ordering photographs from Alaska’s Digital Archives is the same as ordering other photos from the archives. See the FAQ "How do I order prints/scans of photographs from the archives?"

make sure the Holding Institution is Alaska and Polar Regions from UAF

All the information you need to complete on the pink sheet should be in the description field on Alaska's Digital Archives.  Most important is the collection name and the Identifier (photo #), which should be the first 2 pieces of information in the description area.

Look for the Collection Name and the Identifier

Because of the large number of institutions contributing, when you're searching Alaska's Digital Archives and you find something you like, you'll want to pay attention to which library, archives, or museum the image is from. That information, along with contact information for that institution, is included in the description below the image (look for "Holding Institution").

Each archives and library has their own regulations for using their collections and you'll want to contact them directly to find out what they are.

Additionally, you can limit your search to only the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library collections (or also the collections at the UAF Museum of the North) by choosing “Advanced Search” to the right of the search bar, clicking on “Add or remove collections”, and then checking the boxes for “University of Alaska Fairbanks” (and/or “University of Alaska Museum of the North”) on the menu.

As outlined in our Statement of Intended Use, it’s the researcher’s responsibility to determine where copyright lies.

For more information about archival materials and copyright, please take a look at the Society of American Archivists’ (SAA) Copyright and Unpublished Material FAQs.

Our archival collections can only be accessed during the Research Room’s open hours. However, the Rasmuson Library’s Alaska Book Collection, including periodicals, (levels 2 and 3) as well as our extensive collection of newspapers on microfilm (level 2) can be accessed any time the library is open.

A (very) small number of our collections are also available to the public on microfilm, and a significant portion of our rare book collection is available on microfiche (level 2). The library also has a collection of maps of Alaska of varying, more recent dates, on both level 2 and level 5.

Microfilm from the Alaska Newspaper Project is available in the public area of level 2 in the metal filing cabinets straight back from the entrance. There is a navy blue bound book Alaska Newspapers on Microfilm that lists the newspapers alphabetically first by city and then by title of the publication and gives the cabinet number location for each publication.

Limited research services are provided by reference archivists as time and staffing allows. It may not always be possible for archivists to conduct research for patrons. A $50 an hour fee is charged for searches that require more than thirty minutes.

The archives staff considers volunteers and interns on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, we do not have the funds for paid internships at this time. If you’re interested in volunteering or interning please contact us at UAF-APR-reference-Service@alaska.edu.

To search the UAF Library Catalog for Alaska Film Archives holdings

  1. Start at the Rasmuson Library Home page
  2. Click the Books (Library Catalog) tab and click the link to the Library Catalog.
  3. In the words or phrase box, type in the word or phrase you wish to search for such as: Barrow, Bristol Bay fishing, gold mining, etc.
  4. In the type box, select Archival Video from the drop-down menu.
    Archival Film search
  5. Click Search.

Understanding your search results

  1. A list of film and videos will appear containing your search words in the titles or summaries. Titles in brackets [ ] represent raw footage and are not finished productions.
  2. Click on a title that interests you.
    Click the title of the record to view more information
  3. Click Catalog Record to obtain summary information.
    Click Catalog Record to view more information about the item
  4. For items you wish to view, write down the call number (AAF-Number located in the summary text or at the bottom of the Item Information screen).
    Write down the call number
  5. Viewing copies may be checked out by requesting your selected call numbers at the Level 4 Media Desk of the Rasmuson Library on the UAF Campus.

    For off-campus checkout throughout the world, please contact our Interlibrary Loan office at (907) 474-5348 or uaf-lend@alaska.edu - *Some fees may apply for this service*

  6. Some records contain a URL or chain-link icon. Click URL or the chain-link icon to view a short clip.
    Items with a URL may be viewed online

Other ways to search for archival film

For additional information on collections, or to make arrangements to use images in websites, videos, PowerPoint or other presentations, or any form of broadcast or nonbroadcast production, contact:

Alaska Film Archives
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756808
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6808

Angela Schmidt - Film Archivist
(907) 474-5357 ajschmidt@alaska.edu