The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives is dedicated to preserving historical records of Alaska and the circumpolar north. Our hundreds of collections are largely the result of thousands of donations over many years from people who share our commitment to Alaska and the circumpolar world. In the collections you will find exploration maps as old as the late 1500s, records from the Alaska Constitutional Convention, journals by pioneer miners in the Yukon, film from the great Alaska earthquake of 1964 and interviews with Alaska’s pioneer aviators and respected Alaska Native elders. Your grandmother’s diary or your family pictures from a vacation to Circle Hot Springs, all are of great use to researchers—whether academic or genealogical. There are many ways to contribute to this important work.
Donating or Loaning Family Records
If you have photographs or personal papers, films or videos, oral history recordings, publications, or other documents that you might be willing to donate, we are eager to hear about them.
Before sending materials, contact us. We will work together to be sure that the materials are suitable for our collections and that you are satisfied with our proposals for taking care of them.
If you would like to share your family letters, diaries, or photograph albums without giving them up, talk to us about loaning them to us. We’ll make copies so you can keep the original and we’ll have a copy. You family’s place in history will be of great value to researchers, families doing genealogical research and many other uses.
Your monetary donation will help us preserve your gift of materials and purchase items of value to students, faculty and researchers. The work to preserve and make accessible an historical collection meets the highest standards in the field, is detailed and sometimes extensive. We assess each item’s condition, preserve it using the proper acid-free material, carefully note the condition and subject of each item and produce a “finding aid,” which helps researchers find what they are looking for.
Your gift to the Rasmuson Library Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives will support this work and new acquisitions, as well as preserving of donated historical materials.
Transferring University Records
All university offices, committees, and departments create or maintain records of enduring value. These records of the functions and activities of the university at a point in time and may have significance and usefulness long after their creation. These include records of the ongoing operation of the university which are of administrative, legal, financial, or historical importance. Materials with such enduring value are considered permanent records and special care is necessary to ensure that these records are preserved and remain accessible to those who need them.
All UA and UAF offices, committees, and departments create or maintain permanent records that may be eligible for transfer to the university Archives and should be transferred to the university Archives, which will hold them in perpetuity, because:
- we can help you find and access the records,
- we ensure that records are stored in an environmentally stable and secure area, and
- this improves office efficiency by providing less expensive storage for infrequently consulted materials.
Records held by the university archives have been used by departments and University Relations for anniversary celebrations, consulted by writers for biographies, and have served as crucial evidence in legal cases.
Administrative offices, colleges and schools, academic departments, institutes and committees, and student groups are asked to regularly transfer historically valuable records. Significant records include publications, meeting minutes, project files, publicity materials, correspondence, and photographs.
For more information about transferring records to the Archives, see:
- A Guide to Preserving Historical Records at the University of Alaska
- Records Transfer Authorization Form
For additional question, contact a curator.