The Rare Books Collection contains approximately 14,500 titles. Special strengths include accounts and studies of the polar regions dating from the 17th to the early 20th centuries, and accounts of Russian activities in the North Pacific and Alaska in the 18th and 19th centuries. All Rare Books are listed the Library Catalog. They do not circulate, but may be used in the Archives research room during its posted hours of operation. Approximately one-third of the collection has been copied to microfiche. To preserve the fragile originals, we ask patrons to use the microfiche copies when available. They are housed in the lateral filing cabinets on Level 2 in the library and are available for check-out, including through Interlibrary Loan.
The Rare Maps Collection is especially strong in early maps of Alaska, from pre-discovery speculative cartography of the 16th century through the Klondike and various Alaska gold rushes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. All Rare Maps are listed in the Library Catalog. They can be viewed online by searching in the Alaska Digital Archives. Contact us if you have questions or research needs.