Alaskana is any material specifically related to Alaska. It can include any item in any field or media. This lesson will help you locate materials about Alaska, its history, communities, peoples and cultures.
While you can get Alaska-specific information out of the Digital Pipeline in most of its databases simply by adding "Alaska" to your search terms, it will be SLED that points you towards the most Alaska specific resources.
SLED can best be described as a directory of Alaska-focused resources for Alaskans, chosen by Alaskans. The Alaskans choosing sites for SLED are a committee consisting of a member of the general public plus librarians from around the state who work for different kinds of libraries. A listing of current and past committee members can be found at http://sled.alaska.edu/staff.
The bulk of SLED consists of category pages. Each category page starts with Alaska-specific links and ends with general links in that category. There is a search for SLED on the front page. Be aware that it only searches materials housed at sled.alaska.edu.
The FAQ section of SLED at http://sled.alaska.edu/faq is a great ready reference resource. Whether you're looking for who was Territorial Governor in 1925 (Scott C. Bone) or how old a "diamond willow" can get (150 years plus), the FAQ will likely have something for you.
Community Information Summaries - These are one page fact sheets for each community. They can be very useful to send to people who are thinking about relocating to your community or patrons in your community interested in other Alaskan towns. Each Community Information Summary (CIS) has a map showing the community's location within the state along with the following sections:
- Map Section including current population and type of community government.
- Location and Climate
- History, Culture and Demographics
- Facilities, Utilities, Schools and Health Care
- Organizations with Local Offices
- Regional Organizations
Not documented anywhere on the site is the ability to create a persistent URL that can be used to link to a specific community profile from your web page or e-mailed to a patron. The general format for a link is http://www.commerce.state.ak.us/dca/commdb/CIS.cfm?Comm_Boro_Name=[Community+Name]. The community name is case-sensitive and if there is more than one word in the community name, the words must be connected with a plus sign. Here are two examples of direct links to profiles:
- Which community(ies) in Alaska have the highest sales tax?
- How many communities in Alaska don’t have a sales tax?
- Which town had the highest population in 1920? 1980?
- Which community is largest in terms of land area?
The content in Alaska's Digital Archives represents holdings from these Alaska institutions:
- Alaska State Library Historical Collections
- University of Alaska Fairbanks
- University of Alaska Anchorage
- Anchorage Museum of History and Art
- Seward Community Library Association
- University of Alaska Museum of the North
- Sitka Tribal Library
Alaska's Digital Archives may be browsed by format, partner institution, Alaska Native History & Cultures or Movement to Statehood. It may also be searched by keyword or searched by 43 different fields in "advanced search."
Search results will include image, title, subject, description and identifier. Click on either the image or the title to be taken to the record. In addition to an image (when available), a record may include the following fields:
- Collection Name
- Related Materials
- Ordering & Use
- Holding Institution
The exact fields will vary by type of item being displayed.
Anything in blue text is hyperlinked to other records in Alaska's Digital Archives. Using the photograph The old "Glory Hole", Treadwell, Alaska as an example, we see it has the fields show below:
Clicking on "Waterfronts" within the record will bring up photos of other waterfront scenes, clicking on "Southeast Alaska" will bring up other places from Southeast Alaska and so on.
Paul Adasiak of UAF has posted some instructional videos related to Alaska's Digital Archives that offer detailed information on specific features. Not all material may be applicable as the underlying ContentDM software that powers Alaska's Digital Archives has undergone several upgrades since these videos were posted.
"The Alaska & Polar Periodical Index cites articles in English about Alaska, northern Canada, northern Scandinavia, the Russian Far East, and Antarctica. It does not contain the text of those articles, but all are received by the UAF Rasmuson Library. More than 200,000 articles are covered, with 5,000 added each year; most articles are not in any other index. Coverage is strong from the 1980s to the present. There are articles from key periodicals such as "National Geographic" (1890 to present), "Alaska Life: the Territorial Magazine" (1938-1946), the UA student newspaper "Farthest North Collegian" (1923-1958), etc. "
The actual database is searched like many library catalogs - keyword, author, [article] title, subject, series and source journal. Results can be limited by date and a number of sorting options are available.
Once you get into an individual record, click on "catalog record" to see where your search term appears and to get a full citation to your item. There is no full text in this index. If you live within driving distance of Fairbanks, you should be able to find any item in this index at the UAF Rasmuson Library. Otherwise, if the item isn't in your library you will need to request it through interlibrary loan.
- Object ID
- Object Name
- Descriptive Narrative
- Collection Name
Once you locate a project, there will be a number of different informational sections along with a group of interviews that have the name and photograph of each interviewee. Some of the interviews are video files and some are audio files. The interviews are presented in Quicktime and MP3 format and may take some time to download to your browser.
1. Name two categories in SLED and provide one website from each. Does anything in SLED surprise you?
- When did the Pope meet President Reagan in Alaska?
- What was the official breakup date and time in the Nenana Ice Classic in 1942?
- When were Alaska Native people given US citizenship?
- What are the words for the Alaska Flag Song?
- What percentage of the United States' volcanoes can be found in Alaska?