This guide contains primary sources related to Russian involvement in Alaska, including the Russian colonial period between 1741 and 1867, the sale of Alaska to the United States, and the influence of the Russian Orthodox Church.
This page lists other Alaskan archives that have some material related to Russian Alaska, microfilmed primary documents held by libraries across Alaska, and collections held by institutions outside of Alaska.
The Anchorage Museum put together a guide to their collections containing material related to Russian influence in Alaska, including materials dating from the period of Russian occupation, research about the period, and photographs of Russian Orthodox churches.
The bark Golden Gate and clipper ship Nightingale were both involved in the Western Union Telegraph Expedition to British Columbia, Alaska and Russia to survey areas where the Western Union Telegraph Company planned to construct a telegraph line linking America and Europe. The line was never completed. Charles S. Bulkley was Engineer-in-Chief and Charles M. Scammon was Chief of Marine. The bark Golden Gate was the flagship of the expedition from June 1865 to March 1866, after which the clipper ship Nightingale became the expedition's flagship.
Principally ecclesiastical records relating to the administration of the numerous parishes and chapels of the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska, and, to a lesser extent, in Canada and the United States, comprising correspondence, registers of births, marriages, and deaths, confession and communion records, a clergy dossier, orders and edicts (ukases) from imperial and ecclesiastical authorities, financial records, diaries and travel journals, photographs, printed matter, and other material. Includes material relating to missionary work among the Tlingit Indians; Russian administration of Alaska through the bureaucracy of the church; schools and education; the Russian-American Company; and papers of various church officials, including Tikhon Bellavin, Evdokim Meshcherskii, and John S. Kedrovsky. This item is also available on microfilm from many Alaskan libraries. See Alaska Library Catalog records here and here for more information.
Official letters, work reports, tariff and cargo registers, ships’ journals, accounts of exploratory expeditions, and other records relating to the exploration and colonization of Alaska and Siberia by the Russian-American Company (Rossiĭsko-amerikanskai︠a︡ kompanii︠a︡, a fur trading company conducting trade with the Alaska Natives as well as the exploration and colonization chiefly of Alaska and the Pacific Coast of America. Founded in 1799 as the successor of the Shelikhov-Golikov Company, founded in 1783. Also includes material relating to the company's contacts with the Japanese, Chinese, and Portuguese. Individuals represented include Nikolaĭ Petrovich Rezanov and G.I. Shelikhov. Collected by G. V. I︠U︡din (Yudin).
Meeting of Frontiers is a project, originally funded by the United States Congress, devoted to the theme of the exploration and settlement of the American 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. The online collection includes digitized copies of primary source documents relating to Russian Alaska and its sale to the United States.
Search the National Archives Catalog to find materials related to the purchase of Alaska from Russia, as well as documents from agencies involved in the administration of Alaska during Russian occupation, including the Russian-American Company.
This microfilm collection consists primarily of records of the Kvikhpak (Yukon) Mission including churches or chapels at Russian Mission, Mikhailovskii Redoubt, Kolmakovskii Redoubt, as well as St. Sergius Church, both of the latter located on the Kuskokwim River. Small groups of records are included from the Church of the Holy Ascension (Unalaska), Holy Resurrection Church (Kodiak), and St. George Church (St. George Island). Among the various records in the collection are priests' journals, journals of church worship services, church registers, school journals, metrical and confessional records, financial records and correspondence. These records document the life and activities of the respective churches and chapels and serve as a microcosm for the study of the impact on, and relationship between, the church and the Alaskan Natives.
Documents relating to the Spanish exploration of the Pacific Northwest and interactions with Russian settlements, especially in Nootka Sound, and the coast of California to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The collection includes information about interactions with Russian settlers in Alaska.