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Alaska Museums Surveys and Data

Data gathered from museums surveyed around Alaska during 1984, 2000, 2010, and 2020.

The largest facility reporting was the Alaska Sealife Center with 115,000 sq. ft., followed by the Anchorage Museum of History and Art at 89,000 sq. ft.  The smallest reporting museum was the Anvik Historical Society with 400 sq. ft.

Total square footage (N=39)
40,000 sq. ft. and above 3
20,000 - 30,000 3
10,000 - 20,000 5
5,000 - 10,000 10
1,000 - 5,000 15
Under 1,000 3
Facility size, exhibit space, office space, & collection storage of each Alaska museum.
Museum Overall size Exhibit space Office space Collection storage
Alaska Sealife Center 115000 17260 9855 7735
Anchorage Museum of History and Art 89000 34000 15000 6000
Univ of Alaska Fairbanks Museum 40000 9000 10000 10000
Alaska Native Heritage Center 26000 n/a n/a n/a
Alaska State Museum 24000 12000 3360 3600
Southeast Alaska Discovery Center 21000 n/a n/a n/a
Museum of Alaska Trans. & Industry 18000 6800 1500 7000
Eagle Historical Society and Museum 16720 14850 500 1370
Pratt Museum 11300 5100 1400 2300
Dorothy Page Museum 10112 7584 1228 1300
Kenai Bicentennial Visitors Center 10000 5000 2000 600
Museum of the Aleutians 9500 n/a n/a n/a
Totem Heritage Center 9200 5600 950 n/a
American Bald Eagle Foundation 7500 5100 550 120
Valdez Museum & Historical Archive 7500 4700 1000 1800
Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center 7000 2949 570 1123
Heritage Library & Museum 6750 5850 300 600
Juneau-Douglas City Museum 6000 3000 500 1500
Skagway Museum and Archives 5880 3000 200 2100
Tongass Historical Museum 5600 1820 975 1500
Circle Historical Museum 5100 3600 80 214
Baranov Museum / Kodiak Historical SocietyI 4978 1968 625 340
Alutiiq Museum and Archaeological Repository 4800 2800 300 1600
Alaska State Trooper Museum 3800 2600 200 1000
Resurrection Bay Historical Society 3400 2880 40 120
Clausen Memorial Museum 2566 1566 1000 198
Alaska Museum of Natural History 2500 2000 400 100
Talkeetna Historical Society 2300 1900 200 200
Cordova Historical Museum 2300 1980 20 300
Carrie McLain Memorial Museum 2264 1720 136 408
Isabel Miller Museum 2200 900 n/a n/a
Sullivan Roadhouse Historical Museum 1500 1200 n/a 300
Simon Paneak Memorial Museum 1300 1000 300 30
George Ashby Memorial Museum 1200 1175 12 12
Oscar Anderson House 1200 1100 n/a n/a
Museum of Orthodox Church History 1020 900 n/a 120
Trapper Creek Museum 840 n/a n/a n/a
Delta Historical Society 480 n/a n/a 120
Anvik Historical Society Museum 400 n/a 100 n/a

Museum facility construction: (N=48)

Construction materials of Alaska museums.
Wood frame 20
Steel beam 10
Log cabin 8
Concrete 6
Masonry/stone 2
Combinations 2

Fire suppression: (N=43)

Type of fire suppressors.
Halon/gas 15
Sprinklers 12
None 16

Environment & Disaster Plans

Forty-two (42) museums are "handicapped-accessible".

Thirty-one (31) museums monitor temperature and humidity.

Fourteen (14) museums have humidity controls.

Twenty-seven (27) museums have a disaster preparation plan.

Thirty-one (31) museums have a long-range plan.

Year established

The oldest museum in Alaska is the Sheldon Jackson Museum, established in 1887, followed by the Alaska State Museum in 1900. Four other museums pre-date statehood: the Sitka National Historic Park (1910), The Sheldon Museum and Cultural Center in Haines (1925), the University of Alaska Museum (1928), and the Isabel Miller Museum in Sitka (1957). The Tanana-Yukon Historical Society was established in 1959. Seven museums in the survey saw their beginning in 1967, the centennial of Alaska's purchase.

Types of museums (N=67)

Of the 67 museums in the database, half of them are primarily Alaska or local history museums.

The "Alaska or local history" category includes some specialized museums:

  • 2 aviation museums,
  • 1 transportation museum,
  • 1 police museum,
  • 1 church museum, and
  • 1 dog-mushing museum.
Museum types in Alaska.
Alaska or local history 36
Natural history/wildlife 7
Cultural Centers 6
Historic Building 5
Ethnographic 4
General 4
Historical Park 4
Other (Science) 1