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1964 Great Alaska Earthquake primary source collections

Primary source repositories in Alaska holding materials related to the 1964 earthquake

Alaska Moving Image Preservation Association (AMIPA)

AMIPA holds a number of collections of motion picture film and audio recordings relating to the 1964 earthquake, subsequent tsunamis, and other regional effects.  Some of these items are unique, original materials; some are published works.  Subject matter includes: damaged and destroyed infrastructure in Anchorage, Seward and Valdez; seiching and waves in Kenai Lake, resulting from landslides brought on by the earthquake; property salvage activity in downtown Anchorage; and reconstruction activity in Anchorage, Cordova, Seldovia, Seward and Valdez.

Alaska Resources Library and Information Services (ARLIS)

ARLIS has amassed a large collection of geotechnical reports that examine the 1964 earthquake in particular, as well as the potential effects of another major earthquake. In addition, a special collection related to the 1964 earthquake was acquired in 2011, consisting of 463 aerial remote-sensing images of the immediate post-earthquake Anchorage area, in printed format. A few other unique items include hand-drawn earthquake maps of the Fourth Avenue slide area in Anchorage, as well as a mylar from NOAA depicting earthquake epicenters from 1899-1973 of greater than 5.3 on the Richter scale.

Alaska State Archives

The Alaska State Archives holds the permanent records of Alaska state government agencies. These records reside within the organizational structure of the agencies that created them. These include various agencies that dealt with the aftermath of the earthquake, including the Governor's Office, the Department of Commerce, Community and Economic Development, and the Department of Administration.

Alaska State Library Historical Collections

The Alaska State Library Historical Collections holds photographs and documents related to the aftermath of the earthquake and reconstruction from a variety of sources. More information about their holdings can be found on their website.

Anchorage Museum Library and Archives

The Bob and Evangeline Atwood Resource Center (ARC) at the Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center holds hundreds of photos of the aftereffects of the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, as well as correspondence, audio and video recordings, and ephemera pertaining to the quake. The Resource Center has produced an earthquake guide to aid your research needs.

UAA/APU Consortium Library, Archives and Special Collections

Archives & Special Collections at the UAA/APU Consortium Library has many archival collections that relate to 1964 Alaska earthquake. These include photographs, documents, audio, and video materials from both personal collections and organizations. The 1964 Earthquake Collections guide lists many of those collections in alphabetical order. Follow the links in the guide to an extended description of each collection.

University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives

The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives has material documenting the aftermath and recovery efforts for the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake in the Archives, the Alaska Film Archives, Oral History, and the Alaska Book Collection. Material includes photographs, manuscript and
archival collections, articles and clippings from publications, books, archival film and oral histories.

Valdez Museum and Historical Archive

As one of the towns hardest hit by the Good Friday Earthquake – necessitating the wholesale rebuilding of the town approximately four miles from its original townsite – the Museum’s archive is home to thousands of photographs and documents related to the 1964 earthquake and its aftermath. Among the highlights of the Good Friday Earthquake collection are examples of newspaper clippings, from around Alaska and the Lower 48, oral histories told by earthquake survivors, extensive photo documentation of earthquake damage, government reports, and acquired in 2012, the personal archive of Paul Finfer, the city planner who helped plan the layout of the new town.


Institute of Museum and Library Services

This guide is supported in whole or in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the Library Services and Technology Act, administered by the Alaska State Library.