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Military in Alaska primary source collections

This guide consists of publicly available collections of primary source material held by Alaskan archives, libraries, and museums, which deal with military activities in Alaska.

Military in Alaska

This guide consists of collections of primary source material held by Alaskan archives, libraries, and museums, which deal with military activities in Alaska. The guide is divided into three sections, based on the time period that the collections document: Pre World War II, World War II, and Post World War II. You can navigate between these sections using the menu on the left-hand side of the page. This guide is an overview of collections containing significant amounts of material relating to the military in Alaska and is not meant to be comprehensive or include every collection containing material related to the topic.

Click on the linked collection names for more detailed descriptions of the collections. Not every collection listed has a description online. For more information about a collection, please contact the institution that owns the collection.

Selected items related to the military in Alaska from many of the institutions represented in this guide have been digitized and added to Alaska's Digital Archives. You can use the search box at the top right of the homepage to search for these materials.

If you represent an institution that holds primary source material related to military activities in Alaska and you you like to see it included in this guide, please contact the UAA/APU Consortium Library Archives and Special Collections.

Pre World War II collections

Alaska State Library Historical Collections

Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center

  • CIHS Barnet Collection. 1916-1918. B1963.019. James and Elizabeth Barnet lived in Anchorage during the period 1916-1918. This small collection includes an image of the first draft for military service, taken on Fourth Ave. in Anchorage in 1917.
  • Richard Maximus Bjorkman photographs, ca. 1884-1889. B2008.004. The collection consists of 45 black-and-white photographs mounted on board, taken during Bjorkman's service in the U.S. Navy, primarily with the U.S.S. Thetis during its summer 1888 cruise in Alaskan waters.
  • Cochran Collection. 1914-1927. B1981.164. Collection of 126 photographs taken by a commanding officer of the U.S. Revenue Cutter Bear.
  • A.C. Cron Collection. 1906-1908. B1973.079. Collection of 186 photographs, 132 negatives relating primarily to Ft. St. Michael, with some also of Fort Davis (Nome) and Fort Liscum (Valdez).
  • Juliet Steinmetz Frawley Albums. 1910s-1930s. B2013.058. This collection consists of three photo albums and loose photographs, including eight images of men wearing World War I-era uniforms.
  • Fred Letter to Dearest Mother. 1917. B2013.020. This typescript letter, signed “Fred” and addressed to “My Dearest Mother & All at Home,” is dated Anchorage, Alaska, November 22nd, 1917. The letter discusses entry of the United States into World War I and its effect on the Anchorage economy.”
  • Adolphus Greely Collection. 1900-1905. B1998.003. Collection of 33 photographs of Pt. Barrow and Greely’s inspection trips to Alaska.
  • Frederick Jerauld Collection. circa 1901-1902. B2008.027. Collection of 58 photographs by a surgeon stationed at Fort Michael and Fort Davis.
  • William and Edna McMaster Album. 1923-1924. B1996.014. Collection includes photographs of Chilkoot Barracks.
  • [Ned D.] Moore Collection, pre-war? B1979.138. Collection of 22 photographs relating to Fort William H. Seward and Chilkoot Barracks.
  • Captain Spaulding Collection. 1918. Collection of 46 photographs of Ft. Gibbon (Tanana).
  • USCG Cutter Chelan Collection. 1935. B2016.008. The collection consists of one album, measuring 10” x 7”, containing 38 black-and-white photographs and 4 tinted or black-and-white postcards, as well as one news clipping, collected during the Cutter Chelan’s tour in the Bering Sea in 1935.

UAA/APU Consortium Library Archives and Special Collections

University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives Historical Manuscript Collections

For more detailed collection descriptions, please visit StarArchives, the catalog for archival collections at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, and search for the collections using the search box on the main page.

  • Abel, Beatrice Photograph Collection. circa 1909 - circa 1918. USUAFV6-418. The Beatrice Abel Collection consists of 55 photographs taken in and around Fort Seward, Valdez, Fort Liscum, Cordova, Kennecott Mine and Miles Glacier, Alaska, ca. 1909 through ca. 1918. Subjects include landscapes, military personnel and activities, buildings, and street scenes.
  • Alaska Communication System Photographs. 1904-1963. USUAFV5-169. Images in this collection reflect the history of communications in Alaska, including the construction of a telegraph system linking Army forts and major cities finished in 1901 and the 1904 construction of undersea cable communications.
  • Alaskan Air Command Photograph Collection. 1927-1970s. USUAFV3-38. The Alaskan Air Command Photograph Collection consists of 99 Air Force related photographs taken in Alaska.
  • Black Wolf Squadron Photographs. 1920. USUAFV6-373. Six photographs of the Black Wolf Squadron including images of the early aircraft (biplanes) and the pilots: Capt. St. Clair Street, 1st Lt. Clifford C. Nutt, 2d Lt. Eric C. Nelson, 2d Lt. C.H. Crumrine, and 2d Lt. Ross C. Kirkpatrick.
  • Davis, Harry Leroy Photographs. 1914-1923 (Davis, Leroy Photograph Collection). USUAFV6-131. The Harry Leroy Davis Photographs consist of 42 photographs showing primarily United States Army Signal Corps buildings, equipment and personnel at Nulato, Alaska, when Nulato was part of the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System or WAMCATS.
  • Family Album, Fort Saint Michael, Alaska. 1914-1916 (Fort Saint Michael Album, 1914-1916). USUAFV4-164. Includes photographs of the Fort St. Michael Military Post and military personnel.
  • Farnsworth Family Papers. 1899-1977. USUAFV5-199. Contains correspondence and photographs relating to Charles Farnsworth's period of military service in Alaska, as well as a manuscript written by his son Robert Farnsworth about Charles’s military service and life at Fort Gibbon and Fort Egbert.
  • Fickett, Fred Wildon Collection. 1876-1890. USUAF550. Microfiche #15, the Fred Wildon Fickett Collection, consists of diaries and journals, military papers and reports, U.S. Weather Bureau papers, correspondence, photographs and associated materials. The collection documents Fickett's education and career, including comprehensive documentation of his experiences as part of the exploratory expedition led by Henry Allen in 1885, as well as his relationship with his fiance, Nellie Lord.
  • Fort Gibbon (Tanana) Military Records. 1906-1911. USUAF139. The Fort Gibbon collection consists of military records for the Tanana fort compiled between 1906 and 1911.
  • Hoeppel, John H. Photograph Collection. 1900-1906 [bulk]. USUAFV5-49. The John H. Hoeppel Photograph Collection contains 94 photographs, 78 of them taken in Alaska during Hoeppel's tours of duty as signal operator and telegraph lineman for the U.S. Army Signal Corps
  • Jamestown (Sloop of War) Letters Outgoing. 1880. (U.S.S. Jamestown; U.S. Navy--U.S.S. Jamestown). USUAF645. One copybook containing copies of letters composed by the Jamestown's commander, L. A. Beardslee, in the period 5 January through 13 September 1880 while stationed at Sitka, Alaska.
  • Jones, William Eugene Photographs. 1899-1901. USUAFV6-656. One small photograph album containing images of Fort Gibbon and Fort Egbert, Alaska, members of the U.S. Army 7th Infantry Company E, military camps, soldiers, military life, and Alaska Natives.
  • Lesh, Nancy Photograph Collection. circa 1912 - circa 1989. USUAFV6-578. The Nancy Lesh Photograph Collection contains images of the U.S. Army in Alaska at Fort Seward and Haines, circa 1912. Subjects include military buildings, soldiers drilling, recreational activitites, and cityscapes of Haines and Seward.
  • Lyons, J. M. J., Diary. 1882-1906 [bulk 1882]. (previously listed as part of the National Bank of Alaska Collection). USUAFV6-285. The collection consists of a diary written by J. M. J. Lyons while serving aboard the U. S. Navy ships Independence and Wachusett. The diary primarily covers the time period January to November 1882, during which time Lyons visited Sitka (Alaska), Wrangell (Alaska), and other Alaskan coastal ports.
  • McFarland, Edward R. Photographs. 1911-1914 (Rita Cottnair Album). USUAFV5-21. The Edward R. McFarland Photographs consist of one album of photographs of U.S. Army Signal Corps construction work on the second section of the Washington-Alaska Military Cable and Telegraph System in the years 1911 through 1914.
  • Memoirs and Reminiscences Collection. Black, Lieutenant Fred, Excerpted Diary. 1906. USUAFV6.573. Transcribed excerpt from diary of Lt. Fred Black while at Fort Liscum, near Valdez, Alaska, in 1906.
  • Memoirs and Reminiscences Collection. Love, Brig Gen A. G. (ret). 1975. USUAFV6.573. Transcript of tape recordings made in 1963 when Albert G. Love was 86. The recordings describe his marriage and his first two overseas assignments as a young officer. The period between 1914 and 1917 was spent in Alaska as part of the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
  • Memoirs and Reminiscences Collection. McCary, Henry. 1908-1910. USUAFV6.573. The Henry McCary Memoir narrates some of McCary's memories of his time at Fort Egbert, Alaska, as an army bugler in 1908-1910.
  • Military in Alaska Collection. circa 1917-. USUAFV4-229. Material relating to the U.S. military presence in Alaska and to the involvement of Alaskan citizens in the U.S. military.
  • Oyler, Jim Photograph Collection. circa 1912-1915. USUAFV6-739. The collection contains photographic postcards of Ft. Liscum, soldiers, and military life.
  • Todd, Alden - Greely Photograph Collection. circa 1881-circa 1905. USUAFV3-251. The Alden Todd - Greely Photograph Collection consists of thirty-six photographs taken during inspection of telegraph construction headed by General A. W. Greely. The photographs were taken in Point Barrow, during the Pt. Barrow Expedition, and in interior Alaska, the Yukon Territory, and southeastern Alaska.
  • Uhl, George Adam. Papers. 1898-1972. USUAFV5-217. The George Adam Uhl Papers consist of a series of letters written by George Adam Uhl to his family while he served in the U.S. Army in 1898-1899, as well as a small number of photographs.
  • U.S. Army Continental Commands, Record Group 393. Selected Alaskan Records. 1821-1920. USUAF614. Microfiche #31 consists of selected records from the U.S. Army Continental Commands relating to Alaska.
  • Violet, George Photograph Collection. 1907-1908. USUAFV3-266. The twenty photographs were taken during George Violet's tour of duty with the 10th Infantry at Fort Davis.


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.