Alaska is a land of incredible natural beauty, rich cultural traditions, and fascinating history. The Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum (ASLAM) in Juneau is the perfect place to explore this history and discover the unique story of Alaska’s people and their land.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the ASLAM and all that it has to offer. From its extensive collection of books and documents to its captivating exhibits, there is something for everyone at this incredible institution.
The History of the ASLAM
The Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum was established in 2016, bringing together three separate institutions into one cohesive whole. The Alaska State Library, which had been in operation since 1917, was merged with the Alaska State Archives and the Sheldon Jackson Museum, creating a new institution that would serve as a center for learning and research on Alaska’s history, culture, and natural resources.
The ASLAM is housed in a stunning new building in downtown Juneau, designed by world-renowned architects HGA. The building features a sleek, modern design that pays homage to Alaska’s natural beauty and incorporates sustainable design principles.
The ASLAM Collection
The ASLAM is home to an impressive collection of books, documents, photographs, and other materials related to Alaska’s history and culture. The collection includes over 500,000 books and periodicals, 10,000 maps, and 20,000 cubic feet of archival materials.
One of the most unique aspects of the ASLAM’s collection is its extensive collection of Alaska Native language materials. The ASLAM has the largest collection of Alaska Native language materials in the world, with over 12,000 items in more than 20 languages.
The ASLAM also has an extensive digital collection, which includes over 50,000 photographs, 800 maps, and numerous historical documents that have been digitized for easy access.
Visiting the ASLAM
The ASLAM is open to the public and welcomes visitors from all over the world. Visitors can explore the building’s many exhibits, attend special events and programs, and use the library and archives for research purposes.
The ASLAM’s exhibits cover a wide range of topics related to Alaska’s history, culture, and natural resources. One of the most popular exhibits is the Alaska Native Cultures exhibit, which showcases the art, history, and traditions of Alaska’s Indigenous peoples.
Other exhibits include the Alaska Statehood exhibit, which explores Alaska’s journey to statehood, and the Treasures of the ASLAM exhibit, which showcases some of the most unique and valuable items in the ASLAM’s collection.
In addition to its exhibits, the ASLAM offers a variety of special programs and events throughout the year. These include lectures, workshops, and cultural events that celebrate Alaska’s history and culture.
Using the ASLAM for Research
The ASLAM is an invaluable resource for researchers, scholars, and anyone interested in Alaska’s history and culture. The library and archives are open to the public and offer a wealth of resources for those conducting research on Alaska’s past.
The library’s collection includes books, periodicals, maps, and other materials related to Alaska’s history, as well as resources on Indigenous cultures, natural resources, and more.
The archives contain a vast collection of historical documents, photographs, and other materials that provide insights into Alaska’s past. Researchers can access these materials in person or online, making the ASLAM a valuable resource for those conducting research from afar.
The Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum is a must-see destination for anyone interested in Alaska’s rich history and culture. The ASLAM offers a unique opportunity to explore Alaska’s past and gain a deeper understanding of the people and land that make up this incredible state.
Whether you’re a researcher, a history buff, or simply a curious traveler, the ASLAM has something to offer. With its impressive collection of books, documents, and artifacts, as well as its engaging exhibits and special programs, the ASLAM is truly a gem of Alaska’s cultural landscape.
So if you find yourself in Juneau, be sure to visit the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum and discover the rich history and culture of Alaska for yourself.