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Explore History with Alaska Periodical Index

If you are interested in the history of Alaska and the polar regions, you should make friends with the Alaska & Polar Periodical Index at http://goldmine.uaf.edu/aprindex/. This growing index of over 150,000 articles is produced by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. Here is a description of the index from the front page:

The Alaska & Polar Periodical Index cites articles in English about Alaska, northern Canada, northern Scandinavia, the Russian Far East, and Antarctica. It does not contain the text of those articles, but all are received by the UAF Rasmuson Library. More than 150,000 articles are covered, with 5,000 added each year; most articles are not in any other index. Coverage is strong from the 1980s to the present. There are articles from key periodicals such as “National Geographic” (1890 to present), “Alaska Life: the Territorial Magazine” (1938-1946), the UA student newspaper “Farthest North Collegian” (1923-1958), etc.

In my work as a librarian, I use this index frequently. In addition to being helpful for history, it is also useful in genealogy as well.

The Index may be searched by keyword, author, title or subject. Search results will include article title, author and journal source. For example, I searched the keywords “water exports” and got back three articles:

1) Greenland sees water exports as ‘valuable as fish’.
Thomsen, Per Bech.
Polar times 2001, v. 2, no. 18 (Fall/Winter 2001) p. 25.

2) Oceans of opportunity.
Swagel, Will.
Alaska business monthly 1995, v. 11, no. 9 (Sept. 1995) pp. 40-46.

3) Import volume slides, exports treat water.
Iceland review 1993, v. 31, no. 2 (1993) p. 22.

The individual records have much more information. Because I’m interested in plans to export Alaskan water, I pulled up the record for the Alaska Business Monthly article:

Oceans of opportunity.
     Swagel, Will.

Fixed field data: 950906 1995 00 eng
Local system #: 0109-57560
Content time period: 1995.
Personal author: Swagel, Will.
Title: Oceans of opportunity.
“With” note: Rasmuson call number: ALASKA PER HF5065 A4 A424.
Personal subject: Clark, Linda.
Personal subject: Wilson, Mark.
Personal subject: Cunningham, Laurie.
Personal subject: Dapcevich, Bob.
Personal subject: Dapcevich, Marko.
Personal subject: Crewdson, Brian.
Personal subject: Harmon, Larry.
Personal subject: Prokosch, Gary.
Personal subject: Davidge, Rick.
Corporate subject: Alaska Best Water Products Inc.–Anchorage.
Corporate subject: Wetco Inc.–Anchorage.
Corporate subject: Governor. Office of International Trade.
Corporate subject: Misty Fjords Artesian Well Water–Sitka.
Corporate subject: Anchorage, Municipality. Water and Wastewater Utility–Eklutna.
Corporate subject: Alaska. Dept. of Natural Resources.
Corporate subject: Alaska Water Exports Inc.
Subject: Drinking water, Bottled.
Subject: Drinking water–Export.
Subject: Exports, Alaskan.
Source: Alaska business monthly 1995, v. 11, no. 9 (Sept. 1995) pp. 40-46.

Call numbers for: UAFRAS Copies Material Location

While I won’t guarantee the hyperlinks above will work here, they will work within the Alaska & Polar Periodical Index. This means that any person or subject can be explored further with a click of the mouse.

The call number listed in the record is for the University of Alaska Fairbanks library. If you live in Fairbanks, this is fine. If you don’t live in Fairbanks, I’d suggest a search of Worldcat.org for the journal title. Looking for Alaska Business Monthly in WorldCat, I see it is available in 66 libraries, including my home library. 

If you decide to check out this tool for digging up Alaskan history, please let me know what you think of it. And be sure to ask your local library for help if you don’t find what you’re looking for.

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