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Three Books on Adak

To start off the New Year, I’d like to introduce a new Saturday Alaska-focused series. It’s “Three books on …” Each week I will take one of the Alaska communities listed in the Alaska Communities Database and look for books in WorldCat related to that community. It is my guess that Alaska’s libraries have something on every Alaskan community. We’ll find out together.

Today’s community is Adak. Here is a note on its location and climate from the Alaska Communities Database:

Adak is located on Kuluk Bay on Adak Island. It lies 1,300 miles southwest of Anchorage and 350 miles west of Unalaska/Dutch Harbor in the Aleutian Island Chain. Flight time to Anchorage is three hours. Adak is the southern-most community in Alaska, on the latitude of Vancouver Island in Canada. The community lies at approximately 51.872500° North Latitude and -176.628610° West Longitude. (Sec. 10, T096S, R195W, Seward Meridian.) Adak is located in the Aleutian Islands Recording District. The area encompasses 122.4 sq. miles of land and 4.9 sq. miles of water. Adak lies in the maritime climate zone, characterized by persistently overcast skies, high winds, and frequent cyclonic storms. Winter squalls produce wind gusts in excess of 100 knots. During the summer, extensive fog forms over the Bering Sea and North Pacific. Average temperatures range from 20 to 60 °F, but wind chill factors can be severe. Total precipitation is 64 inches annually, with an average accumulated snowfall of 100 inches, primarily in the mountains.

And here are three books that I found on Adak:

Masteller, Mark A. 1981. 1981 rock ptarmigan census, Adak Island, Alaska. Adak, Alaska: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge.

Gilley, Shirley A. 1997. Closing down the American base at Adak, Alaska: the social and psychological trauma of relocating military families. Lewiston: Mellen University Press.

Gullickson, James M. 1965. Trees planted on Adak Island, Alaska: report. Juneau, Alaska?: Northern Forest Experiment Station?.

For more books and other resources for Adak, visit http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=su%3Aadak

Next week we will consider Afognak.


6 Responses

  1. Years ago I found a copy of Adakians: “Wind Blown & Dripping – A Book of Aleutian Cartoons” (1945) while browsing in the Rasmusen library’s Polar Region collection.
    There was a base camp newspaper on the island edited by Dashiell Hammett, and he published a book of cartoons drawn on wax stencils done by several soldier artists. A fascinating and funny insight of what is was like on Adak at the time. For a cartoonist and artist this little book is a real jewel.

  2. Hi Jamie, Thanks for stopping by. According to http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/34252056, it looks like the book is available in four libraries in Alaska, including the one that I work at. I’ll have to go look at it.

    The base camp newspaper that Dashiell Hammett edited was called the Adakian. My library has it on microfilm, as well as three other libraries, according to http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/21360811.

  3. A new play centered on Hammett as editor of the Adakian–titled “Wind Blown and Dripping” after the book of cartoons–opens this weekend in Anchorage. More information about the play, as well as more about the Adakian and the 1945 cartoon collection, is available at http://www.windblownanddripping.com … I’m the play’s author and did quite a bit of research into Hammett’s time on Adak. You’ll be particularly interested in what I found out about the newspaper and the fact that there’s an almost complete collection of the Adakian (nearly three years’ worth) in private hands–perhaps the only such collection in the world. Let’s hope the owner will eventually digitize it. It’s a marvelous historical document. I’ve posted almost 100 photos of pages and parts of pages of the newspaper on Flicker (the Web site has the link). By the way, a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts allowed me to travel to spend four days perusing the paper.

  4. Pico – Thanks for stopping by and sharing. I’ll check out your web site and hope other readers will too.

  5. I have been trying to find out if there are any employment ops on Adak Island. I have wanted to return to the island for years. I know there are only a few people left on the Island….I still would love to return and stay. It is a wonderful place to live. I miss it.

  6. Hi Thomas,

    You might try checking with the local city and school administrations to see what jobs they might have. Here is their contact information from their Alaska Community Profile:

    City – City of Adak
    P.O. Box 2011
    Adak, AK 99546
    Phone 907-592-4513
    Fax 907-592-4262
    E-mail adakcityclerk@yahoo.com

    School District – Aleutian Region School District
    P.O. Box 92230
    Anchorage, AK 99509
    Phone 907-277-2648
    Fax 907-277-2649
    E-mail aleutreg@aleutregion.org
    Web http://www.aleutregion.org

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