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Three Books on Central (Alaska)

This week our “Three Books on …” series takes us to Central. Here is a description of Central’s location and climate from the Alaska Community Database:

Central is located on the Steese Highway about 125 miles northeast of Fairbanks and 28 miles southwest of Circle. Circle Hot Springs is located nearby. The community lies at approximately 65.572500° North Latitude and -144.803060° West Longitude. (Sec. 27, T009N, R014E, Fairbanks Meridian.) Central is located in the Fairbanks Recording District. Central has a continental subarctic climate, characterized by seasonal extremes of temperature. Winters are long and harsh, and summers warm and short. The average high temperature during July ranges from 65 to 72 °F. The average low temperature during January is well below zero. Extended periods of -50 to -60 °F are common. Extreme temperatures have been measured, ranging from a low of -71 to a high of 97 °F. Annual precipitation averages 6.5 inches, and annual snowfall averages 43.4 inches.

You can learn more about Central by reading their full profile from the Alaska Community Database.

Looking through WorldCat, we find these three books with Central (Alaska) as a subject, among others:

Jeglum, Connie. 2005. A brief history of the people buried in the Central Cemetery near Central, Alaska. Fairbanks, Alaska: Fairbanks Genealogical Society.

Tyrrell, Laurel Beach. 2002. Living the frontier myth in the twenty-first century. Thesis (M.A.)–University of Alaska, Fairbanks, 2002.

Grahek, M. E. 1982. Centerline soils and materials sources, Circle Hot Springs to Airport. Alaska: Interior Region Design and Construction, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities.

Usually I only cover books in these posts because the series is called “Three Books on …” However I noticed what seem to be a high number of recorded interviews regarding people who lived in or who were knowledgeable about Central Alaska, including:

Tyrrell, Laurel Beach, Pam Haskins, and Rochelle Harrison. 1998. Women of Rural Alaska.

Gelvin, Ed, William S. Schneider, and Dan O’Neill. 1991. Ed Gelvin is interviewed by William Schneider and Dan O’Neill on November 2, 1991. National Park Service collection – Yukon-Charley.

Hall, Esther Oliver, and Mike Dalton. 1973. Esther Oliver Hall is interviewed by Mike Dalton in Central, Alaska on August 10, 1973.

Time for another searching lesson. If you were to type in central alaska into WorldCat as a keyword search, you’d get 10,248 records, very few related to the town of Central. If you tried su:central alaska, you’d cut down the results to 602, but the majority of results would still be unrelated to the town of Central. Try it.

The subject fields of library catalog records are such that community names appear as [Community Name] (state). The subject search su:central alaska pulls up records where the words “central” and “alaska” appear in the subject field, but doesn’t care about the order. We need to put quote marks around the phrase “central alaska” and then we’ll only get records where the subject fields have that phrase. This turns out to be 47.

Another approach would be to search on “circle hot springs”, which is located very close to Central. Books about Circle Hot Springs would probably mention Central. But then you’d already know enough about Central to know it was near Circle Hot Springs.

Join us next week as our trek through WorldCat takes us to Clam Gulch.

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