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Railroad collections

Archives & Special Collections has many archival collections relating to railroads in Alaska, listed below by topic and in alphabetical order by creator. Follow the links to a more complete listing of the collection contents.

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1964 Alaska earthquake collections

1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill collections

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African American history in Alaska collections

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Miners and mining collections

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Railroads

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Skiing and mountaineering collections

Tourism in Alaska

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The 1930s collections

 

Railroad collections

Follow the links to collection descriptions and inventories for collections relating to railroads in Alaska. You can keyword search all of our collection descriptions and inventories by using the search box available at the top of each page.

Alaska-Pacific Consolidated Mining Company records; 1885-1989.  HMC-0023.  The Alaska-Pacific Consolidated Mining Company ran Independence Mine at Hatcher Pass and other gold mines in the Willow Creek Mining District. Some of their records consist of the Alaska Railroad, Pacific Railway Supply Co. and Railway Express Agency subject files and shipping records of the mining company’s supplies on the Alaska Railway.

Lelon E. Alexander papers; 1940-1997, bulk 1942-1957. HMC-1231. Photographs of a soldier with the 714th Railway Operating Battalion, which operated the Alaska Railroad from 1943 to 1945.

Joseph J. Burgess photographs; circa 1943-1945. HMC-1230. Photographs of a lieutenant with the 714th Railway Operating Battalion, which operated the Alaska Railroad from 1943 to 1945.

Commonwealth North records; 1979-2007.  HMC-0992.  Commonwealth North (CWN) acts as a non-partisan group funded by individual memberships and private sector funds. There are CWN research materials, report committee files and publication files on the railroad, including The New Alaska Railroad and The Alaska Railroad and its Future.

Frederick John Date papers; 1833- 1976.  HMC-0379.  This collection consists of papers, publications, photographs, and artifacts relating to Fred Date's life and activities in Alaska. There is an Alaska Railroad booklet, which contains employee work rules, a Corps of Engineers field manual, and a mining law manual.

Charles S. Harvard papers; 1901-1975.  HMC-0425.  The collection includes a ledger and field books containing Harvard’s railroad and tide notes, and his publications relating to railroad construction, correspondence with Alaska Railroad employers, and maps that depict top-rail profiles and grade changes of Alaska Railroad lines.

Terry Martin papers; 1962-1998.  HMC-0169.  Terry Martin was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives from 1978 through 1998, and founded the Boys Clubs of Alaska and also served as its Executive Director. His papers include Alaska Railroad Corporation correspondence, bill files, and reports.

Frederick Mears family papers, 1878-1941.  HMC-1063.  Colonel Frederick Mears was principal engineer of the Alaska Railroad. The papers include clippings regarding Mears’ work on the railroad and photographs of the construction of the Alaska Railroad.

Potter Section House records; 1980, 1986.  HMC-0204.  The Potter Section House was built in 1929 on Potter Creek at mile 100.6 on the Alaska Railroad to house section foreman and the crew. The collection consists of a copy of a report recommending the preservation and reuse of the Potter Section House, written by the Municipal Historic Landmarks Preservation Committee. There is also a Potter Section House "Site Development Plan" and two site maps created by the Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Recreation. 

Jerome F. Sheldon papers; 1992-1995.  HMC-0220.  Jerome Sheldon worked as a public relations officer for the Alaska Railroad. In this collection are Railroad Alaska correspondence, reports, pamphlets, and a share certificate. There is also Railway development correspondence, as well as articles, pamphlets, and photographs.

Allison E. Stoars papers; 1937-1963.  HMC-0757.  Allison E. Stoars was from Salem, Oregon. He enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1939 and served in the Corps of Engineers during World War II. There are photographs of soldiers of the 4th Infantry Regiment, at the Yakutat and Southern Railroad, including photographs of locomotives and cars.

Harold Strandberg papers; 1923-1985.  HMC-237.  Harold Strandberg was the Vice President and Secretary of Strandberg and Sons, Inc. a mining corporation, and served as the Anchorage Port Commissioner. Among the records are an application for withdrawal by the Alaskan Railroad, dated 1962, and Alaska Railroad Land leasing, also from 1962.

A. W. Swanitz letters; 1909-1910.  HMC-0240.  One letter relating to the construction of the Alaska Northern Railway.

Benjamin B. Talley papers; 1925-2002.  HMC-0241.  Benjamin Talley was an officer in the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, receiving his commission in 1926. Talley kept daily logs, written during the period in which he was in charge of construction in Yakutat (October to December 1940) and while he was the Officer-in-Charge of Alaskan Construction (January 1941 to June 1943). His daily logs often discuss railroad construction and inspections.

Walter Todd diaries; 1915-1918.  HMC-0998.  Walter Todd worked as a surveyor for the Alaska Engineering Commission's Alaska railroad project from 1915 to 1918, primarily at the Potter Creek area south through Portage Valley. He kept daily diaries, writing about the construction of the Alaska Railroad, socializing, and the weather.

United States. Department of The Interior. Alaska Railroad. War records; 1943-1945.  HMC-0275.  The Alaska Railroad was used by the army to transport military personnel, supplies, and construction materials between Seward, Whittier, Anchorage, and Fairbanks. The collection consists of a xerographic copy of a report on the activities. There is also a set of 15 negatives and contact prints made from the photographs in the report.

Elmer Williams photographs; 1939-1956.  HMC-0569.  Elmer Williams was a locomotive engineer with the Alaska Railroad from 1946 to 1951. The majority of the photographs are of Elmer Williams and his family; however there are photographs of railroad personnel, scenes along the Alaskan Railroad, train locomotives, and railway depots.

 

 

 

 

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