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Engineering archival collections

Archives & Special Collections at the UAA/APU Consortium Library contains many collections of archival material relating to the history of engineering in Alaska and elsewhere. Follow the links below for full descriptions of these collections.

Subject Guides

1930s collections

1964 Alaska earthquake 

1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill


African American history in Alaska

Alaska before 1900

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Alaska Highway construction

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Anchorage Winter Olympics bids



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Fur trading, trapping, and farming

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Hatcher Pass area 

Hope and Sunrise, Alaska 

Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race


Jesse Lee Home

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Mapping and surveying 

Matanuska Colony 

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Student newspapers, Anchorage Community College and University of Alaska Anchorage

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World War II in Alaska 

A group of people steps over a pile of rubble in the Whittier Tunnel (Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel) during its construction. Benjamin B. Talley papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

A collapsed column on the J. C. Penney store in Anchorage after the 1964 earthquake. John Cerutti slides, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage.

Alaska Engineering Commission photograph of Coal Pile No. 3. Frederick Mears family papers, Archives and Special Collections, Consortium Library, University of Alaska Anchorage

Engineering Collections


Follow the links to guides to archival collections at Archives & Special Collections that relate to engineering. You can keyword search all of our collection descriptions and inventories by using the search box available on each of the pages below.  Note: collections related to mining engineering are listed in the Research Guide to Miners and Mining Collections.

David K. Brown photographs and papers; 1942-2002.  HMC-0658.  Papers and photographs of an engineer who worked on the construction of Whittier Tunnel in 1942 and other projects in Alaska.

John Cerutti slides; 1964. HMC-1164.  Images of 1964 earthquake damage taken by a structural engineer.

Edwin B. Crittenden papers; 1938-2005.  HMC-0094.  Edwin Crittenden was an architect and community planner.  His collection contains many publications relating to engineering in Alaska, particularly relating to the 1964 Alaska earthquake.

Ralph and Marie George papers; 1916-2004.  HMC-0763.  Ralph George was an electrical engineer who supervised the installation of the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS) radar and scanner at Clear Air Force Base and later worked for the Federal Aviation Administration in Anchorage.  His papers include site engineering reports for the BMEWS site at Clear, Alaska, and a specifications and maintenance manual for the S.S.O. Mark II system for the FAA, as well as photographs of the BMEWS facility at Clear Air Force Base and FAA radar facilities in Alaska, among other items.

J. B. "Georgia" Harper photograph album and papers; 1944-1945.  HMC-0592.  Papers and photographs of an asphalt technician with Baker Engineers who worked on the construction of a runway at Galena Army Air Base from 1944-1945.

Charles S. Harvard papers; 1901-1975.  HMC-0425. From 1934 to 1945, Charles Harvard was employed as engineer on the construction of the Alaska Railroad.  His collection includes aledger and field books containing his railroad notes, diagrams and maps of Anchorage, and tables of mathematical functions; maps from the Alaska Railroad; records of his work with the Anchorage Platting Board, the Anchorage Mapping and Surveying Conference,and other engineering pursuits; and publications relating to engineering, the tides, railroad construction, mining, measurement systems and surveying.

Olavi V. Kukkola papers; 1941-1964.  HMC-1084.  Papers and photographs of a Finnish-American engineer who worked on the Whittier tunnel, including engineering schematics, a technical diary of the daily progress report on the construction of the Whittier tunnel, and several large maps and blueprints of the Whittier are, among other items.

Frederick Mears family papers; 1878-1941.  HMC-1063.  Colonel Frederick Mears was principal engineer of the Alaska Railroad.  His collection includes personal and official papers and photographs documenting his work constructing the railroad, as well as the construction of the Panama Canal.

Benjamin B. Talley papers; 1925-2002.  HMC-0241.  Talley was an officer with the US Army Corps of Engineers who participated in the Nicaraguan Canal Survey (1929-1932); helped developed the field of photogrammetry; and supervised Army and Air Force construction in Alaska (1940-1943), among many other peojects.  After his retirement from the Corps, he continued his engineering career in various managerial positions in the private sector in Alaska, Brazil, and Vietnam.

United States. Air Force. White Alice Communications System. Plan of Operations, Cathedral and Rabbit Creek Site Plans; 1956-1961HMC-0251. The White Alice Communications System (WACS) was developed in the early 1950's as part of a North American over-the-pole defense system and linked the Aircraft Control and Warning System (AC&W) and the Distant Early Warning System (DEW-line) with Elmendorf and Eielson Air Force Bases (AFB) and also linked the Ballistic Missile Early Warning Site (BMEWS) at Clear AFB with the North American Defense Command. The collection includes the White Alice Network plan of operation, prepared by the Western Electric Corporation, a set of as-built drawings of the Cathedral BMEWS sites, and a set of as-built drawings for the Rabbit Creek WACS site.

United States. Department of the Interior. National Park Service. Historic American Engineering Record. Cape Spencer Light Station records; 1924-1973.  HMC-0391.  The collection includes elevation plans, electrical and mechanical drawings, and as built drawings of the interior and exterior of Cape Spencer Light Station, located at the entrance to Cross Sound in southeast Alaska, as well as photographs and other material collected for the Historic American Engineering Record.

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