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APRCA Frequently Asked Questions

  • The closest parking meter kiosks are available in the Signers’ (3A), and Eielson South (3C) lots, however these lots fill up very quickly and spaces may not be available if you arrive later in the day.
  • The Nenana shuttle from the Nenana Shuttle Station in the Nenana West (4F) lot runs regularly throughout the day, and drops people off at the Wood Center, a short walk from the Rasmuson Library.
  • There is also ample parking in the Taku lot off Farmers Loop Road, if you don’t mind a bit of a walk.
  • More information about visitor parking on campus can be found on the Office of the Bursar's webpage.

There’s a lot you can do to prepare!

  • Check out our annual registration form and our photography form to get an idea of the rules of our Research Room and plan what you bring accordingly.
  • No pens are allowed in our Research Room, but you can bring your notes and your laptop if you’d like.
  • You may bring a camera or cell phone to take photos for research use, but no scanners are permitted. Cell phones in the Research Room should be on SILENT. If you need to make or answer a call please exit the Research Room and go out to the main area of level 2 to do so. The Research Room is a quiet area for people doing archival research.
  • You’ll be asked to leave any bags and other belongings in one of our lockers.
  • No food or drink (not even water) is allowed in the archives. These items may be stored in the locker.
  • Dress warmly, archives are naturally cooler than the rest of the building because we keep the environment of our materials at temperatures that are safer for their preservation. It’s not uncommon for you to see archivists wearing sweaters in July.
  • Do some searching before you come.
    Archival research can be difficult and time consuming. The more you can do ahead of time the faster your on-site work will be. Look through our databases and take note of collection names, as well as specific series and box numbers for that collection. Some of our collections require that you know the series as well as the box number to access the correct materials. Take a look at the questions below for some ideas on getting started on searching. Don’t forget to take a peek at the paper finding aids for our collections when you visit. Sometimes there is extra information in the finding aid folders that may aid you in your search.

We have several ways to find this information, and where you begin depends on the type of material you want.

How do I find historical photographs?

  1. Alaska's Digital Archives

    This is a consortium of libraries and archives across the state who have all digitized some of their images for an online database. This means you can find images from many institutions in Alaska in one place.

  2. Archives Catalog

    This is where we catalog the photographic and manuscript materials in the Alaska and Polar Regions Archives. You can find information on images that have not been digitized and require an in-person visit to the Archives.

How do I find manuscript materials?

  1. Archives Catalog

This is where you identify collections, records, and papers you'd like to visit in-person by using keyword searches. For all collections in the Archives Catalog, there is a basic description of the people, places, topics, and time frame the materials cover. For some collections, we have detailed finding aids and container lists that give more specific information on the items in the collection. You can identify collections with finding aids by their PDF attachments.

How to identify a finding aid

How do I find films?

  1. See How do I search the library catalog for Alaska Film Archives holdings?

You may also search for archival materials in the Library Catalog. You can do general keyword, author, title, etc. searches to pull up a list of results. You can then identify archival materials by the ARCHIVES call number.

What an Archives call number looks like

If you are looking specifically for film or oral histories, you can further limit the results of your search by searching specific collections.

How to search film or oral history collections

If you require assistance in finding archival materials, you can email the Archives at or call at 907-474-2791.

Below are links to download and print the forms you need to fill out for ordering and using photographs.

You can either mail them in, or scan and send them to us via email. We don't process the photo orders until we receive the paperwork and payment. The quickest option is to email the forms and call with credit card info (which we shred after processing the order), but you may certainly mail your paperwork and a check if you'd like. University of Alaska Fairbanks orders can be paid by JV number.

  1. To order photographs, read and fill out a Statement of Intended Use form.
  2. There will likely be associated fees with your print or scan order. Review the following to understand our fee schedules:

For any questions regarding the process and/or paperwork contact the reference archivists.

After making sure that the image belongs to UAF (look for “Holding Institution”), the process for ordering photographs from Alaska’s Digital Archives is the same as ordering other photos from the archives.

See the FAQ "How do I order prints/scans of photographs from the archives?"

Make sure the Holding Institution is Alaska and Polar Regions from UAF

All the information you need to complete on the pink sheet should be in the description field on Alaska's Digital Archives.  Most important is the collection name and the Identifier (photo #), which should be the first 2 pieces of information in the description area.

Look for the Collection Name and the Identifier

Because of the large number of institutions contributing, when you're searching Alaska's Digital Archives and you find something you like, you'll want to pay attention to which library, archives, or museum the image is from. That information, along with contact information for that institution, is included in the description below the image (look for "Holding Institution").

Each archives and library has their own regulations for using their collections and you'll want to contact them directly to find out what they are.

Additionally, you can limit your search to only the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library collections (or also the collections at the UAF Museum of the North) by choosing “Advanced Search” to the right of the search bar, clicking on “Add or remove collections”, and then checking the boxes for “University of Alaska Fairbanks” (and/or “University of Alaska Museum of the North”) on the menu.

As outlined in our Statement of Intended Use, it’s the researcher’s responsibility to determine where copyright lies.

For more information about archival materials and copyright, please take a look at the Society of American Archivists’ (SAA) Copyright and Unpublished Material FAQs.

The majority of our collections can only be accessed during the Research Room’s open hours. The Alaska Film Archives holdings are available for use outside of research room hours.

However, the Rasmuson Library’s Alaska Book Collection, including periodicals, (levels 2 and 3) as well as our extensive collection of newspapers on microfilm (level 2) can be accessed any time the library is open.

A (very) small number of our collections are also available to the public on microfilm, and a significant portion of our rare book collection is available on microfiche (level 2).

The library also has a collection of maps of Alaska of varying, more recent dates, on both level 2 and level 5.

Microfilm from the Alaska Newspaper Project is available in the public area of level 2 in the metal filing cabinets straight back from the entrance. There is a navy blue bound book Alaska Newspapers on Microfilm that lists the newspapers alphabetically first by city and then by title of the publication and gives the cabinet number location for each publication.

In addition to the library's paper copies, a digital copy of the Alaska Newspapers on Microfilm publication can be found online on the Alaska State Library page.

Limited research services are provided by reference archivists as time and staffing allows. It may not always be possible for archivists to conduct research for patrons. A $50 an hour fee is charged for searches that require more than thirty minutes.

The archives staff considers volunteers and interns on a case-by-case basis.

Unfortunately, we do not have the funds for paid internships at this time. If you’re interested in volunteering or interning please contact us at

To search the Library Catalog for Alaska Film Archives holdings

  1. Start at the Rasmuson Library Home page
  2. Click the Books (Library Catalog) tab and click the link to the Library Catalog.
  3. Select UAF Archival Moving Images from the Collections drop down menu.
  4. Type your terms and click Search.

    Example search for the term pipeline

  5. Use the limiters on the left to narrow your search. To use a limiter, you must check a box and then click Include.

    Example of using the left side limiters

Understanding your search results

  1. A list of film and videos will appear containing your search words in the titles or summaries. Titles in brackets [ ] represent raw footage and are not finished productions.
  2. To read more information about an item, click the item title.

    " "

  3. For items you wish to view, write down the call number (the AAF-Number).

    " "

  4. Viewing copies may be checked out by requesting your selected call numbers at the Level 4 Media Desk of the Rasmuson Library on the UAF Campus.

    For off-campus checkout throughout the world, please contact our Interlibrary Loan office at (907) 474-5348 or - *Some fees may apply for this service*

Other ways to search for archival film

  • You may also view some Alaska Film Archives video clips without the detailed catalog record at the Alaska’s Digital Archives.
    1. In the Alaska's Digital Archives search box, type search terms in the search window along with the word "film" such as: gold mining film, Bethel film, fish film etc. and click Search.
      Example search in Alaska's Digital Archives
    2. Click the Moving Image icon to view clips.
      Click the Moving Image icon to view the film clip
  • Many clips may also be viewed at the Alaska Film Archives YouTube site.

For additional information on collections, or to make arrangements to use images in websites, videos, PowerPoint or other presentations, or any form of broadcast or nonbroadcast production, contact:

Alaska Film Archives
University of Alaska Fairbanks
PO Box 756808
Fairbanks, AK 99775-6808

Angela Schmidt - Film Archivist
(907) 474-5357