Friday, October 30, 2009

Female Homesteaders and Pioneers

Question: Where can I learn more about Judy Ferguson and other pioneering women of Alaska?

Answer: There are at least two books on Judy Ferguson about her and other women's struggle to live a homesteading life in Alaska:

Clicking on the links above will give you a list of libraries that hold these books. You should also be able to get these books from your local library through Interlibrary Loan.
You can find a list of biographies about more of Alaska's pioneering/homesteading women at:

Friday, October 23, 2009

Court Records

Question: I would like to examine some Alaskan criminal trial records. Is this possible and how would I go about it?

Answer: With limited exceptions such as juvenile cases, court records in Alaska are available for public inspection. Here is information on requesting a court record from the Alaska Court System page at

Requests for copies of case files should be submitted in writing to the records department or clerk of court where the case was filed. A complete list of Alaska Court System contact information is available on our website. Email requests for copies are not accepted.
Your written request for copies should include:
  • the names of the parties
  • the case number
  • the case type (for example: civil, criminal, probate, small claims)
  • your name
  • your address
  • your phone number

Most court records are available for public inspection. Copies are 25¢ per page. A certified copy of a document is $5.00. There is a $15.00 per hour research fee. A deposit may be required on some copy requests.
Records in some proceedings, such as juvenile matters, are confidential and only parties to the case are allowed access to the file.
If you are not sure what court has the case file you are interested, visit the Alaska Trial Courts search page at

Friday, October 16, 2009

Life in Fairbanks during the Korean War

Question: How can I find out how life in Fairbanks was during the Korean War?

Answer: From our searches it doesn't seem like there are many books specifically about Fairbanks during the period of the Korean War (1950-1953). However the books below are general histories of Fairbanks and should have something to say about the 1950s:
by Dermot Cole
Publisher: Fairbanks, [Alaska] : Epicenter Press, ©1999.

by Dermot Cole
Publisher: San Antonio, Tex. : Historical Pub. Network, ©2002.

by Charles H Parr
Publisher: [Fairbanks], Alaska : Inkworks, ©2000.
You should be able to borrow the above books through your local library using Interlibrary Loan.
Another option for learning about Fairbanks life in the early 1950s would be to examine some of the newspapers of the time. Fairbanks newspapers covering the period 1950-1953 include:

Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
Region: Interior Publication dates:
Frequency: daily

Farthest-North Collegian
Region: Interior
Publication dates: 1923-1958
Frequency: frequency varies

History: Began in Feb 1923 and was published at least through the Jul 1958 issue. Was the official campus newspaper of Alaskan Agricultural College and School of Mines which became the University of Alaska.

Jessen’s Weekly
Region: Interior
Publication dates: 1942-1968
Frequency: weekly
Editors: E.F. Jessen,

Midnight Sun (Ladd Field)
Region: Interior
Publication dates: 1946-?
Frequency: biweekly
History: Began with the Mar 22, 1946 issue. Date when publication ceased is unknown. It continued the LADD FIELD MIDNIGHT SUN (1942-1946). It was published in the interest of the military personnel of Ladd Field, Alaska. Microfilm holdings: 1951-1952

The above newspapers are available in microfilm at a number of Alaskan librarians and are available for interlibrary loan.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Resources for People with Disabilities

Question: After decades in the work force, I recently became ill. Due to my disability, I am no longer able to work. I am having difficulty connecting with the available services and am having trouble navigating the Medicaid and Medicare system. Can you help me?

Answer: I am sorry to hear about your circumstances and hope that the following will be useful to you. at is a portal to resources available on both a national and state specific level. The search box allows you to search thousands of resources on their website. On the main page, you will find links to topics such as technology, health, civil rights, education and more. You can connect with's information via their email updates, newsletter, RSS feeds, blog and Twitter account by using the links on the right side of the page.

To assist with your questions about Medicare and Medicaid you might want to visit the health insurance section at^^Health+Insurance^^%22. You will discover a great amount of information separated into topics such as agency contacts, prescription drug program, health plans that are available in your location, insurance eligibility, and much more.

The amount of information on this site is tremendous but it is well organized by category, topic or location. Best wishes to you as you seek the appropriate services to meet your needs.