Friday, January 15, 2010

Elizabeth Peratrovich and Alaska's 1945 Anti-Discrimination Act

Question: I am researching Elizabeth Peratrovich and the battle for Civil Rights in Alaska. I am hoping to find information, including a transcript, about Mrs. Peratrovich’s testimony given to the Legislature during its consideration of this Act.

Answer: Transcripts of testimony before the Territorial Legislature generally do not exist. However, pages 536-541 of Haa Kusteeyi Our Culture: Tlingit Life Stories include a possible transcript of the Senate floor debate on what is often referred to as the 1945 Anti-Discrimination Act. The author states the transcript is from "the official Senate Record." We have been unable to verify the transcript text from other sources at the Alaska State Library, such as the Senate Journal, the House Journal and Records of the Alaskan Territorial Legislature (1913-1953). You will find a full description of this book in the WorldCat.org list mentioned below.

Other sources about Ms. Peratrovich and her work include:
  • Newspapers that reported on Elizabeth Peratrovich’s testimony - Alaska's Digital Archives includes an image of one such article published in the February 6, 1945, Daily Alaska Empire on page 8, just before the Territorial Legislature passed the Anti-Discrimination Act. You can view the image at http://vilda.alaska.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/cdmg21&CISOPTR=2058&REC=10&DMSCALE=100&DMWIDTH=1440&DMHEIGHT=2000. You might also try browsing Alaska newspapers published in early February of 1945. If your local library does not have the Alaska newspapers you wish to review, it is welcome to submit an interlibrary loan request for the Alaska State Library's newspapers on microfilm; we loan up to four reels of film to any single library at a time. To identify the newspapers you wish to review, use the Chronologies of Alaska Newspapers by city/town at http://library.alaska.gov/hist/newspaper/chron.html. You might start with the Anchorage Daily Times, Anchorage Daily News, and Daily Alaska Empire (published in Juneau).
  • Books about Ms. Peratrovich – The Alaska State Library holds resources relating to Elizabeth Peratrovich. Some of these publications are included in our WorldCat.org list at http://www.worldcat.org/profiles/kfearer/lists/1262806. With the exception of the manuscript collections described in the list, these publications are available online or through interlibrary loan.
  • The Statewide Library Electronic Doorway (SLED) and the Alaska Periodicals Index - Try entering “Elizabeth Peratrovich” in the search box in the upper left hand corner of the SLED home page at http://www.sled.alaska.edu/.
  • The Alaska Periodicals Index - Search for “Elizabeth Peratrovich” as keywords in the Alaska Periodicals Index at http://library.uaf.edu/resources-appi. Contact your local library for assistance in obtaining articles you identify through this index.

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