Monday, April 11, 2016

Save the date for our grand opening, June 6, 2016!

The Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff State Library, Archives, and Museum will celebrate its grand opening on June 6, 2016. After years of planning, developing, and moving, we are so excited to reopen as an integrated facility in our beautiful new building.
SLAM pictured on April 7, 2016. Just two more months until we're open to the public!

June 6 is a significant day for us and for Alaska. On June 6, 1900, U.S. Congress passed the Alaska Bill or Alaska Civil Code, a massive piece of legislation that created a civil government for Alaska. The Alaska Bill became Chapter 786 of Session 1 of the 56th Congress. It created three judicial districts, based in Juneau, Saint Michaels, and Eagle City. It outlined the powers of the governor, which included everything from appointing the notary public to managing the sealing industry to leading the militia. It set taxes, moved the capital from Sitka to Juneau, and established the district historical library and museum.
ALASKA BILL HAS PASSED. Daily Alaska Dispatch, June 12, 1900.

The original district historical library and museum was funded by fees paid by lawyers admitted to the bar and by commission fees for notaries, which were both ten dollars. The library and museum was charged with collecting and maintaining "copies of all laws relating to the district, and all papers and periodicals published within the district, and such other matter of historical interest...The collection shall also embrace such curios relating to aborigines and the settlers as may be by the governor deemed of historical importance."

Father Andrew P. Kashevaroff was the first dedicated curator and librarian of the Alaska Historical Library and Museum. He was appointed by Governor Thomas Riggs and led the institution from 1919 until his death in 1940. Alaska State Library Historical Collections, PCA 243-3-007.
When Alaska became a territory in 1912, the district historical library and museum became the territorial library and museum, and eventually the Alaska State Historical Library and Alaska State Museum. The Information Services section of the Alaska State Library was added in 1955 to support research in the territory and the Alaska State Archives was created in 1970. All the entities joined together as the Division of Libraries, Archives, and Museums in 1991, and 2016 will be the first time that we will be together in one facility.

Please join us in celebrating the beginning of the next chapter for the Alaska State Library, Archives, and Museum. We look forward to seeing you on our 116th birthday, June 6, 2016!

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