Alaska Collection tells story of state’s history

Alaska Collection tells story of state’s history
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 3:04 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Stepping into any library is like taking a step back in time. Rows and rows of books filled with history tell a story of how the world once was.

The Loussac Public Library in Anchorage is no different. Located in the heart of Midtown Anchorage, the library is a place that holds a lot of Alaska history. In fact, an entire section is dedicated to preserving it: the Alaska Collection.

Containing everything from old publications, newspapers, magazines and more, the collection tells a story.

“I think having it all together and being able to browse a collection or being able to collect a few books and browse through those types of things, in the context in which it was originally published, is really important,” Anchorage Public Library Adult Services Coordinator Sarah Preskitt said. “I think it helps gain an understanding of what life was like at that time — be it 10 years ago or 100 years ago.”

Preskitt said yearbooks and newspapers are two of their most requested items.

“Folks will come up, especially at reunion season time, so summertime, and they will ask for all four years of high school,” Preskitt said. “So we’ll run down here and we’ll grab them for them and they will spend hours just kind of flipping through with some friends or family, parents showing their kid like, ‘That was me in high school.’”

When browsing or looking back at old newspapers, the ads tell a story, but also, some conversations never change.

“Property rights, substance abuse, those issues have been issues in Alaska for decades,” Preskitt said. “We could read that now from say 50 years ago and wonder why would people think that? Why would people act that way? And just getting the whole context of other articles that are in that same edition, the ads in the same edition, the opinions in the same edition, really paints a fuller picture and just helps us understand our past, understand our ancestors and those who came before us.”

Upstairs on the third floor, the collection continues with city directories going back to the 1930s. It’s a collection that continues to grow, painting a picture of Alaska’s past, present and future.

The library does not accept magazines or DVD’s. However, if you have something that’s rare like a book that’s not necessarily in publication, Preskitt said they’ll accept it to be able to circulate it as copies get worn.

Click here to learn more about the Alaska Collection.