Anchorage Museum at Rasmuson Center
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Researchers are welcome to visit the Atwood Resource Center in person during our open hours to consult materials in the collections. New users will be asked to present photo identification and complete a researcher registration form and statement of release. Click here to download the Resource Center's Researcher Guidelines.


Q: What's in the museum's archives?

The museum holds about 500,000 historic photographs and a small collection of paper documents pertaining to the history of Alaska and the circumpolar north, with special emphasis on the Cook Inlet region. New collections are added every year.

Q: Once I'm at the resource center, how do I find what I need?

Card catalog

Subject cards were created for most of the photograph collections in the museum. Subjects include places, people, companies, and topics (for example, "fishing"). These cards list accession numbers for whole collections or individual photographs within collections.

Individual photo cards

Many collections received item-level cataloging. Physical attributes, date (if known), photographer (if known), and description are available for thousands of individual photos. These cards are only available in-house.

Collection guides

Some collections have collection-level descriptions, which may include information on the creator and/or donors, extent of the collection, and general subject areas. These are available in-house and by email if an electronic version exists.

Alaska's Digital Archives

Alaska's Digital Archives is an online collection of digitized photos and documents from several Alaska repositories. The Anchorage Museum has about 10,000 images in the online archive. Each image includes the individual accession number, referring back to the physical photo in the collections.

Q: How do you read an accession number?

A collection accession number is made up of three elements, including:

B: indicates that the material is in the archives, and is not an object, artifact, or work of art.

Year: Indicates the year the collection was brought into the archives. Sometimes abbreviated to two digits only.

Sequential number: Each collection taken in during a given year is assigned a sequential number to distinguish it from other collections.

Example: B82.52 = Archives collection, the 52nd collection taken in during 1982. Individual items within a collection are assigned unique accession numbers, sequentially assigned.

Example: B82.52.113 = photo 113 within collection B82.52.

Find additional resources

Archived Alaskan Image


10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tuesday through Friday
Saturday by appointment only

Library catalog
Alaska's Digital Archives

Phone: (907) 929-9234