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U.S.G.S. at Seward Peninsula and Akun Islands, circa 1917-1919

Identifier: PCA 604

Scope and Contents

Photographs of the United States Geological Survey on the Aleutian Islands and Seward Peninsula, approximately 1917-1919. Images include campsites, schooners, landscapes, log cabins, as well as towns on the Seward Peninsula.


  • Majority of material found within 1917 - 1919

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be discussed with the Librarian. Photocopying does not constitute permission to publish.

Historical Note

Handwritten notes on photo versos provide some context for this collection. It appears that this collection matches with work done in 1917 by the United States Geological Survey across Alaska. Written accounts describe findings and work in a Department of the Interior, U.S.G.S. Report, “Mineral Resources of Alaska, Report on Progress of Investigations in 1917” (Washington Government Printing Office 1919). The photos in this collection specifically relate to A.G. Maddren’s report from the Akun Islands and G.L. Harrington’s report from the Seward Peninsula.

Items 1 – 8 of this collection include the handwritten notes “On board schooners,” “Akutan,” and “U.S.G.S. – 1919.” A U.S.G.S. flag can be seen flying in multiple photographs. G.C. Martin wrote in his report that A.G. Maddren investigated Sulphur deposits of Makushin and Akun Islands near Stepovak bay from July 21 to September 22. There is no direct mention of Akutan within the report, but Akutan is located directly across from Akun Island, on which a large portion of the report is focused. About the trip, Mr. Maddren wrote, “The only regular access to southwestern Alaska is by a small mail steamer that sails from Seward once a month. Unalaska is about 1,150 miles from Seward.”

Items 9 – 25 include handwritten notes “Seward Pen?” “River town” “Power Schr. and Sterm Wheeler” “Wireless Station” “Wireless Operator” and “U.S.G.S. 1917.” In addition, item 9 matches with PCA 006-206, further tying photographs to U.S.G.S. work by George Leavitt Harrington on the Seward Peninsula. Mr. Martin wrote that work on the Seward Peninsula by G.L Harrington included investigations of the gold and platinum places of the Candle and Koyuk districts; placer, lode tine, and graphite of the York district and Imuruk basin; and general mining and developments of the area.

Specific locations mentioned by Mr. Harrington in his report include York, Cape Prince of Wales, Kotzebue Sound, Tin City, Ruby district, Cape Mountain, Ear Mountain, Potato Mountain, Buck Creek, Swanson Creek, Grouse Creek, Casserite Creek, Lost River, Agiapuk River, and Anikovik River.


25 Items Photographic Prints : 1 Folder of 25 black and white photographs ; 1 Box of 25 negatives

Language of Materials



Donor unknown. Acc. # 2002-102.

Existence and Location of Originals

INVENTORY OF ORIGINAL NEGATIVES Negatives stored in freezer in vault

1 box: #1 - 25

Related Materials

Several photographs are duplicates of photographs in PCA 6.

Processing Information

This collection has been described at the item level. Original order maintained. Photographs placed in Mylar and placed into pH-neutral folders. The negatives were rehoused in archival sleeves, stored in an archival box, and placed in the freezer.

Finding Aid for the U.S.G.S. at Seward Peninsula & Akun Islands Collection
United States. Geological Survey at Seward Peninsula & Akun Islands
Finding aid prepared and entered in ArchivesSpace by: Melissa Scriven, February 2019 ; Finding Aid Revised by: Jacki Swearingen, May 2019 ; ArchivesSpace Finding Aid Revised by: Connie Hamann
2021 September
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Alaska State Library - Historical Collections Finding Aids Repository

PO Box 110571
Juneau AK 99811-0571 US
907-465-2151 (Fax)