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Maxcine M. Williams Photograph Collection, 1928-1983, (bulk 1928-1940s)

Identifier: PCA 121

Content Description

Though the bulk of the collection is from 1928-1940s, the collection extends to 1983. The collection contains many images of flowers, most are identified by their botanical name. In addition are images of the places in Alaska that Maxcine traveled, to collect flower specimens. The collection includes images of Ann Coleman, Ada “Bob” Sharples, Lydia John-Hanson, Dr. J. P. Anderson, Mary Joyce, and Dr. Eric Hult΄en. A few pictures of the raising of the Str. Islander in 1934 are included. Fairbanks views include the Summit Roadhouse, Cushman Street, and the Curry Hotel. A number of 1929 U.S. Navy aerial photographs are also in the collection.

A scrapbook documenting her 1949 road trip includes images of Lucile Stonehouse, Christine Keller, Amy Rude, and others. A newsletter from the Juneau Botanical Club (Nov. 1949) is in this scrapbook. A second scrapbook contains images of “Red” Williams and hunting trips, images of the Mendenhall Glacier, Auke Lake, Downtown Juneau, Douglas Island and portraits of Ma Pullen, Amos Burg, Barrett Willoughby and others. Single images of Gov. Gruening in Hawaii, Nina Crumrine, and Anna Webster are in the collection.


  • 1928-1983
  • Majority of material found within 1928-1940s

Conditions Governing Access

The photographs and slides may be viewed, however, they may not be photocopied.

Biographical / Historical

Maxcine Williams (nee Morgan) was born in Roseburg, Oregon June 10, 1904. She married V.F. “Red” Williams in 1927 and in April of 1928 they sailed for Juneau. They lived in Fairbanks and Anchorage before returning to Juneau, where she went to work for Ordway’s Photo Shop and learned photography. She became acquainted with Ada White Sharples, author of the first book on Alaska wild flowers and began taking black and white photographs of Alaskan plants and flowers. In April of 1932 she took over the retail portion of Juneau Florists (a partnership begun in 1917, by W. H. Case and J. P. Anderson) and became acquainted with Dr. Anderson. She also met Dr. Eric Hult’en, of Sweden (author of a number of books on Alaskan flora), while he was staying in Juneau.

She joined a botany study group that met at the home of Dr. Anderson ,that included Ann Coleman, Helen Johnson, Edith Tucker, Lucile Stonehouse, Bea Shepard, Claudia Kelsey, and Christine Heller. The group formed the Juneau Botanical Club with an herbarium of over 4000 Alaskan flower specimens. In 1949, Maxcine, Lucile Stonehouse, Amy Rude and Christine Heller took a road trip over the Haines, Alcan, Steese and parts of the Richardson highways and collected over 1000 specimens, some which had never been identified.

Red Williams had a number of jobs including a partnership in Juneau’s Sportsman Barbershop.After his death in 1962, Maxcine and Aline Strutz of Anchorage traveled from Barrow to Attu over the next 15 summers, collecting specimens. (They were the first tourists to stay over in Attu.) Her first specimens were named by Dr. Hult΄en and later by Dr. Stanley Welsh of Brigham Young University. Some of her specimens are held by the Botanical Museum in Stockholm as well as the Gray Herbarium at Harvard, the Smithsonian, University of AK, University of WA, University of OR, OR State University and Brigham Young.

She published Alaska Wildflower Glimpses and many articles on flowers. She co-authored The Alaska-Yukon Wildflower Guide with Helen White. Maxcine died in 1983 in Eugene, Oregon.


1.25 Linear Feet (4 boxes) : 1716 slides ; 177 photographs ; 3 scrapbooks ; 2 albums ; [1.25 linear ft., 1895 images]

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Copies

Photographs digitized and available for viewing via Alaska's Digital Archives: 014-018,021, 023, 048, 572; (3-) 1-2, 006-007, 090-092, 101, 109, 257, 362-372, 601

Biographical Note Bibliography

1: Sharples, Ada White. Alaska Wildflowers, Stanford University Press, c. 1938. Historical Collections: QK146.S5. ; 2: Anderson, J.P. “Plants used by the Eskimo of the Northern Bering Sea and arctic regions of Alaska,” American Journal of Botany, Vol. 26, No. 9, 714-716, Nov., 1939. Historical Collections: 1939.0001VF ; 3: Williams, Maxcine Morgan. Alaska Wildflower Glimpses, c1952. Historical Collections: QK98.W54 1952. ; 4: White, Helen A. The Alaska-Yukon wild flowers guide. Alaska Northwest pub. Co., 1974. Historical Collections: QK 146.A4.

Processing Information

All items, except for the two albums in Box 4, have been numbered as of April 4, 2014. Most are identified on the verso. The slides are sleeved in Mylar. Some of the photographs arrived affixed to paper with tape. The photos have been placed in archival sleeves. The scrapbooks are intact. Original numbers are preserved in the inventory preceded by a number sign (#).

Finding Aid for the Maxcine M. Williams Photograph Collection, 1928-1983, (bulk 1928-1940s)
In Progress
Processed by: Staff; Revised by: Anastasia Tarmann, Dec. 2011; Revised by: Alli Rosen, Apr. 2014; ArchivesSpace Finding Aid by: Melissa Scriven, April 2019
2019 April
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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)