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Gaspar Advincula Photograph Collection, ca. 1937

Identifier: PCA 513

Content Description

All of the portrait-style photographs are of Filipino men from Juneau, Alaska, in formal dress.


  • circa 1899-1937

Conditions Governing Use

The collection is unrestricted. All 19 negatives in this collection have been digitized.

Biographical / Historical


From Juneau Empire article, “Worth a thousand words,” dated March 11, 2001, by Ann Chandonnet.

Gaspar Advincula was an ore sorter at the Alaska Juneau gold mine in the 1930s. He and Vincent Isturis, Sr. snapped portraits of themselves and their friends, posed in the Sunday best. The photographs, developed by Winter and Pond, were mailed home to relatives in the Philippines. The photographs languished in a suitcase in the attic of a home and were discovered by carpenter Bruce Tenney when he did renovations to the house. Rudy Govina, who moved to Juneau in 1937, was able to identify some of the people in the photographs. He said they were miners from “Little Manilla” who followed a trail leading from downtown to the A-J mine.

Vincent Isturis was born in the Philippines in 1908, came to Alaska in 1925, moved to Juneau in 1929, and worked for the A-J until it closed. Virginia Johns, oldest of Vincent Isturis Sr.’s seven children, said Vincent then worked for canneries around Southeast and then became a custodian for state office buildings downtown. He died at age 79 and has 31 immediate descendants.


Also from the March 11, 2001, Juneau Empire article by Ann Chandonnet

Filipinos first ventured to Southeast Alaska in the summer to work in fish canneries, said mining historian David Stone. But when the A-J mine opened in 1917, some switched jobs, and by the 1930s about 60 Filipino men were employed. “And they worked until the mine shut down in 1944,” he said. The U.S. Census of 1930 counted Chinese in Juneau, but not Filipinos. Nevertheless, Filipino workers were prized for their reliability and industriousness, Stone said, and most ore sorters were Filipino. “Sorting belts carried rock from the mine. The workers took the gold-bearing rock and pulled it off the belts. The other rock went into the dumps,” Stone said.


19 Photographic Prints (19 black and white negatives ; 2 cardboard booklets )

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Copies

The images are available to view via Alaska’s Digital Archives.

Condition Description

19 black and white negatives ; 2 cardboard booklets

Processing Information

The booklets, which had evidence of mold, were sealed in Mylar. The negative were digitized and housed in cold storage.

Finding Aid for the Gaspar Advincula Photograph Collection, ca. 1937
In Progress
Processed by: Gayle Goedde
2010 January
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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)