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Jacques and Marion Jacobsen Collection, ca. 1882-1967

Identifier: PCA 423

Content Description

Series One: Stereographs [more information below] Series Two: U.S.S. Haida photographs Series Three: Early 20th century photographs Series Four: Antique photographs of Alaska and the Arctic Series Five: Antique cabinet photographs and others Series Six: Papers and memorabilia Series Seven: Lantern slides, Alaska, early 20th century Series Eight: Marion Morgensen Jacobsen, U.S. Navy Nurse, Elmendorf Air Force Base, ca. 1954-1955; Album: Visit Beautiful Alaska; [ongoing]

Series 1: The Stereograph* Collection consists of 170 images. These stereographs were taken in the late 19th through the early 20th century, ca. 1893-1925. Specific copyright dates are noted on some images. All dates with “ca” in the inventory were supplied by the staff. Most of the stereographs were taken in the arctic regions, from Sweden and Norway to Greenland through Canada to Alaska. The Keystone View Company published approximately half of the stereographs in the Jacobsen collection. Other publishers include T.W. Ingersoll, James F. Jarvis, B.W. Kilburn, and Underwood and Underwood.

The Alaska-Yukon gold rush is a main subject in the collection. There are approximately 60 views depicting this subject. Beginning with images of the prospectors aboard the steamer Rosalie leaving Seattle, views include; the stampeders dividing their supplies at Sheep Camp on a winter day and then climbing to the Chilkoot Pass summit (a climb at an angle of 45 degrees and about ¾ of a mile long); transporting their camp equipment and supplies along the Dyea Trail; heading down the Yukon River from Lake Bennett; and staking their claims at Eldorado and Bonanza Creeks. This collection contains approximately 55 images depicting Native peoples, including Eskimos, Aleuts, Athabascan and Salishan Indians. Activities portrayed are subsistence fishing, weaving baskets, and drying fish. Other images document canoes and kayaks, totem poles, Indian burial houses, and Indian villages. Special events, such as potlatch dancers in their traditional regalia of blankets, masks, and hats, are also captured.

The viewer should be aware that the Klondike is incorrectly said to be located in Alaska in the descriptive text on a number of the stereographs in this collection. The Klondike is located in the Yukon Territory.

[Written by Jacki Swearingen]

*The stereograph consists of two photographs of the same subject. Each photograph is taken from a slightly different angle, reflecting the 2.5-inch distance between the eyes. The photographs are mounted side-by-side on card stock and when viewed through a stereoscope a three-dimensional image is produced.

In late 2003 and early 2004 the Jacobsen’s sent additional boxes to the Historical Library after cleaning out the seven gables in their Victorian home on Long Island, New York.


  • Majority of material found within Circa 1882-1967

Biographical / Historical

Jacques Jacobsen Jr. was born October 5, 1932 in Staten Island, New York. Jacques received his Bachelor of Science in Bacteriology and Public Health in 1954 from Wagner College. Also at Wagner College Jacques earned a Masters in Archaeology in 1963 and in the late 1970s he completed work on his 5th year equivalent in Administration. Jacques completed course work but not the dissertation for a doctorate in Near Eastern Archaeology at Columbia University. Mr. Jacobsen has been a bacteriologist, auctioneer, earth science high school teacher, and has taught Egyptian and Near Eastern Archaeology at Wagner College. He was the director of the Museum of Archaeology at Staten Island. Jacques also was a curator of fire and police collections at the Staten Island Historical Society’s Richmondtown Restoration and was the editor in chief of their journal The Staten Island Historian. Mr. Jacobsen is the co-author of The Red Blue Coats, The Indian Scouts and has written over twenty monographs and numerous articles in various publications. After his retirement from teaching Jacques and his wife, Marion, have run a very successful business in American Military Antiques, offering original and historical artifacts and memorabilia for the collector-investor. Jacques is a fellow in the Company of Military Historians.

Marion Jacobsen was born June 30, 1931 in Brooklyn, New York. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from New York University. Marion worked at Methodist Hospital in New York and for the Visiting Nurse Association of Brooklyn and Staten Island. In 1953-54 Marion was a flight nurse at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska. At the Museum of Archaeology at Staten Island Mrs. Jacobsen was in charge of acquisitions and new exhibits. She is the treasurer of the Archaeology Society of Staten Island, an organization founded by the Jacobsens. Marion is an accomplished artist working in gold, silver, enamels and oil paintings.

Jacques and Marion Jacobsen collected Alaska-Yukon and Arctic items for over 40 years. While a flight nurse at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, Marion began collecting Eskimo, Indian and Alaska items. After their marriage, August 1, 1959, the Jacobsens began to expand their Eskimo collection, acquiring antique pieces as well as many ivory pieces from the best of the living carvers. After spending the summer of 1973 in Alaska traveling by Winnebago and plane with their four children the Jacobsens began to enlarge their collection of Alaska and Arctic material. Stereographs were one of the items collected by Jacques and Marion. They collected stereographs because these views were the most common form of outdoor photography in the last half of the 19th century. Their Alaska-Yukon and Arctic stereograph collection is comprised of 170 views.

Over the years Jacques and Marion have collected hundreds of Alaska-Yukon and Arctic items. The Jacobsens thought at one time they would like to start a business selling these items when they retired. Instead they have chosen to donate the remaining pieces in their collection to various libraries and museums for interested people to view and enjoy.

[Information from: Alaska Historical Collections Biographical Information form, written correspondence September and May 2000, electronic mail November and December 2002. Written by Jacki Swearingen]


3.2 Linear Feet (8 boxes) : ca. 966 images

Language of Materials


Existence and Location of Copies

Photographs digitized and available for viewing via Alaska's Digital Archives: 050, 247

Processing Information

The stereographs (Series 1) are arranged by publisher and then by the number preceding the stereograph caption. The donors arranged and described Series 2-6. Series 7 (lantern slides) was arranged by staff; descriptions taken from the lantern slides. Series 8 is ongoing

Finding aid for the Jacques and Marion Jacobsen Collection, ca. 1882-1967
In Progress
Processed by: Jacki Swearingen, 3/03 ; Gladi Kulp, 5/03 ; ArchivesSpace finding aid by: Sandy Johnston
Description rules
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)