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Alaskan Engineering Commission Photographs, ca. 1914

Identifier: PCA 559

Scope and Contents

A study of the images suggests that these are the photographs of a 1914 surveyor’s trip of the Alaskan Engineering Commission. Thomas Riggs Jr. and two other men surveyed the already existing Alaska Railroad outside Cordova, Alaska, and then the land for a possible expansion.

The images suggest the trip started with a voyage off the coast of Oregon and Washington and continued to Cordova Bay, Alaska, with sea passage provided by the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Photographs show lighthouses and seascapes continuing along the coast. The second part of the trip appears to consist of men surveying land and living in mobile tent camps. Finally the majority of the images depict a train trestle construction project which includes pile drivers, train stations, an engine, more permanent building structures, and images of well-dressed ladies, and camp cooks.

The collection includes b and w postcards or original b and w images for #s 3, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48.


  • ca. 1914



Conditions Governing Access

The collection is unrestricted.

Conditions Governing Use

Request for permission to publish or reproduce material from the collection should be discussed with the Librarian.


58 Photographic Prints : 2 folders ; black and white prints

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Pat Roppel as part of Robert DeArmond’s collection; Acc. # 2013-020.

Existence and Location of Copies

The photographs in this collection have been digitized and are available to view via Alaska's Digital Archives.

Existence and Location of Copies

INVENTORY OF ORIGINAL NEGATIVES Negatives stored in freezer in Vault

1 Box: Negatives 1-58 [No negative for #44, 48]

Processing Information

This collection has been described at the item level. Negatives were scanned and prints made. Negatives were placed in archival envelopes. Negatives are noted to be two different sizes. The collection includes b and w postcards or original b and w images for #s 3, 33 (2 copies), 34, 35, 36, 37, 38 (2 copies), 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 48. These sixteen original prints were placed in Mylar and then into an archival folder.

Finding aid for the Alaskan Engineering Commission Photographs, ca. 1914
In Progress
Processed by: Jim Simard and Sara Bornstein, May 2013 ; Revised by: Jacki Swearingen, November 2013 ; ArchivesSpace finding aid by: Sandy Johnston 2019 July ; Inventory added by: Sandy Johnston
2020 April
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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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)