Skip to main content

Wendell H. Oswalt Photograph Collection, Western Alaska, 1940s-1980s

Identifier: PCA 550

Scope and Contents

201 color slides from 30 years of archaeological work in western Alaska, the Kuskokwim River Region, and Iceland.

From Wendell Oswalt’s personal notes about slides in this collection:

“The North Star was a small wooden B.I.A. vessel that played an important role in early South Pole explorations. They assembled an airplane on board to make the first flight over the South Pole. There are numerous published accounts about the flight.” [referring to slides 118-119]

“I made four trips to Iceland (a wonderful place) to learn about Eric the Red and his son—important in northeastern North American discoveries.” [referring to slides 177-192]

---Wendell Oswalt, 8/14/2012.


  • 1940s-1980s

Conditions Governing Access

Access to 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.

Biographical Note

Wendell H. Oswalt received a Ph.D. from University of Arizona in 1959. He is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at University of California, Los Angeles, where he taught for thirty-two years. His research has examined Native American cultures, with particular attention to the Yupik-speaking people in Southwestern Alaska and Inuit-speaking people in Northern Alaska and Canada. In particular, he has conducted archeological fieldwork in the Kotzebue-Kobuk River area (1947), the Bering Sea Coast and St. Lawrence Island ((1948), the Hooper Bay region (1950), at Katmai National Monument ((1954), and later at Kolmakovski Redoubt along the Kuskokwim River (1966-67). He also conducted research regarding Erik the Red in Iceland. Dr. Oswalt has written on a number of topics, such as Eskimo pre-history, a community study of Western Native Alaskans, and a study of Moravian missions in Alaska. Most recently, he wrote an article entitled: “Maturing Human Minds and Early Subsistance Technoevolution: A Synopsis” (2012). Several of his publications are housed in the Alaska State Library Historical Collections.


1 boxes (6 folders of 201 color slides)

Language of Materials



Wendell Oswalt contacted the Alaska State Library Historical Collections in May 2012 intending to donate slides of his fieldwork. The slides are to arrive in batches. The first batch arrived June 8, 2012. Accession number # 2012-011.

Existence and Location of Copies

Photographs digitized and available for viewing via Alaska's Digital Archives: #075

Processing Information

The slides were housed in archival sleeves. Inventory notes provided by donor unless in brackets.

Finding Aid for the Wendell H. Oswalt Photograph Collection, Western Alaska, 1940s-1980s
In Progress
Processed by: Anastasia Tarmann, June 2012 ; Revised by: Jacki Swearingen, Sept. 2012 ; ArchivesSpace Finding Aid by: Connie Hamann
2019 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

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)