Alaska State Museum

Mining office in one of many museums
Photo by: Jerzy Strzelecki, Creative Commons

One of the places that you should go to are the Alaska State Museums. This is a great place to learn about the heritage of Alaska and to view thousands of artifacts carefully accumulated throughout the years.

Established in June 6, 1900, the Museums started to accumulate and preserve artifacts collected throughout the region. There was a rapid growth in the number of artifacts collected but it was only 20 years later when these were made available for public viewing. The care of the artifacts and the establishment of the current building that houses the museum can be attributed to the efforts of the citizens of Juneau even if the museum has since been turned over to the State of Alaska.

Much of the work carried out at the museum is done by volunteers. Tasks such as greeting visitors, setting up exhibitions and other day-to-day chores are performed by these volunteers. Training on how to help with exhibitions and the proper conservation of artifacts is provided to the volunteers.

The artifacts at the museum are arranged by their meaning and not necessarily by the value they have. Many of these artifacts illustrate the way of life of the natives of Alaska. A lot of information about the history of Alaska can be gained just by visiting the museum for a couple of hours. It would take about half a day to get a more in depth look at the artifacts. Children can also enjoy a visit to the museum and will sure to have fun at the children’s area.

Many books and quality Alaska Native Artworks can be purchased at the museum stores. Jewelry, exhibition catalogues, cards and posters are also available. Shops are operated by the Friends of the Organization.

The Museums have been accredited by the American Association of Museums in 1975 and has gained subsequent accreditations in 1987 and 2001.

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