Rare photographs, pages from decades-old original logbooks, declassified government documents, congressional records and more are an essential part of Aleut Story. Use this print bibliography and select list of online sources to explore the records yourself.
Find out more about the evacuation and internment of Aleut Americans, Aleut history and culture, the World War II battle for the Aleutians, and Alaska Native history.
Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians Public Hearings (for Sept. 10-11, 1981, Seattle; Sept. 15, 1981, Anchorage, Alaska; Sept. 17, 1981, Unalaska, Alaska; Sept. 19, 1981, St. Paul, Alaska), Records Group 220. National Archives Pacific Northwest Region, Seattle.
Description: Verbatim testimony before the CWRIC given by Aleut Americans and Japanese Americans. This record, which includes question-and-answer sessions between commission members and citizens, provides valuable insight into the process.
Available in bound volumes at some university libraries and on microfiche at the National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Alaska Region, Seattle. For more information go to: http://www.archives.gov/pacific-alaska/seattle/
Special Report on the Evacuation and Relocation of the Aleuts from Native Villages in the Aleutians, under the jurisdiction of the Alaska Native Service, Department of the Interior, during World War II, 1942-1945. Fred Geeslin; United States Bureau of Indian Affairs: Alaska Native Service; Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. 1982.
Description: This unedited report describing conditions at the camps, was prepared at the request of the CWRIC and Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska. Lead author Fred Geeslin was assistant superintendent of the Alaska Native Service in Juneau, assigned to assist the Aleuts.
Available from the Alaska State Library Historical Collections, in Juneau, Alaska. Preferred citation: Mx4-11b-10b; Accession No. OCLC:21750003.
U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary. Japanese-American and Aleutian Wartime Relocation (H.R. 3387, H.R. 4110, and H.R. 4322). Hearings before the Subcommittee on Administrative Law and Governmental Relations. 98th Cong., 2nd sess., June 20, 21, 27 and Sept. 12, 1984. U.S. Government Printing Office, 1985.
Description: Between 1983 and 1988, seven different redress measures were introduced in Congress. This volume represents the verbatim transcript of hearings held by members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Included is testimony from internees, national security experts, members of the military, legal advisors, and supporting materials including de-classified intelligence reports, court rulings and news reports. Provides strong insight into the workings of Congress.
Available in bound volumes at some university libraries and on microfiche at National Archives and Records Administration Pacific Alaska Region. For more information go to: http://www.archives.gov/pacific-alaska/seattle/
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Records Group 22: Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1868 – 2001. United States National Archives and Records Administration, Pacific Alaska Region, Anchorage, Alaska.
Description: This is perhaps the most extensive collection of printed and photographic materials on Aleut Americans and their relationship with the U.S. government available to the general public. Most of the documents are original and must be viewed at the Anchorage research room. However, excerpts of U.S. Fish and Wildlife sealing agent logs and some photographs are now available online at http://ww.archives.gov/. (See Online Resources section below for information on how to search online archives.)
For more information about the collection email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ALEUT INTERNMENT AND FEDERAL REDRESS
Personal Justice Denied: Report of the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Foreword by Tetsuden Kashima. The Civil Liberties Public Education Fund, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, and the University of Washington Press, Seattle, 1997
Description: Personal Justice Denied, which represents the government’s own findings, is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand United States civil and human rights history and policy. Tightly-written, this edition offers a well-documented and compelling paper trail of civil rights violations and provides critical context for the causes and consequences of the World War II internment of Japanese Americans and Aleut Americans. Originally published in two volumes by the U.S. Government Printing Office in 1982 and 1983, the report served as the foundation for the historic Civil Liberties Act of 1988 (Public Law 100-383), which provided for monetary restitution and a public apology to internees.
Jones, Dorothy. Century of Servitude: Pribilof Aleuts Under U.S. Rule. University Press of America, 1980. Adapted for the worldwide web by Norman Chance of Arctic Circle.
Description: Originally written by Jones as a report for the U.S. Justice Department in response to a lawsuit brought against the United States government by Aleut Americans, this book significantly contributes to an understating of social, economic and political conditions on the Pribilof Islands and in the federally-controlled fur seal harvest.
Kirtland, John C. and David F. Coffin, Jr. The Relocation and Internment of the Aleuts during World War II, Volumes I-IX. Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association,
Anchorage, Alaska. 1981 and Kirtland, John C. A Case in Law and Equity for Compensation. Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Anchorage. 1981.
Description: Seminal works, by attorney John C. Kirtland, who represented Aleut Americans before Congress, on the causes and consequences of the internment. Both publications were a major resource for the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians. Kirtland and Coffin compiled and analyzed literally tens of thousands of pages of official documents including government letters, logs, telegrams, as well as Aleut letters and petitions for relief, depositions of internees, and news accounts.
These publications are not widely distributed but may be found through major university library systems. For more information contact the Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association at http://www.apiai.org/.
Kohloff, Dean. When the Wind Was a River, Aleut Evacuation in World War II. University of Washington Press, Seattle, in association with Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Anchorage. 1995
Description: This book by the late Dean Kohloff, associate professor of history at Valparaiso University, is an engrossing account of the Aleut evacuation and internment. Independent research is combined with materials from Kirtland and Coffin and the CWRIC in a highly readable introduction to this searing chapter in history.
Available through public library systems and booksellers.
Driscoll, Joseph. War Discovers Alaska. J.B. Lippincott Company. Philadelphia. 1943.
Description: Written in 1942 by New York Herald Tribune reporter Joseph Driscoll, this book now out of print provides context or the Aleut evacuation and internment. Through his detailed reporting and candid opinion statements, Driscoll offers today’s readers tremendous insight into widely-held social and political views of the time and the consequences for Aleut Americans.
Available from rare and out-of-print book dealers and some online booksellers.
Garfield, Brian. The Thousand Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians. Ballantine Books, New York, 1969
Description: The 15-month battle for the Aleutians was one of the bloodiest campaigns of World War II yet it remains largely unknown. Garfield’s careful research and powerful storytelling results in a compelling account of America’s “Forgotten War”.
Available in libraries and from booksellers.
Haycox, Stephen. Alaska: An American Colony. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 2002 and Frigid Embrace: Politics, Economics and Environment in Alaska. Oregon State University Press, Corvallis. 2002.
Description: Written by Stephen Haycox, a distinguished historian and professor of history at the University of Alaska in Anchorage, these fascinating books covers cultural, political, economic and environmental history of Alaska’s Native peoples including Aleuts and the consequences of colonization and economic exploitation.
Hesse, Karen. Aleutian Sparrow. Margaret K. Elderberry Books, Simon & Schuster, New York, 2003
Description: Karen Hesse is the author of 15 children’s books and a Newbery Award winner. Aleutian Sparrow is a luminous novel of unrhymed verse based on the Aleuts’ internment during World War II. Although fictional, her work is based on stories shared by Aleut internment survivors.
Available in libraries or from booksellers.
Mitchell, Donald Craig. Take My Land, Take My Life. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks. 1971.
Description: Insightful and exhaustively researched account of the political history of the Alaska Native land claims movement, including the role of the Aleut League, which resulted in the historic enactment of the 1971 Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act.
Available in libraries and from booksellers.
ALEUT HISTORY AND CULTURE
Hudson, Ray. Moments Rightly Placed: An Aleutian Memoir. Epicenter Press, Seattle, 1998
Description: An evocative and finely textured memoir of contemporary life in Unalaska, Hudson’s storytelling is as beautiful and intricate as the wild grass baskets woven by the Aleuts.
Available in libraries or from booksellers.
Jochelson, Waldemar. Unangam Ungiikangin Kayux Tunusangin Unangam Uniikangis ama Tunuzangis Aleut Tales and Narratives, collected 1909-1910. Edited by Knut Bergsland and Moses L. Dirks. Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 1990.
Description: A truly remarkable collection of traditional Aleut oral narratives compiled by Russian ethnographer Waldemar Jochelson. During a 19-month Aleutian Islands field study, Jochelson recorded the Aleuts’ stories in their own language (using a cylinder phonograph) and engaged the talents of Aleut leaders to help transcribe the narratives. His efforts were invaluable to Aleut cultural preservation following the tragic upheaval of World War II.
Available through some libraries or by order from booksellers. May be ordered directly from the University of Alaska Fairbanks at http://www.uaf.edu/anlc/publications.html
Laughlin, William S. Aleuts: Survivors of the Bering Land Bridge. Harcourt Brace College Publishers, Philadelphia, 1980
Description: An outstanding case study in cultural anthropology. Laughlin, who first visited the Aleutian Islands in 1938, was honored for his work by the Aleuts who granted him land in Nikolski on which to build a home.
Available from libraries and booksellers.
Essays on the Ethnography of the Aleuts (at the end of the 18th and the first half of the 19th Century). The Rasmuson Library Historical Translation Series, Volume IX. Translated by Jerry Shelest, with editorial assistance of William B. Workman and Lydia T. Black. Edited by Marvin W. Falk. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 1983.
Description: Translated from a Russian monograph on Aleut life and material culture, written by Roza G. Liapunova, a leading Soviet specialist in the ethnography of the peoples of northwestern America. A talented field worker, Liapunova spent several seasons among the Aleuts of the Commander Islands.
Available in some libraries or by order from booksellers. May be ordered directly from the University of Alaska Fairbanks at http://www.uaf.edu/library/
RUSSIAN ORTHODOXY IN ALEUT HISTORY AND CULTURE
Journals of the Priest Ioann Veniaminov in Alaska, 1823-1836. The Rasmuson Library Historical Translation Series, Volume VII. Translated by Jerome Kisslinger. Edited by Marvin W. Falk. University of Alaska Press, Fairbanks, 1983.
Description: Fr. Ioann (Ivan) Veniaminov, later canonized St. Innocent, traveled throughout the Aleutians by kayak, navigating the notoriously treacherous seas as though born to the islands. This record of his journeys, physical and spiritual, among the Aleut make for absorbing reading.
Available through some libraries or by order from booksellers. May be ordered directly from the University of Alaska Fairbanks at http://www.uaf.edu/library/
Sweetland Smith, Barbara with Patricia J. Petrivelli. A Sure Foundation: Aleut Churches in World War II. Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association, Anchorage, Alaska. 1994.
Description: In 1942, when the order to evacuate was given, Aleuts were forced to abandon their churches and priceless religious icons. When they returned, the Aleuts found their churches looted, damaged or destroyed. A Sure Foundation is the story of the Aleuts efforts to rebuild their beloved Russian Orthodox Churches, includes rare photographs and personal accounts.
Available from APIA at http://www.apiai.org/
There are several outstanding resources for historical photos and documents related to Aleut culture, the Aleut American internment and World War II in the Aleutians. An ever increasing number of textural and photographic materials are being digitized and are made available as part of online collections.
Before searching online collections, it is generally helpful to familiarize yourself with the digital archives search protocols. There is usually a link directing first-time users to a “how to” page.
Description: Alaska’s Digital Archives contain historical material from libraries, museums and archives throughout the state. Includes textural and photographic materials from: the Alaska State Library Historical, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Alaska and Polar Regions Collections, University of Alaska Anchorage Archives and Manuscripts Department, the Anchorage Museum of History and Art, the Seward Community Library Association, and the University of Alaska Museum of the North.
Description: The Library of Congress offers a wealth of photographs and prints chronicling the history of the American people. The collections include more than 13.7 million images including photographs, drawings, posters, fine and popular print and architectural and engineering drawings. Various collections, catalogued in the American Memory Collection, contain rare images of Aleuts during both the Russian and American periods, as well as many key historical documents.
For information on how to search the online collections of the Library of Congress go to http://www.loc.gov/rr/
Teachers wishing to incorporate digital materials from the online collections into their lesson plans may also find it useful to review information at http://www.loc.gov/teachers/
For an overview of American Memory go to http://memory.loc.gov
Recommended Collections from The Library of Congress:
Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information Photograph Collection
Description: Contained within the Library of Congress, the collection of the Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information covers a period of American life between 1935 and 1943. The collection includes approximately 77,000 images.
For an overview of the collection go to: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsahtml/fahome.html
To search prints and photographs go to http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/052_fsa.html
Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record
Description: Also contained within the Library of Congress, this collection includes drawings, photographs and written historical and architectural information for nearly 37,000 sites and structures in the U.S. A broad range of architectural and engineering structures and sites are represented in the collection – spanning from the 17th to the 20th century.
For an overview of the collection go to: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/
To search prints and photographs go to http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/coll/145_habs.html
Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection
Description: This collection includes photos assembled by Frank G. Carpenter (1855-1924) to illustrate his writings on geography and his daughter, Frances Carpenter who continued to add to the collection until her death in 1972. The digital collection available online represents a small cross-section of the estimated 5,600 photographic prints and 8,000 negatives now held in the collection by the Library of Congress.
For an overview of this collection go to: http://lcweb2.loc.gov/pp/ffcarphtml/ffcarpabt.html
Library of Congress Primary Documents in American History
Description: The Library of Congress is home to many of America’s most important documents. This site provides links to documents from specific eras of United States history, and a list of links to related digital material from the Library and elsewhere. Bibliographies for both general readers and young readers are also provided.
For an overview go to: http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/ourdocs/PrimDocsHome.html
Description: One of the most important historical documents in U.S. history affecting Aleuts is the treaty with Russian for the purchase of Alaska. The link below takes you directly to information about the historic land deal and directs you to digital images of the actual treaty and other interesting photographs.
Library Congress Exhibits
Description: “In the Beginning There was the Word: The Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures” offers a straightforward history of Aleuts and Russian Orthodoxy, along with digital images of rare prints and photographs.
Find the exhibit at: http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/russian/russch0.html
US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Archival Research Catalog (ARC)
Description: Within the National Archives and Records Administration, ARC is the online catalog containing NARA’s nationwide holdings including Washington, D.C., numerous regional archives and Presidential Libraries. Here are some of the many digital images of official logbooks and passenger manifests, photographs and other materials available for viewing.
For information on how to search the online collections of the National Archives go to http://www.archives.gov/research/arc/
SUPPLEMENTAL RESOURCES ONLINE
Here are a few links to websites of interest to anyone who enjoys learning through armchair travel.
Aleutian World War II National Historic Area and Visitor Center, National Park Service, Amknak Island, Aleutians.
Description: The Aleutian World War II National Historical Park and Visitor Center focuses on the Aleutian Campaign, including the bombing of Dutch Harbor by the Japanese in June 1942, the evacuation and internment of the Aleuts, the Japanese invasion of the islands of Attu and Kiska, the Battle of Attu, the Allied invasion of Kiska, and the bombing of Paramishiru.
Description: The Arctic Studies Center has its main office in the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C. and cooperates closely with the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian. The Alaska Office of the Arctic Studies Center is located at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. The Arctic Studies Center, established in 1988, is the only U.S. government program with a special focus on northern cultural research and education.
To read about Aleuts, go to: http://www.mnh.si.edu/arctic/features/croads/aleut.html
Description: An educational and cultural center open to the public, the Alaska Native Heritage Center offers workshops, demonstrations, guided tours of indoor exhibits and outdoor village sites so that all people may share in the rich heritage of Alaska’s 11 indigenous cultural groups.
For information about Aleuts, go to http://www.alaskanative.net/37.asp
The Russian Orthodox Church has been important part of Aleut life and culture for nearly 200 years. The first missionaries traveled with the explorers Vitus Bering and Alexei Chirikov, who formally claimed Alaska and the Aleutian Islands in 1741. Russian orthodox priests worked with the Aleut to devise an alphabet for the native language, to record traditional stories and oral histories, and translate the Bible into the native language. Aleuts sought federal reparations for damage done to their churches during by United States and Allied forces, and today are actively restoring their churches. The Russian Orthodox Church remains the most central and prominent building in Aleut villages, and an important part of life for many.
For more information about the Orthodox Church in America go to http://www.oca.org/
Alaskan Orthodox texts in their original languages (Aleut, Alutiiq, Tlingit, Yup’ik), as written by Saints Innocent and Jacob are available online as PDF format. A rare electronic collection of primary documents essential to any historical research. This remarkable e-archive contains all historic Aleut Orthodox tests ever published. Recently, work has begun digitizing rare manuscripts never before published. Very Reverend Father Paul Merculief, orginally from St. Paul Island, Alaska, has provided assistance with the restoration of historic Aleut Orthodox publications and manuscripts.