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Fairbanks Hosts Annual Museums Alaska and Alaska Historical Society Conferences

Submitted by Kerynn Fisher
Phone: (907) 474-6941


The annual joint conference for Museums Alaska and the Alaska Historical Society opened Thursday, Sept. 19 at the Fairbanks Westmark Hotel and Conference Center. The conference, organized in partnership with the University of Alaska Museum and the Tanana Yukon Historical Society, will run through Saturday, September 21. More than 120 attendees are expected from museums, historical sites, and educational institutions around the state, as well as individual members of the two organizations.

"Most of the attendees come from small organizations, some with only a few full-time staff members and many run by entirely by volunteers, but all dedicated to preserving Alaska's history and sharing it with future generations." says Terry Dickey, University of Alaska Museum Education Coordinator and this year's conference chair. "The combined conference gives us a chance to gather together to reflect on Alaska's rich history and exchange ideas for exhibits, educational programs and organizational development."

During this 2-day conference, Museums Alaska offers educational and instructional sessions on museum techniques, new technology, changing roles of museums communities, and the impacts of tourism on museums, all focused on the theme "Measuring Our Success." Alaska Historical Society members present historical research papers centering on the theme "Historic Interior Alaska."

Conference highlights include keynote addresses by Fairbanks columnist Dermot Cole and University of Missouri Professor of Museum Studies Jay Round, as well as the annual Alyeska Pipeline Awards Luncheon. The luncheon, to be held on Friday, September 21 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Westmark, recognizes excellence in exhibits, collection care, historical research, volunteerism, and publications.

A complete schedule of events is available online at www.uaf.edu/museum/events/ma-ahs-schedule.pdf.

Museums Alaska provides opportunities for improving museum services in Alaska and enhancing public understanding of the purposes and functions of Alaska's museums. The Alaska Historical Society is dedicated to the promotion of Alaska history by the exchange of ideas and information, the preservation and interpretation of resources, and the education of Alaskans about their heritage. Both organizations use history to build community, inspire people to explore new ideas and different perspectives, and enhance the lives of Alaskans. For additional information contact:

Michael Hawfield, Museums Alaska President at (907) 456-7722 (during the conference) or (907) 235-8635; Candy Waugaman, Alaska Historical Society President, at (907) 451-8865; or Terry Dickey, Conference Chair and University of Alaska Museum Education Coordinator, at (907) 474-6950