University of Alaska Museum of the North • (907) 474-7505
Voted the "Best Museum in Alaska," the University of Alaska Museum of the North is a vital component of UAF's research and education facilities as well as a thriving visitor attraction.
The museum's research collections hold more than 1.4 million artifacts and specimens representing millions of years of biodiversity and more than 11,000 years of cultural traditions in the North. These collections form the foundation for the museum's exhibits and education programs and serve as a critical source of data for issues unique to the circumpolar North. Using the collections, university students work with the museum's faculty curators on original research aimed at interpreting the region's dynamic environment and cultures.
The museum's Rose Berry Alaska Art Gallery features 2,000 years of Alaskan art--from ancient ivory carvings to contemporary sculptures. In the Gallery of Alaska, exhibit highlights include the state's largest gold display, extensive displays of Alaska Native art and artifacts, and Blue Babe, a 36,000-year-old mummified steppe bison. The museum also hosts several special exhibits each year. In addition, the museum presents artists' residencies, lectures and family programs on a variety of Alaska topics throughout the year. Handheld audio-video guides supplement the exhibits.
In 2005, the museum opened its new wing. Nationally recognized architect Joan Soranno and the GDM/HGA architectural team designed the expanded museum to convey a sense of Alaska, with innovative lines and spaces evoking images of glaciers, alpine ridges, breakup on the Yukon River and the northern lights. The expansion, a $42 million project, doubled the size of the museum's facilities and included major renovations to the museum's original building to create new research labs, expanded collections space, a multimedia auditorium, smart classrooms and new exhibit spaces.