Current Projects

Indigenous Watercraft Workshop Project

National Endowment for the Humanities (2019-2021)

In May 2019,»the ethnology & history department at the University of Alaska Museum of the North (UAMN)»was granted $57,768 in funding from the NEH Humanities Collections and Reference Resources»Foundations»program to host two workshops focusing on our Indigenous watercraft at the museum in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Read about the project here.

Barcoding Infrastructure Improvements

Museums Alaska Collections Management Fund (2016-17)

Thanks to a $9,900 grant from Museums Alaska, the Ethnology & History department is teaming up with Genomics Resources collections manager, Kyndall Hildebrandt, to set up barcoding for Object Tracking for both Ethnology & History and Archaeology collections.

Read about the project here.

Stable Data

Migrating the UAMN Cultural Collections Information into Arctos (2013-2015)

With the help of a $149,999 grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) the ethnology & history and archaeology collections have moved their collections databases into Arctos, a fully on-line, multi-disciplinary collection management information system developed and operated by UAMN and currently used by six of the other eight departments at the Museum.

Read about the project here.

Ben Eielson's "Jenny"

New Wings Project (2007-Ongoing)

On October 28, 2013, Ben Eielson's Curtiss JN-4D ("Jenny") was again raised above the baggage terminal at the Fairbanks International Airport. The Swallow wings that had been attached to the fuselage back in 1957 were nowhere to be found. Travelers instead saw the original 44-foot wingspan of the WWI-era plane stretch out overhead, as local aviation historians and pilots had dreamed of for years.

Thanks to thousands of hours of volunteer time contributed by members of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 1129, the Jenny is restored to glory. Read more about this ongoing project here.

Save America's Treasures

Kolmakovsky blockhouse

The Kolmakovsky Redoubt Conservation Project (2010-2013)

In December of 2009, the National Park Service (NPS) and the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded UAMN $75,000 to rehabilitate and preserve the Kolmakovsky Redoubt collection, which consists of the 1841-era blockhouse and nearly 5,000 archaeological objects. The three-year project is documented here.

Research Projects

The Ethnology and History collection is available for researchers from all walks of life. Contact department staff if you are interested in viewing the collections.

If you would like to conduct research in the collections, see our Collections Access Policy here.

Student Assistants & Interns

As part of the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, collections departments depend on student assistants for a large part of the work done on a daily basis. In the Ethnology & History department, grant funding helps us hire UAF students during the academic year and interns from all over during the summer months.

Students interested in interning in the collection should submit their resume and a letter of interest to the department.


Departmental staff are involved with projects across Alaska and the rest of the United States. If you are interested in having us participate on your project, contact us to discuss what assistance we may be able to provide.

Click here to see a list of some recent partnerships and outreach projects.


The ethnology & history collection is one of the most exhibited collections at the Museum.

Here we include a list of the most recent exhibitions using material from our collection.


The Ethnology & History department is actively seeking volunteers!

Volunteering can be a wonderful way to contribute to the accomplishments of the museum. In the past, ethnology volunteers have been involved in a number of ways including:

  • photographing collections objects;
  • conducting inventories;
  • basic cleaning and rehousing of collections;
  • re-organizing collections; and
  • updating database records.