Improving Preservation & Access to the UAMN Flag Collection
Museums Alaska Collections Management Fund (2022)
Thanks to a $14,972 grant from Museums Alaska, supported by Rasmuson Foundation, the Ethnology & History department undertook a comprehensive rehousing and stabilization project on the 55-piece flag collection held by the department.
The entire flag collection was inventoried, examined, vacuumed using a Nilfisk HEPA filter vacuum with suction control and small brushes, photographed, measured, labeled, and rehoused onto an acid free cardboard tube covered with acid free tissue, and tied with cotton twill tape. Each flag received a printed photograph tag with catalog number and barcode, for easy identification. The rolled tube was then placed on a hanging bar inside a cabinet in the compact mobile storage unit in the collections range, or, if very large or very small flags, they were left flat or folded, and placed on a new shelf or drawer. Research was conducted to update the catalog records in Arctos with further information.
Thanks to this project, we now have a clearer picture of the collection’s holdings and a resource for future researchers. We have improved the care and management of these textiles, providing improved access to the flag collection and transparency to the collection and our collections care practices.
The project budget covered the purchase of archival materials, a special Nilfisk HEPA filter vacuum with suction control, and salary for staff to implement the project.
Highlights from the Flag Collection
This 8-foot wide x 2-foot tall flag was handmade by Alaskan women - each did a star. The flag was gifted to Senator Perkins of California who worked on getting the bill for statehood passed; it failed at that time. At his death it was given to a friend, who presented it to the Boy Scout Commissioner, who displayed it in the main window of the largest drygoods store in San Francisco, and at The White House at an election. The flag was presented to the University of Alaska President in 1961.