Contents and Arrangement

Photographs of Alaska Native Communities, circa 1960s

1 folder

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Content Description

24 press photographs depicting Alaska Native communities and individuals, primarily the Nunamiut, in the Anaktuvuk Pass in the early 1960s taken by several non-native photographers.

10 of these photos were taken in 1962 by Alaskan photographer Ward W. Wells. Two photos are of Anna Bortel, a non-native teacher from Ohio who began working with Nunamiut children in 1954; and six images depict the daily life of community leader and educator Simon Paneak and his family. As a caption on the verso of one print indicates, the latter were apparently taken when the Paneak family hosted Wells during his assignment. Other photos show two unidentified young women, and an unidentified older man who, according to a manuscript inscription on the verso, was recently allowed to vote for the first time.

A group of six images by Fred Leavitt captures life in the Anaktuvuk Pass; and four photos by Fairbanks photographer Jack E. Wilson include two portraits of unidentified workers; a shot of an unidentified group of women; and one image of three Iñupiat males of Kotzebue talking in the village social area. One photo of two children is by noted French photojournalist Dominique Darbois. Another photo is by R. P. Alting-du-Cloux.

All of the photographs are labeled PIX Incorporated and have a stamp of Westport Public Library, Westport, Connecticut, which previously owned the items. Most include the photographer's stamp and many have captions and printed text on the verso.

Content Warning

Photograph captions include racist descriptions.


Arranged alphabetically by the name of the creator, with unattributed materials at the end.

Collection History


Purchased from James E. Arsenault & Co. in 2022 (AM 2023-037).

Custodial History

Photographs were previously owned by the Westport Public Library, Westport, Connecticut.


The collection is open and will continue to grow.


No material was separated during processing.

Processing Information

This item was processed and described by Faith Charlton in December 2022, incorporating some description written by the dealer.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Photographs of Alaska Native Communities; General Manuscripts Miscellaneous Collection, C0140, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (mss): Box B-002017