Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Fairbanks Communities of Memory Project Background


Communities of Memory was a project funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum in the mid-1990s to collect stories from Alaskans that represent the meaning of community. Storytelling sessions were held in Nome, Fairbanks, Wasilla, Homer, Kotzebue, Juneau, Wasilla, Unalaska, Bethel, and Kenai/Soldotna. Dr. Pat Partnow was the co-designer and Statewide Project Director. All the sessions were videotaped by Jim Sykes and Western Media Concepts and these recordings are stored at the Oral History Office in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. The book "Communities of Memory" (Phyllis Morrow, editor. Anthropological Papers of the University of Alaska NS, Volume 3, Number 1, 2003) reflects on the themes and meaning of the overall project. The booklet "Communities of Memory: The Lives and Adventures of Nomeites Old and New Through the Seasons...And Through the Years" written and published by George Sabo (Nome, 1997) contains transcripts and photographs from the Nome session. George Sabo also produced a video based on the Nome event.

This Jukebox project was created in early 2008 with funding from the Alaska Humanities Forum. Stories from ten people were selected from the Fairbanks sessions for inclusion based upon the importance of the themes discussed in them to the overall telling of Fairbanks' history. In Fairbanks, three community storytelling events were held, each with a different theme: celebration of holidays (December 9, 1995); life along the river (March 2, 1996); and history of Creamer's Field (April 3, 1996). A representative sample was taken from each of these themes. Story selection was made by Dr. William Schneider, Curator of Oral History at UAF. Dr. Pat Partnow was the project's independent evaluator.

The videos were digitized and the Jukebox was created by Project Jukebox staff: Stacey Carkhuff, UAF Northern Studies graduate student; and Karen Brewster, Research Associate.

In December 2013, the Fairbanks Communities of Memory Jukebox was revised into a Drupal format to keep up with changing technology and to match the new standard format for all Jukebox projects. This updating was also funded by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum. The update was done by Lisa Hamby and Karen Brewster of the Project Jukebox office.

This project is supported in part by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum and the National Endowment for the Humanities, a federal agency. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this website do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.