Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Judges Project Background

photo of native woman judge, Nora Guinn

The purpose of the Judges of Alaska project was two-fold. First, we believe that the younger generation may not be aware of how important the justice system is to our state's history, so we wanted to bring that story alive in visual and oral form.  Second, our goal was to enhance the on-line presence of Alaskan justice materials housed in the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Joint Archives of the Alaska Court System and Alaska Bar Association and to provide multiple links to sources. We have done this by creating an enhanced Project Jukebox that features synchronized access to oral histories, transcripts, and historic photographs and films.

photo of six judges dressed in black robes

Historic photographs have been included from collections at: The Alaska and Polar Regions Archives, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks; the Joint Archives of the Alaska Court System and Alaska Bar Association; and other institutions with material in the Alaska Digital Archives. Historic film clips have been included from collections at the Alaska Film Archives, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Images and film clips are also available on Alaska's Digital Archives website: http://vilda.alaska.edu/.

This project was completed in September 2012 by the staff of the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections at Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Karen Brewster and Marla Statscewich of Project Jukebox; Joann Henszey and Robyn Russell of the Oral History Collection; Dirk Tordoff, Michael Knavel and Angela Schmidt of the Alaska Film Archives; Peg Asbury and Rachel Seale of the UAF Archives; Marge Thompson of the Rasmuson Library photo lab; and Paul Adasiak, Ulyana Korotkova, and Emily Hemenway-Rice of Alaska's Digital Archives). Thanks also go to Rasmuson Library's IT staff for their technical assistance.

Thanks also go to the individuals interviewed and their families for contributing photographs.

photo of man being sworn in by a judge This project could not have happened without the support of and collaboration with the Alaska Bar Association Historians Committee and the Alaska Court System. Project collaborators were: Marilyn May, Clerk of Appellate Courts, Alaska Court System, and President, Bar Historians Committee; Barbara Hood, Communications Counsel, Alaska Court System; and Niesje Steinkruger, retired Superior Court Judge, Fourth Judicial District, Fairbanks, Alaska. Interviewers were: Marilyn May, Kelly Taylor, William Oberly, Mike Schwaiger, Margaret Russell, and Barbara Hood. Thanks also go to Margaret Newman, Administrative Assistant, Appellete Courts; Beth Odsen, Technical Services Librarian, Anchorage Law Library, Boney Courthouse; and Deborah O'Regan, Executive Director, Alaska Bar Association.

Thanks also go to the judges interviewed, and to their families for contributing photographs and in some cases agreeing to our use of archived interviews.