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Alaska Missions Collection

 Collection — Container: NWYM.01.11.01
Identifier: NWYM-01-11-01

Scope and Contents

The Alaska mission collections show the different cultures of the Alaskan Native people. The collections show the communities of Kake, Douglass, and Kotzebue Alaska. The Collections show the interactions of both the Friends/Quaker missionaries as well as the Native people. The collection covers from the 19th century to the 20th century. The collection shows the cultural, ethnic, religious, and natural history of the Native Alaskans as well as the Quakers.


  • 1880-1975


Language of Materials

English, occasional words in Tlingit.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is available for research.

Conditions Governing Use

George Fox University owns the copyright to some, but not all, of the materials housed in its archives. Copyright for materials authored or otherwise produced as official business of George Fox University is retained by George Fox University and requires its permission for publication. Copyright status for other collection materials varies. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Biographical / Historical

The missions in Douglas Alaska started in June 18, 1887. The missionaries came from Lawrence Kansas. Out of the Douglass mission was founded the mission to Kake in the late 1890s. The goals of the missionaries were to bring religion and education to the Native Alaskan people. The mission was founded by the Quaker church, the Quakers brought with them western ideals and langue. While the Native Alaskans presented their culture and way of life.


2 Cubic Feet (3 archival boxes- 1 records box, 2 hollinger)


The Alaska missions collection consists of the history of the Alaskan Natives in Douglas, Kake, and Kotzebue Alaska. The collection contains correspondence between the missionaries and their sponsors, photographs of both the missionaries and Native Americans, as well as documents pertaining to the mission. It offers a glimpse into the lives of both the missionaries and the Native Americans through the documents provided. The Alaska Missions Collection shows different aspects of life from the late 1800s through the 1900s. The collection shows the lives of the lower 48 native missionaries as they learn to live in Alaska. Additionally, the lives of the Kake Native Alaskians is displayed throughout the collection via photographs and written testimonies from Quaker missionaries. This collection shows the importance of culture, daily life, and the beliefs of the Quaker church at the time.


No accruals expected.

Materials Specific Details

The George Fox University Archives are working closely with the Native American people of Kake Alaska. Both parties are ensuring that the culture and history of the Native American people of Kake are being properly preserved and represented by George Fox University. This is in hope that society can be better educated on the history and culture of the Native Alaskan people.

Folders containing: copies of H. J. Minthorn's letters, Minthorn visited Kake Alaska to see the mission work there. He brought back great reports of the mission, this is seen in the Minthorn letters. The collection also contains Monthly Mission Meeting Minutes as well as the Arthur O. Roberts letters. Arthur O. Roberts was a professor at George Fox University. He wrote the book "Tomorrow is Growing Old". that pertains to the Alaska mission’s collection. Finally the collections hold information on the George Fox College campus in Alaska, and news clippings Photo Albums: contains different photos of Alaska locations, indigenous tribes, and mission workers Publications: Magazines on Alaska, books about Alaska, pamphlets, newspapers, and monthly newsletters
Guide to the Alaskan Missions Collection
In Progress
Royce Butler, Isabella Wright
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Edition statement
Revised to reflect protocols for Native American collections in 2020. First edition in 2019.

Repository Details

Part of the George Fox University and Northwest Yearly Meeting of Friends Archives Repository

416 North Meridian Street
Newberg Oregon 97132 U.S.A.