On the third floor of the Rasmuson Library, just past the periodicals, is Room 334, a little-known office with an important purpose. Brightly lit with a litany of cameras, computers, printers and scanners, the Digital Photographic Services and Alaska History Store work to connect Alaskans with the past.
For 11 years, Marge Thompson has been a digital image specialist in the office at the University of Alaska Fairbanks: digitizing, archiving, reprinting and selling copies of documents ranging from pictures and negatives of early Fairbanks to maps, rare books, artworks, theses, scrapbooks and more.
“Access is the most important part. Making people aware and getting more people enthused about the history of Alaska and Fairbanks,” she said.
Thompson manages approximately 400 images for sale through the Alaska History Store (including a small physical presence in her office), while adding to the growing body of more than 35,000 items in Alaska’s Digital Archives.
Direct to Alaska’s Digital Archives