Archives and Collections

Archives and Collections

About the Archives and Collections

SHI's Archives and Art/Ethnographic Collections are stored deep in a large, climate-controlled, protected room at our headquarters in Juneau. Our archives, named in honor of the late Tlingit lawyer and activist William L. Paul, Sr., houses 3,100 linear feet of historical and cultural material documenting the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian language, culture, and history. It contains historical documents, manuscripts, personal papers, and more. It includes 60,000 photographs and 5,000 audio and audiovisual recordings, most of which cannot be found in other libraries or archives. We also care for more than 900 art and ethnographic objects, both ancient and modern. In addition, SHI serves as a repository on behalf of clans and tribes for cultural objects repatriated under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) for the Native people of Southeast Alaska. Many of SHI's holdings are available to the public for educational and research purposes.

Conducting Research

SHI’s collections are searchable in our online database. Our database is similar to a regular library catalog in some regards. Still, it is designed to be user-friendly for archival research by allowing you to find materials by the creator, subject, type of record, or keyword search.

For tips and tricks for using the database, this video series goes over the different elements of global searching, exploring the archives directory, and exploring the art and ethnographic directory. When you know what archival documents or museum objects you want to research, please write down the details of the materials (collection number or object ID number) and make an appointment to visit our facility by contacting archives staff at the email address listed below. Patrons unable to visit our onsite facility should contact the Archives for information about obtaining digital reproductions or photocopies. For more information, please contact our archivist at To request archival materials or ask a question, submit this form. The reading room is open to researchers Monday through Friday from 10 am-4 pm (closed 12-1) by appointment.
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