Thank you for your interest in the Sitka History Museum’s collections and archives. Our archives include letters, photographs, diaries, unpublished memoirs and manuscripts, maps, original tape recordings, original film and video tape footage and architectural drawings. The museum’s collection of artifacts numbers over 8,000 items, including artworks, textiles, archaeological artifacts, tools, and equipment. The museum also maintains a library accessible to researchers for on-site use. Those interested in conducting research at the Sitka History Museum should review the following information and policies.
Thanks to recently updated technology, the modern Reis Research Room is available to the Public, including qualified scholars and researchers on the museum’s premises. Sitka Historical Society members can use this wonderful resource free of charge. Requests for access to the collections must be made in writing to the Curator of Collections and Exhibits. Due to limited staffing, we make every effort to respond to research requests within two weeks of receipt. Requests for information should be as specific as possible, and should include the results of and sources used in your preliminary research. In order to best serve all researchers, appointments are necessary and allow museum staff to prepare the research room and requested materials in advance of each visit. If you are unable to visit the Sitka History Museum, but would like to request information and/or digital images from the collection, you may submit your request to the Curator using the contact information provided below.
Research hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm by appointment only. The collections are closed weekdays between noon and 1pm, weekends, holidays, and during exhibition installation periods.
All staff research is subject to the research request fees listed on the Research Request Agreement Form.
Curator of Collections & Exhibits
Sitka History Museum
330 Harbor Drive
Sitka, AK 99835
The Sitka History Museum makes all efforts to uphold its mission to protect and preserve it collections while providing access to its collections for the purpose of research. To assist in this effort, visiting researchers are expected to be familiar and comply with the following collections access guidelines:
- First time visiting researchers are asked to present a photo ID, which will be photocopied and retained in the Sitka History Museum’s collections access files.
- Visiting researchers will be asked to complete a Collections Access Request Form.
- Individuals requesting access to the collection must have a legitimate research purpose for using the collection and demonstrate a willingness to comply with security requirements and safe collections handling procedures.
- The Sitka History Museum reserves the right to request a letter of reference for individuals seeking access to the collection.
- All research must be done in the Collection Department research room under the supervision of museum staff.
- Researchers will wear gloves at all times while handling collection items.
- Ink pens are prohibited. Only pencils and personal laptops may be used near collections.
- For security purposes, researchers may only bring materials that will be used in their research into the collections work space. Any bags, cases, etc. brought into the area must be stored in the Admin Office and are subject to inspection when leaving.
- Food, drink, and chewing gum are not allowed in the research room. Smoking is not allowed anywhere in the museum.
- Access to the collections is provided without warranties as to its accuracy or completeness, and researchers will assume any and all risk in their use of this information.
- Permission to photograph objects must be obtained in advance and all photographs taken by researchers are subject to the museum’s Image Use Agreement.
- Fees, if applicable, must be collected prior to fulfillment of request.
- Due to the fragile nature of many of the objects and archives in the collection, general browsing is not permitted.
- Access to certain objects may be restricted due to their fragility, age, value, importance, or at the request of a donor or lender.
- Recent acquisitions will not be made available until they have been completely processed into the collection.
- The Sitka History Museum maintains on-site exhibitions and loans to other institutions, so some materials may be temporarily unavailable to researchers.
- Information such as donor names and contact information, storage locations of collection items, object values, and conservation reports is restricted and will only be provided to researchers with the approval of the Curator and Executive Director.
Research and Image Use Fees
Research: The first 30 minutes of staff research time are free; then requests are billed at $40/hour for up to 5 hours; $50/hour thereafter.
Photocopies: Billed at $1.00 per page, 8 ½” x 11”
Scanning: Billed at $1.00 per page
Digital Image and Licensing Fees for Editorial, Commercial and Non-profit Use
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, US Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research. If a user makes a request for, or later uses a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of “fair use,” that user may be liable for copyright infringement. The Sitka History Museum reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgment, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.
The Sitka History Museum may not be the owner of all rights necessary to publish the reproduction, including copyright and/or rights of privacy or publicity. It is the researcher’s responsibility to obtain any necessary permission to publish the reproduction and to pay any associated fees. The Sitka History Museum assumes no responsibility for infringements of copyright (Title 17, United States Code), violations of privacy or publicity rights (Title 45 CFR Section 46, Protection of Human Subjects), or other claims by other parties resulting from the researcher’s use of the reproduction, and the researcher agrees to indemnify and hold the Sitka History Museum harmless from any such claims. In authorizing the publication, the Sitka History Museum retains all rights it may own, and does not surrender its right to publish the image or to grant permission to others to do so.