Elmer E. Rasmuson Library
The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library (often referred to as Rasmuson Library) is the largest academic library in the U.S. state of Alaska, housing just under one million volumes. Located on the University of Alaska Fairbanks campus, it is named in honor of Elmer E. Rasmuson, who served on the university's Board of Regents from 1950 to 1969 and was the board's chair from 1956 to 1968. He was a major supporter of expanding the library and moving it to its present location.
The library houses the Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives special collection. This encompasses historical books and periodicals, historical manuscripts and photographs, an oral history collection, rare books and maps, and the Alaska Film Archives. It hosts Project Jukebox, which presents oral history recordings, film clips, photos and documents on a single topic;, and Alaska's Digital Archives, which digitizes historical photos and film clips and makes them available online. The Alaska Film Archives is a major collection of historical film and video from and about Alaska and the polar regions. It hosts a YouTube channel and provides digital clips to patrons and the public. A special collection of Alaskana books is one of the largest in the world. Since the closing of Sheldon Jackson College and its Stratton Library in 2007, the Rasmuson Library, along with the Alaska State Library in Juneau, are the foremost publicly accessible repositories of historical information related to Alaska.
The library is the main repository of federal government documents for the state of Alaska. They took over this task from the Z. J. Loussac Library when Anchorage implemented budget cuts which greatly affected its library system.
Rasmuson Library offers an extensive online resources, including more than 400,000 e-books and more than 200 online databases.
The library was founded in 1922 with fewer than three thousand books, the same year classes began at UAF's predecessor, the Alaska Agricultural College and School of Mines. After moving from Old Main Building, the library was housed in a small building which doubled as the university's gymnasium and where the Constitution of Alaska was signed in 1956. The library moved to the Bunnell Building upon its completion in 1960, then to its present location in the Fine Arts Complex a decade later. Both buildings were designed by Anchorage architects Manley & Mayer. The library underwent a major expansion in 1984.