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Historians, museum professionals to meet

Lots of folks are helping to get everything ready for the start of the joint annual conference of Museums Alaska and the Alaska Historical Society next week in Seward. More than 190 museum professionals and historians from across the state will be in attendance at the Oct. 1-4 event.

Resurrection Bay Historical Society is hosting the conference, which starts with workshops during the day on Wednesday, Oct. 1 followed by an evening reception at the Alaska SeaLife Center where the Swingin’ Grannies will help welcome the visitors. Concluding the day’s events will be a readers’ theater performance at the K.M. Rae building of selections from Doug Capra’s new play, “And Now the World Again,” about artist Rockwell Kent.

Conference headquarters will be the K.M. Rae Building on the Seward Marine Center campus, with meeting sessions held there, as well as at the SeaLife Center, Qutekcak Native Tribe office, Seward Community Library Museum and, on Saturday, a session at St. Peter’s Church.

Keynote speakers include Dr. Paul Hirt, history professor and sustainability scholar at Arizona State University, and Dr. Jan Ramierz, curator at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City. An evening reception on Oct. 2 will showcase the Seward Community Library Museum.

The awards banquet on Oct. 3 is set for the Dale Lindsey Alaska Railroad Terminal.

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The conference concludes at noon Oct. 4 and will be followed that afternoon by post-conference tours. More about the conference is on www.resbayhistorical.org

Although attendance at the sessions is limited to registered conference participants, Jackie Pels who is among the dozens of speakers presenting papers during the conference knows that many people in her hometown would love to sit in and listen to speakers share their knowledge of Alaska history.

Pels is offering just such an opportunity. She will read her paper in a program starting at 7 p.m. sharp Thursday, Oct. 2 at the K.M. Rae auditorium on UAF’s Seward Marine Center campus on the corner of Third and Railway. Admission to the 30-minute program is free.

Her paper is based on the recently published book, “There’s a Freedom Here: 100 years of Living in Alaska,” by Patricia Ray Williams. Pels operates Hardscratch Press, which published the 360-page book.

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