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Our Story in Many Voices

The Alaska State Museum Catalog and Guide

by Charles Wohlforth, designed by Sarah Asper-Smith

Paperback Price $29.95
Ebook Price $24.95

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foreword by Steve Henrikson

"A fascinating treatment of the dilemmas posed in designing a historical museum—the way items in a collection may stay the same, but their meanings change with each generation. Our Story in Many Voices is full of vivid anecdotes that illustrate those challenges."
—Tom Kizzia, author of Pilgrim’s Wilderness and In the Wake of the Unseen Object
"Thoughtful, fascinating, engaging. The perfect accompaniment to a world-class museum. Wohlforth challenges the reader to consider how stories in the museum are told. Like the museum itself, the book does not purport to be the authoritative account of Alaska’s peoples, cultures, and histories but rather invites multiple interpretations.”
—Ross Coen, University of Washington
“This isn’t only an exhibit catalog. It’s a piece of Alaska history. By telling the story of the Alaska State Museum and its efforts to advance community dialogue around the interpretation of Alaska history, Wohlforth illustrates the changing social landscape of Alaska and the opportunities it presents.”
—Amy F. Steffian, Alutiiq Museum


Alaska preserves and exhibits its own culture and history in the Andrew P. Kashevaroff Building in Juneau, the home of the State Library, Archives, and Museum. With this catalogue and guide, the meaning of the museum exhibits gains new depth. Our Story in Many Voices orients visitors to the museum, explains the objects, and explores the changing history and interpretation of Alaska’s story in the many voices of its telling.

Charles Wohlforth provides three major text sections—an introduction to Alaska, a summary of the museum exhibits, and a history of the exhibit development process—before the catalog of art and artifacts. Richly illustrated and presenting perspectives from Native and non-Native peoples, the book enhances visits to the museum and helps visitors recall and process their experiences, as well as broaden their general understanding of the state.

There is no single history of Alaska. Understanding the place and its peoples can be achieved only by viewing the multiple, complex, and even contradictory ways different people and groups perceive it. Rather than present an official view of the state, Our Story in Many Voices contains independent and critical perspectives that use the extraordinary resources of the museum to consider Alaska’s most challenging cultural issues, reaching toward understanding and reconciliation.


Charles Wohlforth is the author of a dozen books and numerous articles covering science and the environment, politics and history, medicine, and as-told-to biography. His book The Whale and the Supercomputer: On the Northern Front of Climate Change won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Among his writing assignments was editing the labels for the Alaska State Museum.

Sarah Asper-Smith has worked independently and collaboratively as a curator, exhibit designer, and graphic designer in museums in all parts of Alaska, including co-curatorial exhibit development of the permanent exhibits at the Alaska State Museum.

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  • Paperback Price: $29.95
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-1-64642-651-5
  • Ebook Price: $24.95
  • EISBN: 978-1-64642-652-2
  • Publication Month: July
  • Publication Year: 2024
  • Pages: 110
  • Illustrations: 126
  • Discount Type: Trade
  • Author: by Charles Wohlforth, designed by Sarah Asper-Smith
  • ECommerce Code: 978-1-64642-651-5

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