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Hamersly Library

Jensen Arctic Museum (JM)

CONSTRUCTION DATES: The Jensen Museum occupies a house constructed in 1910 and acquired by the school in 1969.

REMODEL: The museum has received two grants to help evaluate and preserve the collection. The Institute of Museum Services funded an review of museum practices in 1995. In 1997 a $5,000 Conservation Assessment Program grant allowed the museum to learn the latest conservation and exhibit techniques. A remodel added 1,281 square feet.

CONSTRUCTION COMPANY: Unknown, but the structure was probably built by the original owner.

COSTS: The school's initial investment in the building is unavailable.

ARCHITECTS AND BUILDING STYLE: The structure is a two- level house converted into display, storage, and office space.

CURRENT USES: The building currently houses the Jensen Arctic Museum. The collection contains more than 4,000 pieces owned and collected by Emeritus Professor of Education Paul Jensen.

HISTORY: The building was occupied as living quarters during the 1960s but was boarded up by 1982. In June of 1985, the house was dedicated as the Jensen Arctic Museum.

OTHER INTERESTING FACTS: The Jensen Arctic Museum is one of only two Arctic preservation and promotion museums in the lower 48 states, and is the largest collection outside of Alaska. An exhibit of Dr. Jensen's artifacts drew over 42,000 people to OMSI in the early 1980s. The large draw was the impetus for the creation of the museum. The museum contains a 27 foot umiak, a walrus skin hunting boat, and a 6000 lb musk ox named Henry. Each summer Jensen Arctic Museum holds an annual fundraiser featuring a salmon bake and auction. Dr. Jensen was award the Distinguished Service Award by the university, its highest honor. Dr. Jensen was also accepted in the council of elders of the Yupik people of Saint Lawrence Island. He was the first white person to be so honored.


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