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Mary Louise Rasmuson leaves books and papers to Elmer E. Rasmuson Library

Fairbanks, Alaska--Mary Louise Rasmuson, wife of Elmer E. Rasmuson and philanthropist, has left more than 350 books, plus maps and brochures, to the Elmer E. Rasmuson Library at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Mrs. Rasmuson, who died in July 2012, was an avid collector of books dealing with Alaska and of art books.

Some of the volumes donated include an unbound limited edition copy of volume 20 (“the Alaska volume”) of “North American Indian,” by Edward S. Curtis. Very few were printed and no other library in the world is on record as holding this work. “Three voyages of Captain James Cook round the world,” published in 1821, includes seven volumes.

 “These items reflect Mary Louise and Elmer’s passion for the history of our state,” said Bella Karr Gerlich, UAF Dean of Libraries. “This addition to the Library is another great example of the Rasmuson family’s generosity and vision.”

The books and other items will be added to the Rare Books and other departments at the Library. Many will be available to the general public. Those volumes placed in the Rare Books collection will be available to researchers by appointment.

For more information contact Suzanne Bishop, Development Officer, Elmer E. Rasmuson and BioSciences Libraries, at 907-474-6997 or

This page was last modified on August 21, 2013