We preserve and share Kodiak’s history.

Everyone has a story to tell. Stories warm hearts, challenge ideals, and spark interest. They shape cultures and change perceptions. In Kodiak, we’re all storytellers. It’s a distinct and beloved part of our historic and contemporary culture. Whether the stories you hear are shared over a cup of tea, during mug up at a processor, over a drink in one of our notorious bars, or heard here at the Baranov Museum, we strive to preserve and share the stories that make Kodiak our own.

The Baranov Museum, a partnership between the Kodiak Historical Society and the City of Kodiak, works to preserve and share Kodiak history. Our mission is to facilitate exploration of the natural, cultural, and artistic heritage of Kodiak Island and surrounding communities to create opportunities for the public to discover, share, and exchange knowledge using the collections and resources made available through the operation of the Baranov Museum.

Kodiak’s first museum, opened by the Kodiak Historical Society in 1957.

The Kodiak Historical Society was incorporated as a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization on September 21, 1954. The vision of the Society at incorporation was to preserve and share the history of the Kodiak and Aleutian Islands region. Within three years, the Society opened a museum – the Kodiak Museum – in a downtown WWII Quonset hut. Over the years, scores of volunteers contributed their time and family treasures to the growing organization.

The devastating effects of the 1964 Great Alaskan earthquake and tsunami. Kodiak Historical Society Guy Powell Collection P-846-72

The devastating effects of the 1964 Great Alaskan earthquake and tsunami. Kodiak Historical Society Guy Powell Collection P-846-72

The 1964 earthquake and tsunami was a pivotal event in the development of the Historical Society. Many families lost their homes and businesses. Entire villages on Kodiak Island were relocated. In the wake of this devastating natural disaster, the value of preserving community history was recognized. In ever increasing numbers, the people of Kodiak brought significant antiques, artwork and culturally meaningful artifacts to the Society, to be held in public trust.

The City of Kodiak from Pillar Mountain in 2012. Courtesy Discover Kodiak.

The City of Kodiak from Pillar Mountain in 2012. Courtesy Discover Kodiak.

In the rebuilding that followed the tsunami, many of Kodiak’s older buildings were demolished. When the old Russian American magazin in downtown Kodiak was threatened, the community rallied to protect this representative of their past. Centennial funds from the State of Alaska in 1967 enabled the Kodiak Historical Society to renovate the historic log structure. Support walls were removed and modern wall coverings were stripped away to reveal the original log structure and moss chinking. After much renovation and stabilization work, the collections of the Kodiak Historical Society were moved to their new home, and one of Alaska’s most unique museums opened its doors to the public.


Contact Us:

101 East Marine Way
Kodiak, AK 99615
(907) 486-5920


November 25 @ 10:30 am

Story Time on the Porch

Free, monthly story time at the museum. Bring a non-messy snack and join us on the porch for a fun story and mini-discussion. Books and topics are chosen with kids up to 5 years of age in mind but all ages are welcome. This month’s book selection is The Alaska Mother Goose by Shelley Gill. [MORE]

November 28 @ 10:00 am

Giving Tuesday Reception

You are cordially invited to the Baranov’s Giving Tuesday Reception. Tea and cookies will be served during the museums’s open hours. View a mini exhibit featuring a collection of our historic recipes perfect for the holidays. Take home a copy of one of the handwritten recipe cards to add to your own kitchen collection. Suggested . . . MORE [MORE]

December 1 @ 5:00 pm

First Friday Art Walk-“Works of Our Lifetime”

Works of Our Lifetime: A Collection of Modern Kodiak Artwork Opening night of our latest temporary exhibit showcasing visual arts in a variety of mediums, inspired by and made in the Kodiak Archipelago. All collection purchases were made possible with support from the Rasmussen Art Acquisition Fund. Tea and light refreshments will be served. [MORE]