A picture of Nellie in the front room. From the Carolyn Erskine Andrews Collection, P-368-13-5

Nellie Erskine’s Corner is an interactive exhibit that celebrates not only the literary legacy of the Nellie Erskine herself but also the grassroots history of museums and libraries in Kodiak. From oral history documentation, we see how Nellie invited young people into her home each Wednesday for storytime. In the spirit of Mrs. Erskine, we open our exhibit space and recreate Nellie’s reading corner. 

The Erskine family not only made the Russian Magazin their home but also opened their doors to the community; making the Erskine home a hub in the community of Kodiak. The Baranov Museum has archival documents, oral histories, and historic photographs that paint a picture of how the Erskine home served as a gathering space in the first half of the 20th century. People who were welcomed into the Erskine home recount the memorable parties, socials, and storytimes hosted within the walls of the home. 

We invite you to come, slow down, take a seat, pull a book from the shelf and enjoy the exhibit that celebrates our community’s continued passion for literacy. 

 

How do I learn more? 

  • The Kodiak Library Club was organized in 1922 with a stated purpose “To strive for a fuller life”. Click here to read the Woman’s Club Year Book from 1924-1925. 
  • After retiring from the Kodiak Public Library, Fostina Johnson wrote a brief history of Kodiak’s libraries. Click here to read Fostina Johnson’s account. 
  • On December 8th, 1968 the A. Holmes Johnson Memorial Library was dedicated. Click here to see the dedication program. 
  • The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections and Archives at the University of Alaska Fairbanks hold many of the Erskine family papers, some of which, shed light into the original catalog of books that were on our community’s library shelves. This document is an example of Nellie Erskine’s library inventory. 

 

 

Thanks to the Kodiak Public Library Association for their support in helping make this exhibit possible through the support of exhibit props, artifacts, resources, images, and signage. Thank you.