Northern Exploration, Boundary Surveys, and Borderlands: Reports, Documents, and Maps from the United States Congressional


  • John D. Kawula University of Alaska Fairbanks


Significant interdisciplinary scholarship exists concerning the unique economic, social, and political culture of international border and frontier areas. Notable themes of Alaskan and northern Canadian history also include discovery, exploration, and boundary issues. Primary literature concerning these topics is dispersed in many sources. One such source, the United States Congressional Serial Set, has been re-indexed and digitized, allowing online access to the full text documents and high-resolution images of the accompanying maps and illustrative material. This version, covering the years 1817–1980, was searched for citations pertaining to the discovery, exploration, and boundaries of Alaska and northern Canada. Summary level bibliographic records were reviewed for all entries, represented by thirty-three subject and geographic index terms (nineteen northern expeditions as listed under the broad category of "Discovery and Exploration" plus fourteen additional subject and geographic terms selected from the cross-references and related topics presented by the software). Numerical counts and examples of complete citations are provided. Results illustrate the usefulness of the digitized Serial Set, available to patrons of numerous US and Canadian libraries, in researching these topics in a quick and efficient manner. The set also provides additional opportunities for northern research. Many of the explorations and surveys contain historical scientific data and observations that are difficult to extract from modern sources. Viewing northern affairs broadly, the set concerns the entire northern US border areas and their historical, political, military, and diplomatic relations with Canada.

Author Biography

John D. Kawula, University of Alaska Fairbanks

John D. Kawula


is Government Documents and Maps Librarian at the University of Alaska Fairbanks






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