This exhibit was made possible by a grant from the Alaska Gold Rush Centennial Task Force, using funds provided by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Matching funds for the exhibit and for the preservation of the original album were provided by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the University of Alaska Foundation.

The exhibit itself has been touring the state of Alaska to celebrate the early days of Alaska. it was unveiled at the Centenial celebration in Nome, after which it toured Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks. It is available for loan at no charge except shipping.

Unless otherwise noted, most of the textual material is based on Terrence Cole's Nome: city of Golden Beaches, published by Alaska Geographic as Volume 11, number 1, 1984. This generally available source draws on rich original work to present a very readable summary of the history of Nome, including the gold rush.

The Butler Brothers exhibit is based on the Wilkinson Album, housed in the Archives of the Alaska and Polar Regions Department, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library, University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Since Walter P. Butler appears in several of the photographs, we think that William Butler may have been the photographer. It is unclear who put the maps and photographs together in this elaborate album, a labor that took more than 500 hours. There are 21 maps and 176 separate pictures on 37 pages.

After Walter P. Butler's death, the album came into the possession of a relative, Mrs. John Butler Wilkinson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1953, she donated it to the University for permanent safekeeping. In making the gift Mrs. Wilkinson said:

"I am pleased to be able to donate this album of photographs and maps to the University of Alaska where I am sure that it will be in good hands. I hope it will make an interesting exhibit and may prove to be of some value as historical source material."


  • Exhibit Design by Dixon Jones
  • Captions by Rose Speranza
  • Photographic Manager - Richard Veazey,
  • Photographic and Digital Editing by Monique Musick and Angie Schmidt.
  • Online Exhibit Design by Matthew Sill


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