In this Oct. 18, 2013 photo, Lacey Simpson poses for photos in the Tongas Historical Museum in Ketchikan, Alaska. Tongass Historical Museum is soliciting submissions for its new exhibit "First in Fish, Ketchikan's Commercial Fishing Traditions" that will open Feb. 28 and run through the summer tourist season. Simpson said the museum is looking for personal stories, a present day photo, family heirloom, a story about a specific event, or an artifact related to commercial fishing. (AP Photo/Ketchikan Daily News, Hall Anderson)

In this Oct. 18, 2013 photo, Lacey Simpson poses for photos in the Tongas Historical Museum in Ketchikan, Alaska. Tongass Historical Museum is soliciting submissions for its new exhibit "First in Fish, Ketchikan's Commercial Fishing Traditions" that will open Feb. 28 and run through the summer tourist season. Simpson said the museum is looking for personal stories, a present day photo, family heirloom, a story about a specific event, or an artifact related to commercial fishing. (AP Photo/Ketchikan Daily News, Hall Anderson)

Ketchikan museum fishing for photos

KETCHIKAN, Alaska (AP) — Tongass Historical Museum is soliciting submissions for its new exhibit “First in Fish, Ketchikan’s Commercial Fishing Traditions” that will open Feb. 28 and run through the summer tourist season.

The new exhibit will feature the history and stories of commercial fishing in Ketchikan.

“The point of the project is to be able to tell a more well-rounded story of this great tradition of commercial fishing,” Tongass Historical Museum Director Lacey Simpson.

Simpson said the museum is looking for personal stories, a present day photo, family heirloom, a story about a specific event, or an artifact related to commercial fishing.

“It was an opportunity that we thought would round out a very large story that we have a very small record of,” Simpson said.

Senior Curator of Collections Andrew Washburn said the idea for the project came from the idea of wanting to expand the collection of fishing photographs and artifacts. The museum has more storage and exhibit space because the Ketchikan Public Library moved to its new building last year.

“And we wanted to explore new ways to engage with the community in helping us tell the story in the exhibit, and build our knowledge base, whether it is photographs and stories or artifacts,” Washburn said.

Simpson said the submitted photographs will be displayed in a slideshow on a flat screen monitor as part of the summer exhibit.

“Most people in Ketchikan are familiar with commercial fishing, so that content in itself might not be overly stimulating for locals, but it is for visitors,” Simpson said. “Visitors who come to town don’t know what a seiner is, or how salmon is processed, so we want to give them a bit more information.”

Washburn said the museum has two distinct audiences in locals and tourists.

“This is a way that we really would like to show the community, and invite the community, to help define what the museum is,” Washburn said. “The museum is not just a collection of stuff in a building, and this is one of the ways we would like to invite people to participate.”

The submission deadline for photographs and artifacts to be included in the opening reception is Feb. 14, but Simpson said they would continue to accept photographs and stories and add them to the slide show throughout the summer.

Submission forms are available at the Tongass Historical Museum. For additional information, contact the museum at: museum@city.ketchikan.ak.us.

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