The state capital at Juneau boasts three museums, the largest of which is the Alaska State Museum, featuring a full-sized bald eagle nestling tree and extensive ethnographic exhibits. The state museum was established in 1900 by an act of Congress to collect, preserve and exhibit objects from territorial days.
The Anchorage Museum of History & Art is renowned for its special exhibits and collections of Alaska art, history and Native cultures, children's gallery, library and archives. Permanent collections include paintings by masters Sydney Laurence, Thomas Hill and Rockwell Kent. The museum's library and archives alone hold more than 250,000 historic photographs, including entire collections from some of the state's most prominent photographers.
The newest Anchorage facility, Alaska Native Heritage Center, offers theater and contemporary culture exhibits, including visiting Native artisans. Smaller museums all have a special niche of their own.
At Anaktuvuk Pass in the Brooks Range, traditional home of the Nunamiut, residents honored the memory of one of their esteemed leaders with establishment in 1986 of the Simon Paneak Memorial Museum. At Eagle, on the Canadian border of Interior of Alaska, special tours are offered of the Eagle Historical Society and Museums. There are six historic buildings dating from the end of the 19th century, all in the Eagle Historic District, a National Historic Landmark.
The Sheldon Museum & Cultural Center features the art and culture of Tlingit Indians, plus the history of the area's gold rush era and pioneer days.
Tsimshian Indian heritage is featured at the Duncan Cottage Museum at Metlakatla. At the Clausen Memorial Museum in Petersburg, visitors can learn to peel a shrimp, harvest a forest, make lutefisk and clean a salmon. Skagway residents boast of their Klondike Gold Rush International Historical Park, which features artifacts and historic photographs of the Klondike Gold rush, plus tours, lectures and films. The Valdez Museum & Historical Archive features the community's history from European exploration in the 1700s to contemporary oil transportation. Valdez is the southern terminus of the trans-Alaska oil pipeline from Prudhoe Bay.
The Dorothy Page Museum & Historic Townsite in Wasilla offers a regional history of mining, homesteading, the Iditarod Trail, and dog mushing, plus historic buildings.