The Juneau-Douglas City Museum fosters among its diverse audiences an awareness of Juneau’s cultural heritage, values and community memory so we may draw strength and perspective from the past, inspire learning, and find purpose for the future. As a public trust, we collect, preserve, interpret, and exhibit those materials that document the cultures and history of the Juneau and Douglas area.
General History Gallery
Visit our General History Gallery to learn about Juneau's past and present. This gallery hosts several exhibits highlighting Juneau's diverse cultural heritage. We pack a lot into a small space! The exhibits in our General History Gallery include:
- Juneau's Changing Shoreline: Learn how the land of Juneau has changed through history.
- Juneau's Timeline: View Juneau's history through an old time stereo-viewer.
- Juneau's Community: Learn about the diverse backgrounds of Juneau's homesteaders.
- Outdoor Recreation: Skiing & the Dan Moller Cabin: Learn how skiing evolved in Douglas.
- Businesses: View over 175 objects representing Juneau local businesses and industries, past and present.
- The Montana Creek Fish Trap: Witness a 500-700 year old basketry stye Native fish trap.
- Fishing: Learn the history of Tlingit fishing methods, recreational fishing in Juneau, and the commercial fishing industry.
- Wood & Waterways: A Look at Tlingit Canoes: Learn the steps to make a canoe and identify different types of paddles.
- Life on the Water: This exhibit celebrates Juneau’s unique maritime lifestyle.
General History Gallery: Tlingit Culture and History
This section of our General History Gallery celebrates the rich history of the Tlingit, Juneau's first people. Learn about the complex family and clan relationships of the Tlingit people and the local Aak'w Kwáan and T'aaku Kwáan (clans).
- View a 500-700 year old basketry-style Native fish trap and discover how they work.
- Try your hand at ordering Tlingit canoe construction steps and paddle identification.
- Learn about the founding fathers and mothers of the Alaska Native Brotherhood and Sisterhood and their contributions to Juneau.
- View our trail marker, carved eagle and raven panels, owl transformation mask, spruce root baskets, bentwood box, Ravenstail and Chilkat weaving, and more!
Hands-On Mining Gallery
Put on your hard hat and come explore Juneau's mining history and mining practices in our interactive Museum environment. Our hands-on mining gallery includes a variety of interactive exhibits including:
- Local rocks, minerals and ore.
- Illustrated books on local geology, mining history and the history of Tlingit use of rocks.
- An interactive cross-section of the Treadwell Mine cave-in of 1917.
- A working stamp mill replica and mill ball display.
- An interactive hydropower exhibit related to the Salmon Creek Dam.
In addition to the interactives, our hands-on mining room includes an Assay Lab Exhibit, a Hard Rock Mining Exhibit, a cross section of a hard rock mine, and digital historic mining photos. Children will enjoy trying on clothing, miner’s tags and hard hats while communicating through a mine phone.
In Our Video Room: Juneau, City Built on Gold
Created by museum staff, volunteers and community members several years ago, this 26-minute documentary stands the test of time and plays in our video room year-round, highlighting local history, culture, and heritage. It begins with an introduction to Native Alaskan (Tlingit) life in the Juneau area and follows the city's development and history through the gold rush days and the fight for Alaska's statehood. This gallery also features temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Map Case Gallery
Between 1967 and 1971, while a high school student, Loren Adkins, Jr. created a 48 inch by 66 inch by approximately 13 inch relief map of Juneau, covering 200 square miles from downtown Juneau and Douglas Island to Auke Bay, as it appeared in 1967. This map is detailed and accurate to a scale of 4 inches to the mile. A favorite exhibit among locals and visitors alike, it oriented guests to where they are in our town, shows how the city has grown and the the Mendenhall Glacier has receded in the past 50 years. Ask one of our friendly front desk volunteers to take you on a tour around Juneau using this extraordinary map. This gallery also features temporary exhibits throughout the year.
Politics, Personalities & Power Gallery
View digital stories about the Quest for Statehood and Alaska's Capital on either of these interactive kiosks located in our Politics, Personalities and Power gallery.
As the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, it seems only fitting to have an exhibit dedicated to Juneau as Alaska's Capital City. The exhibit features a detailed timeline of events that shaped our capital, artifacts from capital move campaigns and interactive touch-screens that feature a number of historical and cultural topics including: The Quest for Statehood, Elizabeth Peratrovich and Civil Rights, Alaska's Government and Cultures of Juneau.
The Museum's digital stories project received the Leadership in History Award of Merit from the American Association of State and Local History in September 2011.