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BP donates $1 million to archive Stevens' papers

FAIRBANKS, Alaska-A $1 million BP donation to the University of Alaska Fairbanks will allow the Rasmuson Library to catalog and process more than 4,500 boxes of papers and media from the congressional career of former U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens.

The donation, made in partnership with the North to the Future Foundation, will span two years. UAF announced the gift at a Wednesday evening donor reception. It will allow the library to hire staff to catalog and preserve Stevens' public policy papers, digitize audio and visual materials, create an online exhibit and electronic catalog, and maintain the collection.

"BP is glad for the chance to help make this rich collection accessible to students, researchers and others who wish to learn about the remarkable career of Sen. Ted Stevens and his enduring influence on the state of Alaska," said Phil Cochrane, vice president external affairs for BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc.

Stevens deposited his papers and records at Rasmuson Library earlier this year. They span his four decades in the U.S. Senate and include documents, audio and video recordings, and other media from some of the most pivotal moments in the state's history, from the passage of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act to the construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline to the creation of a missile defense system based primarily in Alaska. Processing the papers is expected to take several years.

"This significant donation will permit us to process, preserve, describe, and provide digital and on-site access to a treasure trove of critical historical documents in Alaska's history," said James Huesmann, dean of libraries at UAF. "Sen. Stevens' contributions to Alaska, the nation and the world have been immense and these primary documents will help later generations of researchers, students and citizens understand his impact on our lives and the lives of those to come."

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