Children filled the Norwegian Polar Institute's library for exhibit opening

On 20 April, the library was filled by children from a daycare centre in Tromsø, who had contributed with drawings to an exhibit on Norwegian emigrants to Alaska.

Ann Kristin Balto and children from the kindergarten Hundre

Photo Librarian Ann Kristin Balto tells the story of the 1925 Serum Run to a group of youngsters at the opening. Photo: Jan Roald / Norwegian Polar Institute

At the end of the 19th century and early 20th century many Norwegians emigrated to Alaska to try their luck. These Norwegians would become an important part of Alaskan history.

This is the subject of a small exhibit at the Norwegian Polar Institute's library. Aimed at children and adults, the exhibit focuses on the sled dogs Balto and Togo. Driven by northern Norwegians Leonhard Seppala and Gunnar Kaasen, these two dogs led two of the sled teams that, in 1925, carried diphtheria serum to Nome under very difficult circumstances, staving off a major epidemic.

The exhibit consists of posters, maps, artefacts and dozens of drawings of Togo and Balto that children sent in for the exhibit. The exhibit is open to the public during the library's opening hours.

Photos by Jan Roald and Helle Goldman / Norwegian Polar Institute

Slideshow: Exhibit about Norwegian pioneers in Alaska and the Serum Run