Notes on the Unalaska Islands Department, Compiled by Father Ioann Veniaminov, Part One


This book is the first volume in a two-part overview of the Unalaska Islands (also known today as the Fox Islands). It provides a detailed description of the wildlife, topography, weather, and native inhabitants of the region. The book even includes charts of temperatures and barometric pressure readings by month for several years. It was written by Father Ioann Veniaminov (1797–1879), who later became Saint Innocent of Alaska. Veniaminov was one of the greatest of the Russian Orthodox missionaries to Russian America, as the Russian colonies along the west coast of North America were then known. Russian traders began exploring the coast in the mid-18th century and the first permanent Russian settlement was established at Unalaska in 1772‒75. The first Russian Orthodox missions were established in 1794. Veniaminov volunteered to go to Alaska in 1823 and was deeply interested in the life and culture of the people in the colony. He learned several native languages and created alphabets for several of them in order to create Alaskan versions of the catechism and Bible. After Veniaminov returned to Russia, he served as metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, the second-highest position in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was canonized by the church in 1977. Published in Saint Petersburg in 1840, the book is preserved in the collections of the National Library of Russia. It was digitized for the Meeting of Frontiers digital library project in the early 2000s.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

St. Petersburg


Title in Original Language

Записки объ островахъ Уналашкинскаго отдѣла. Составленная И. Венiаминовымъ. Часть первая

Type of Item

Physical Description

364 pages : tables ; 22 x 15 centimeters

Last updated: January 10, 2018