Palmer's history comes alive in a new photo collection project by the Palmer Museum of History and Art.

The Matanuska Valley Historical Photo Project is an online database that is available to the public that contains the best photographs from the museum's collection of more than 10,000. The database is searchable and contains online galleries, featured photo blogs and more. Going through the photos is like stepping back in time, with many of the photos collected from the 1930s during the Matanuska Colony project.

The collection is fascinating for history lovers. You'll find photos of the first schoolhouses, stores and Colony barns that are iconic even today.

The project has three primary goals - to collect images depicting people, places and activities of the greater Palmer area; to gather, preserve and share stories about the images; and to make the images easily available to the community.

"We're always looking to add images to our collection at the museum, and we appreciate people donating old photos," said Sam Dinges, executive director of the Palmer Museum of History and Art.

The project was made possible through a generous grant by the Matanuska Telephone Association Foundation, Dinges said. They have been working since 2017 to scan high resolution images and add information to the photos, including locations and possibly identifying people in them. The project is managed by the museum in partnership with Last Frontier Media.

"It's really a project for the entire community," Dinges said.