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Catalog Data

Bernard, Joseph-Fidèle, 1878-1972  Search this
11 Glass plate negatives
11 Copy negatives
Inupiaq (Alaskan Inupiat Eskimo)  Search this
Yuit (Siberian Yup'ik)  Search this
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Glass plate negatives
Copy negatives
Siberia (Russia)
The Joseph-Fidèle Bernard photographs from Alaska consists of negatives taken by Bernard in 1921 among the Inupiaq (Alaska Inupiat Eskimo) and Siberian Yu'pik communities. Bernard was an artic trader, trapper and captain of the schooner "Teddy Bear."
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 11 black and white glass negatives, taken by Joseph-Fidèle Bernard in 1921, along with 11 copy negatives (acetate) made by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation in the 1960's. The images include scenes of daily life in Nome, Alaska among the Inupiaq (Alaskan Inupiat Eskimo) community. The majority of the image are portraits of men, women and children. None of those photographed have been identified. In additon to the photographs in Nome, there is one view of a Siberian Yu'pik vilage in East Cape, Siberia, and one view of a kayak storage location in Cape of Prince of Wales, Alaska.
The negatives are arranged in original catalog number order; N08110-N08120.
Biographical / Historical:
Born in 1878 in Tignish, Prince Edward Island, Canada, Joseph-Fidèle Bernard was an arctic trader, trapper and captain/owner of the schooner "Teddy Bear"(based in Nome, Alaska). He assisted Canadian ethnologist/explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962) and anthropologist Diamond Jenness (1886-1969) on their travels in Alaska and upper Canada. Bernard was in Coronation Gulf in 1910 and remained there for extended periods between 1910-1914, trading for furs and ethnographic objects. Nearby Bernard Harbour is named for him. In 1921, Bernard and the Teddy Bear became locked in the ice on their way from Nome to Wrangell Island to rescue members of Stefansson's party. Bernard later settled in Cordova, Alaska, where he was harbor master. He died in 1972 in Sitka.
Related Materials:
Additional collections with Joseph F. Bernard materials iclude the Joseph F. Bernard papers, 1900-1970, at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Elmer E. Rasmuson Library and the Joseph-Fidele Bernard photograph collection, 1901-1923, at the Alaska State Library.
This collection was likley a purchase from Joseph-Fidèle Bernard around 1923 by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation.
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email:
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.
Photographs  Search this
Indians of North America -- Alaska  Search this
Teddy Bear (Schooner)  Search this
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Joseph-Fidèle Bernard photographs from Alaska, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
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Joseph-Fidèle Bernard photographs from Alaska
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian