The majority of the collection documents Northwest Coast scenery, people, and settlements; these include photographs made by Franz Boas during US Fish Commission expeditions on the USS Albatross, as well as engravings made for publications on Northwest Coast Indians by Franz Boas and Albert Parker Niblack. Another large portion of the collection consists of reference prints relating to American Indians, Ainu people and Japan, Polynesia, the Philippines, Bonin Islands, and Peru. Many of these were copied from the central negative file of the National Museum of Natural History as well as other museums. There are also photographs, many by C. H. Townsend, made during the Fish Commission expeditions to Puerto Rico on the USS Fish Hawk and some taken by N. B. Mills during an expedition that traveled on the USS Albatross to Baja California and the Galapagos Islands.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 82, NAA Photo Lot 83
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives also holds Niblack's notes concerning Northwest Coast Indians, circa 1885-1889 (MS 4513), additional photographs by Romyn Hitchcock of Ainu (Photo Lot 77-38), additional C. H. Townsend photographs (in Photo Lot 24), original Matilda Coxe Stevenson photographs (Photo Lot 23), and original negatives made by Niblack (in BAE historical negatives).
The United States Fish Commission Records are held by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
The American Philosophical Society holds the Franz Boas papers.
Albert Parker Niblack's papers are held by J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, and William Henry Smith Memorial Library, Indiana Historical Society.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lots 82 and 83, Collection of photographs relating to the Northwest Coast and American Indians, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution