The collection consists of photographs relating to Native Americans, which were submitted to the copyright office of the Library of Congress in and around the early 20th century. Many of the photographs are studio portraits as well as photographs made as part of expeditions and railroad surveys. It includes images of people, dwellings and other structures, agriculture, arts and crafts, burials, ceremonies and dances, games, food preparation, transportation, and scenic views. Some of the photographs were posed to illustrate literary works, including Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Hiawatha, while others depict paintings or other artwork.
Collection is organized alphabetically by copyright claimant.
The collection was formed from submissions made to the Library of Congress as part of the copyright registration process. In 1949, arrangements were made to allow the Bureau of American Ethnology to copy the collection and some negatives were made at that time, largely from the Heyn and Matzen photographs. The project was soon abandoned, however, as too large an undertaking for the facilities of the BAE. In 1957-1958, arrangements were begun by William C. Sturtevant of the BAE to transfer a set of the photographs from the Library of Congress to the BAE.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 59
In 1965, the Bureau merged with the Smithsonian's Department of Anthropology to form the Smithsonian Office of Anthropology, and in 1968 the Office of Anthropology Archives transformed into the National Anthropological Archives.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo Lot 59, Library of Congress Copyright Office photograph collection of Native Americans, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The collection consists of photographs collected by the Albertype Company for their postcards and viewbooks, including portraits, scenery, camps, Native Americans schools, and some paintings and composites for postcard printing. Additional subjects include rock drawings in Maine; a statue in Kansas City, Missouri; Standing Rock Monument in North Dakota; people in Atlin, British Columbia; Carib rock drawings in the Virgin Islands; and totem poles in Vancouver.
Included are works of Charles Milton Bell, E. A. Benson, C. R. Bourne, H. E. Brown, William Bull, H. H. Clarke, George B. Cornish, Frank Bennett Fiske, H. Lee Flood, N. W. Halsey, Fred Harvey, H. R. Hazeltine, Kiser Photograph Company, W. H. Martin, C. W. Mathers, Frank Matsura, W. H. Matthewson, Charles E. Morris, Ernest Moses, J. S. Myers, M. OʹConnor, G. W. Parsons, Roland W. Reed, C. B. Robinson , J. E. Stimson, W. M. Stoltz, and H. H. Watkins. Clarke and Fiske, however, are the only photographers with more than a few images.
The Albertype Company, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, published viewbooks and postcards for national distribution. Founded by Adolph and Herman Witteman, the company began publishing souvenier photographic albums as early as 1867. The Wittemans established Witteman Brothers in 1885, and then the Albertype Company in 1890. From 1890 to 1950, the firm published collotypes made from the photographs of its agents (including Adolph Witteman), other companies, and independent photographers. The firm was purchased in 1952 by Art Vue Post Card Company.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 25
Modern copy negatives and prints made by Smithsonian Institution, circa 1972.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The Library of Congress, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Historical Society of Pennsylvania also hold original Albertype Company prints and negatives.
Albertype Company views are also held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 88-37, Photo Lot 92-37, and Photo Lot 92-3.
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing. Modern copy prints and copy negatives for nearly all images are available.