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
Contents: Part I-Man. A. Names, locations, and divisions of the tribes. Twanas, Chemakums, Clallams. B. History. C. Population, and causes affecting. D. Progress: In medical practice. In house building. In dress. In implements. In social customs. In education. In morals. In religion. Part II- Surroundings. A. Inorganic. Outline, etc., of Territory. Geology, economic. Climate. Minerals. C. Social. Travels. Commerce. Part III.- Culture. Chapter 1- Means of subsistance: A. Food. Fish and marine mammals. Shell fish. Roots and branches. Wild fruits. Land mammals. Birds. Salt. Cooking. Storing. B. Drinks. Infusions. Ardent spirits. C. Narcotics. D. Savors. E. Medicines. Chapter II- Habitations and other structures and their appurtenance: A. Houses for human occupancy. Potlatch houses. Sweat houses. Large dwelling-houses. Flat-roofed dwelling-houses. Houses with the roof wholly on one side. Government houses. Mat houses. Half-circle camps. Tents of cotton cloth. Out-buildings. B. Appurtenances to dwellings. Doors. Fireplaces. Material for building. C. Furniture and utensils. Beds. Rugs. Mats. Chapter III- Household vessels and utensils: A. For holding water, food, etc. Baskets. Boxes. Dishes. B. For preparing food. C. For serving and eating food. Mats. Baskets. Plate and troughs. Trays. Ladles. Stone dishes. Pipes. Napkins. D. Miscellaneous. Torches.
Chapter IV- Clothing: d. Head clothing. Hats. E. Body clothing. Pantaloons, shirts, and coats. Blankets. Mat-coats. F. Arm clothing. G. Leg and foot clothing. H. Parts of dress. Lace. Fastenings. Fringes. Bead-work. I. Receptacles for dress. Boxes. Baskets. Chapter V- Personal adornments: A. Skin ornamentation. Tattooing. Painting. B. Head ornaments. Head bands. Plumes. Ear pendants. C. Neck ornaments. Necklaces. D. Breast ornaments. E. Ornaments for the limbs. Bracelets. Finger-rings. F. Toilet articles. Combs. Chapter VI- Implements. (I) Of general use. Knives. Axes, and adzes. Wedges. Chisels. Hammers. Awls. (II) Of war and the chase. A. Weapons for striking. Clubs. B. Throwing weapons. Strings and shots. Fire-pots. C. Cutting weapons. D. Thrusting weapons. Spears. E. Projectile weapons. Bows and arrows. Cases for projectiles. F. Defensive weapons. (III) Implements of special use. A. For stone working. C. For bow and arrow-making. D. Fishing implements. Spears and hooks. Traps and nets. Bouys. Sinkers. F. For leather-working. G. Builder's tool. K. For procuring and manufacturing food. L. Agricultural implements. M. For basket-working. Tools. Ornamentation. N. For working fiber. Hacklers. Spindles. Looms. P. For special crafts. Painting. Dyeing. Sand paper. Rope and strings. Of vegetable matter. Of animal matter.
Chapter VII- Locomotion and transportation. A. Traveling by water. Canoes. Large canoes. Shovel canoes. Small canoes. B. Accessories to water travel. Poles. Paddles. Oars. Sails. Rudders. Anchors. Bailing vessels. C. Foot traveling. Snow shoes. D. Land conveyances. Chapter VIII- Measuring and valuing. A. Counting. B. Measuring. Time. Length. Quality. C. Valuing. Chapter IX- Games and pastimes. With bones. A. Gambling: With disks. Women's games. Cards. B. Field sports and festive games. Dancing. Horse-racing. Shooting. Children's plays. Chapter XI- Music: Instruments and accompaniments. Songs. Boat songs. Patriotic songs. Gambling songs. Nursery songs. Funeral songs. War songs. Religious songs. Chapter XII- Art: On baskets. On cloth. On skin. On wood. Carvings. On horn and bone. On metal. On stone. Chapter XIII- Language and literature. A. Language. The Twana. The Skwaksin. The Chemakum. The Chinook jargon. The English language. B. Literature: Tales about thunder and lightning. Tales about the Sun. Proverbs of the Clallams. Fables of the Twanas. The pheasant and the raven. The enchanted husband. The colcine Indian and the wolf. Domesticating wolves. Modern orations.
Chapter XIV- Domestic life: A. Marriage. B. Children. Cradling. Naming. C. Women. Puberty dance. Chapter XV- Social life and customs: A. Eating. B. Cannibalism. C. Potlatches. Potlatch Number 1. Dancing. Gambling. Tamanous. Eating. The potlatch proper, or distribution of gifts. Learning. Potlatch Number 2. Potlatch Number 3. D. Funeral and burial customs. 1st Period. 2nd Period: canoe burial. 3rd Period: scaffold burial in cemeteries. 4th Period: burial in the ground with Indian accessories. 5th Period: civilized burial. Funeral ceremonies. Mourning observances. Cemeteries. Progress. Chapter XVI- Government. A. Organization. B. Laws and regulations. Division of Labor. Property rights. Chapter XVII- Religion. A. Objects and implements of reverence and worship. Supreme Being. Demons. Angelic spirits. Inanimate objects. Images, pictures, etc. Water. Idols. The sun. Implements of worship. Hand-sticks (wands). Head bands. Drums. Rattles. Masks. B. Holy places C. Ecclesiastical organization. Medicine men. Rain-makers.
D. Sacred rites. Tamanous. Finding tamanous. Using tamanous. Tamanous for wind. Tamanous for gambling. Tamanous to produce and cure illness. The crazy tamanous. Tamanous for the living. Tamanous for lost souls. Black tamanous. Purification. Sacrifice. Dancing. E. Myths and traditions. The Flood. Ants. Snakes. F. Beliefs. Dreams. Future existence. Incarnation and metamorphoses. Chapter XVIII- Archeology: Stone age. Skeletons. Shell heaps. List of archeological items in the book.