Photographs documenting archeological sites in Mexico, including Chichen Itza, Mitla, Palenque, Texcotzingo, Uxmal, Xochicalco, Quirigua, and Copan. Some of the prints were originally framed and captioned; these may have formed an exhibit or display, possibly in Holmesʹs office. Photographers include Allison V. Armour, Alfred Percival Maudsley, and E. H. Thompson.
William Henry Holmes (1846-1933) was an artist, geologist, and archeologist who spent most of his career with the United States Geological Survey of the Territories, United States Geological Survey, Bureau of American Ethnology, and Department of Anthropology of the Smithsonian. From 1894-1897, he was the head of anthropology at the Field Columbian Museum (Field Museum of Natural History) and on the staff of the University of Chicago. During this time, he carried out investigations of ancient ruins in the Yucatan and other areas of Mesoamerica as a member of an expedition of Allison V. Armour. Many of the prints in this collection seem to relate to that expedition, and similar images were published in Holmesʹs reports in the Field Columbian Museum Anthropological Series, volume 1, number 1, 1895. Holmes served as head curator for the US National Museum Department of Anthropology from 1897-1902 and head of the BAE from 1902-1909.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 73-44, NAA Photo Lot 66B, USNM ACC 89688
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photo Lot 66B has been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 73-44. These photographs were also collected by William Henry Holmes and form part of this collection.
Correspondence by Holmes can be found throughout the National Anthropological Archives in MS 7206, the records of the Bureau of American Ethnology, and the records of the Department of Anthropology.
Manuscripts and notes by Holmes can be found throughout the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4698, MS 2125, MS 7112, and MS 7570.
The William Henry Holmes Papers, 1870-1931 (SIA RU007084), are held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 73-44, William Henry Holmes photograph collection relating to archeological sites in Mexico and Mesoamerica, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution