These are mostly nineteenth-century prints of some negatives in the glass negative collection. Included are a few images made from negatives that apparently have since been broken or lost. Some of the prints were acquired by the Department of Anthropology of the United States National Museum and have accession and/or catalog numbers. Others were apparently made for exhibit purposes. The collection has not been sufficiently studied to allow the positive identification of the print makers but many were probably prepared by Charles Milton Bell, De Lancey W. Gill, John K. Hillers, and Antonio Zeno Shindler. Some of the prints have been hand colored by Shindler.
Roughly by tribe
Prints of Indian Negatives, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Photograph albums prepared by the Bureau of American Ethnology or the photographic lab, possibly for reference purposes by staff. The use of such albums has been mentioned by BAE photographer De Lancey W. Gill. The albums contain photographs made from the Bureau of American Ethnology's collection of negatives, documenting Apache, Arapaho, Assiniboin, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Cocopa, Dakota, Flathead, Fox, Iowa, Kalispel, Kiowa Apache, Nez Perce, Omaha, Osage, Ponca, Santa Clara, Sauk, Shoshoni, Spokane Tonkawa, Wichita, and Winnebago people. The bulk of the photographs are studio portraits, made at the Trans-Mississippi Exposition in Omaha in 1898 or during delegation visits to Washington, DC. There are also other photographs made during Victor Mindeleffʹs work in Chaco Canyon, and on W J McGeeʹs expedition to Sonora, Mexico, in 1900.
Photographers include Charles Milton Bell, William Dinwiddie, Alexander Gardner, De Lancey W. Gill, John K. Hillers, William Henry Jackson, Frank Albert Rinehart, Wells Moses Sawyer, Antonio Zeno Shindler, Victor or Cosmos Mindeleff, Julian Vannerson with Samuel A. Cohner. Included are negative numbers formerly used by BAE, but the National Anthropological Archives also annotated them with current negative numbers.
Titles of the albums are (1) Omaha and Winnebago; (2) miscellaneous; (3) Sauk and Fox; (4) miscellaneous; (5) Arapaho and Cheyenne; (6) Chiricahua, San Carlos, and Apache; (7) Sauk and Fox; (8) Osage, Shoshoni and Nez Perce, Siouan, Oto; (9) Santa Clara and Flathead; (10) Ponca; (11) Sauk and (12) Wichita and Kiowa Apache; (13) Cocopa; and (14) Assiniboin and Blackfoot
The Bureau of American Ethnology was founded in 1879 in part as a result of the federal geological surveys and under the administration of the Smithsonian Institution. Under the directorship of John Wesley Powell (1879-1902), the BAE supported field research by its staff and collaborators, initiated several anthropological publications, and supported the growth of the anthropological discipline, particularly as it related to Native Americans. In addition to its research and publications program, it developed a manuscript repository, library, and an illustrations section that included (in addition to the preparation of artwork for publications) photography and a photographic collection. The BAE commissioned studio portraits of visiting Indian delegates and hired De Lancey Gill served as the its official photographer and illustrator from the 1890s to 1930.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 60
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The National Anthropological Archives also holds the Bureau of American Ethnology records and the BAE historical negatives, as well as Dinwiddie photographs of the W. J. McGee expeditions are held in (Photo Lot 89 and Photo Lot 144), Charles Milton Bell photographs (Photo Lot 80), and additional photographs by most photographers represented in this collection (Photo Lot 59 and Photo Lot 90-1)
See others in:
Bureau of American Ethnology photograph albums of Native Americans, 1858-1905
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 60, Bureau of American Ethnology photograph albums of American Indians, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Studio portraits made by the James E. McClees Studio and published by the Blackmore Museum, depicting Native American visitors to Washington, D.C. The series is identified by an 1863 broadside in the collection as "Photographs of some of the principal Chiefs of the North American Indians, made when they have visited Washington as deputations from their Tribes." Yankton, Sisseton, Mdewakanton, Wahpeton, Pawnee, Potawatomi, Sauk and Fox, Ponca, and Ojibwa people are represented. Three additional portraits depict men (possibly Cree) and were probably made by a different photographer.
James Earl McClees (1821-1887) trained as a daguerreotypist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, before opening a studio in Washington, D.C. in 1857. He was an early user of paper photographic processes and was well-known for photographing delegations of American Indians. His Washington studio, known as the James E. McClees Studio, operated in 1857-1858 with Julian Vannerson (1827-?) and Samuel Cohner as its most established operators. The studio was taken over by Robert W. Addis in 1858. Among Addis's proprietors was Antonio Zeno Schindler, an artist who made copies of photographs for English philanthropist and collector William Blackmore (1827-1878). Blackmore purchased the McClees Studio's negatives from Shindler, later transferring them to the Smithsonian. The Bureau of American Ethnology absorbed the photographs upon its formation in 1878-1879.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 4286
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Additional McClees Studio and Vannerson photographs held in the National Anthropological Archives in the BAE historical negatives and Photo Lot 4420.
Glass negatives relating to William Henry Blackmore, including copies of photographs collected by Blackmore, held in the British Museum and in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 31 and the BAE historical negatives.
Artifacts collected by Blackmore held in the anthropology collections of the National Museum of Natural History in accessions 1846, 2371, and 1826.