Photographs relating to Native Americans or frontier themes, including portraits, expedition photographs, landscapes, and other images of dwellings, transportation, totem poles, ceremonies, infants and children in cradleboards, camps and towns, hunting and fishing, wild west shows, food preparation, funeral customs, the US Army and army posts, cliff dwellings, and grave mounds and excavations. The collection also includes images of prisoners at Fort Marion in 1875, Sioux Indians involved in the Great Sioux Uprising in Minnesota, the Fort Laramie Peace Commission of 1868, Sitting Bull and his followers after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, and the aftermath of the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890.
There are studio portraits of well-known Native Americans, including American Horse, Big Bow, Four Bears, Iron Bull, Ouray, Red Cloud, Red Dog, Red Shirt, Sitting Bull, Spotted Tail, Three Bears, and Two Guns White Calf. Depicted delegations include a Sauk and Fox meeting in Washington, DC, with Lewis V. Bogy and Charles E. Mix in 1867; Kiowas and Cheyennes at the White House in 1863; and Dakotas and Crows who visited President Warren G. Harding in 1921. Images of schools show Worcester Academy in Vinita, Oklahoma; Chilocco Indian School; Carlisle Indian Industrial School; Haskell Instittue, and Albuquerque Indian School.
Some photographs relate to the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, 1876; World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, 1893; Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, 1903; and Centennial Exposition of the Baltimore and Ohio Railraod, 1876. Expedition photographs show the Crook expedition of 1876, the Sanderson expedition to the Custer Battlefield in 1877, the Wheeler Survey of the 1870s, Powell's surveys of the Rocky Mountain region during the 1860s and 1870s, and the Hayden Surveys.
Outstanding single views include the party of Zuni group led to the sea by Frank Hamilton Cushing; Episcopal Church Rectory and School Building, Yankton Agency; Matilda Coxe Stevenson and a companion taking a photographs of a Zuni ceremony; John Moran sketching at Acoma; Ben H. Gurnsey's studio with Indian patrons; Quapaw Mission; baptism of a group of Paiutes at Coeur d'Alene Mission; court-martial commission involved in the trial of Colonel Joseph J. Reynolds, 1877; President Harding at Sitka, Alaska; Walter Hough at Hopi in 1902; and Mrs. Jesse Walter Fewkes at Hopi in 1897.
George V. Allen was an attorney in Lawrence, Kansas and an early member of the National Stereoscope Association. Between the 1950s and 1980s, Allen made an extensive collection of photographs of the American West, mostly in stereographs, but also including cartes-de-visite and other styles of mounted prints, photogravures, lantern slides, autochromes, and glass negatives.
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Anthropology Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Department of Anthropology Search this
Smithsonian Institution. United States National Museum. Department of Anthropology Search this
Scope and Contents:
Includes "Plants Collected by J. G. Owens, identified by Sereno Watson," including notes on their uses; notes and/or letters by J. Walter Fewkes, Walter Hough, Alexander McGregor Stephen, and other (most of the material concerns food gathering, agriculture, and food preparation, also a very small amount of material on other subjects, including ceremonies, trade and pottery; much of the material is word lists); and printed and illustrated material.
Some materials are restricted.
Access to the Department of Anthropology records requires an appointment.
Department of Anthropology Records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
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 S.K. Lothrop collection primarily contains negatives, photographic prints, and lantern slides made by Lothrop while employed by the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation. Lothrop traveled on behalf of the Museum to New Mexico, Argentina, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Peru. The four New Mexico negatives in this collection date from 1915, before Lothrop worked for the Museum, and depict scenes around Zuni. During his 1924 trip to El Salvador, Lothrop photographed volcanos, archaeological sites, antiquities, the landscape, villages, and native peoples engaged in pottery and rope making, food preparation, house building, and ceremonial activities. The 1925 views particularly concentrate on Argentina (but also Chile and Peru). The Argentina materials include views made in the Tierra del Fuego (also part of Chile), including depictions of the daily lives and ceremonial activities of natives peoples of Tierra del Fuego--Selk'nam (Ona) and Yámana (Yagán/Yahgan); the Patagonia landscape; and excavations undertaken by the Museum's La Plata Expedition. The 1928 Guatemala views include depictions of Mayan ruins of Zaculeu and of Tz'utuhil Maya (Tzutuhil/Zutigil), Quiché Maya (Quiche), and Kaqchikel Maya (Cakchiquel) people engaged in weaving, rope making, canoeing, and ceremonial actitivies. The collection also contains photographs made by Lothrop before he worked for the Museum, including 1915 views of effigy mounds in Wisconsin and views at Hopi, Acoma, and Santa Clara; 1917 views of Panama, Honduras, Costa Rica, and El Salvador; and 1918 views of Guatemala, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Nicaragua.
Samuel Kirkland Lothrop was an archaeologist and photographer who extensively traveled and worked throughout Central America and South America. George Gustav Heye originally hired Lothrop to research native Guatemalan and El Salvadoran textiles and pottery. He subsequently excavated on behalf of the Museum of the American Indian in such places as the Tierra del Fuego. Here he photographed indigenous communities who would not survive the twentieth century as a distinct culture group. In 1923, he also photographed the activities of the Hendricks-Hodge Hawikku Expedition excavations. In addition to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, the Peabody Museum and the Carnegie Institute sponsored his research and archaeological work.
Historically, the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation managed all photographic and related manuscript collections separately. This collection description represents current management practices of organizing and contextualizing related archival materials.
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
Copyright: National Museum of the American Indian
Indians of Central America -- Guatemala -- Photographs Search this
Indians of Central America -- El Salvador -- Photographs Search this
Fuegians -- Social life and customs -- Photographs Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Argentina -- Photographs Search this
S. K. Lothrop collection of negatives, photographs and lantern slides, 1915-1928, National Museum of the American Indian Archives, Smithsonian Institution (negative, slide or catalog number).