Photographs of skulls in the United States Army Medical Museum collection, which appear to have been collected for physical anthropological purposes. Included are archeological remains and remains of Native American tribes and some other ethnic groups. Other than tribe or location, data for the specimens include Army Medical Museum specimen number, AMM negative number, and sex; for some, there is also collection data and information on physical or medical conditions. There are also notes identifying donors who included army officers, physicians, scientists, and explorers such as Ferdinand Vandiveer Hayden, Edward Palmer, Frederic Ward Putnam, George Rolleston, Paul Schumacher, and many others. Some of the photographs may have been made as part of the Army Medical Museumʹs program of distributing images of its specimens.
Represented are Africans, Chinook, Choptank, Dakota, Eskimo of Greenland, Taiwanese peoples, Hawaiians, Hidatsa, Nisqually, Philippine peoples, Ponca, Potowatomi, Pueblo, Tonkawa, and Ute. Archeological specimens are from the Aleutian Islands, California, the Dakotas, England (Roman period), Florida, Illinois, Mississippi, New Mexico, Peru, Vancouver Island, and Vermont. For some, there is also information about the status or physical condition of the individual or observations of medical conditions shown in the specimens. Some additional photographs appear to show specimens at the American Museum of Natural History.
The United States Army Medical Museum (AMM, renamed the National Museum of Health and Medicine in 1989) was established by US Army Surgeon General William A. Hammond in 1862. Its initial focus was on collecting specimens of unusual pathology, mostly taken from victims of the American Civil War. By 1867, the museum had expanded to include medical, microsopical, anatomical, comparative anatomics, and other sections. The anatomical collection grew in part as a result of Circular No. 2 of 1867, which authorized military medical officers to collect cranial specimens from deceased Native Americans. Additionally, the AMM made an arrangement with the Smithsonian Institution, by which the Smithsonian transferred their collection of human remains in exchange for ethnological artifacts. AMM photographed and measured many of the specimens in its collection as part of the museum's anthropological research.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 73-26C, NAA Photo Lot 73-26D
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Photographs previously filed in Photo Lot 73-26D have been relocated and merged with Photo Lot 73-26C. These are also Army Medical Museum negatives of skulls and form part of this collection.
Additional Army Medical Museum photographs of skulls can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 6A, Photo Lot 6B, Photo Lot 78-42, Photo Lot 83-41, and Photo Lot 97.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Photo lot 73-26C, United States Army Medical Museum photographs of skulls, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution