Photographs documenting Mexican people in their built and natural environments, as well as industries, markets, and agriculture. The photographs were originally contained in envelopes labeled by William Henry Holmes, who may have collected them during his travels to Mexico. The collection also includes some photographs made in Cuba, Guatemala, and Chile, as well as Holmes's notes on Argentina. The bulk of the photographs were made by William Henry Jackson; additional photographs were made by Charles Edward Doty, E. J. Kildare, Sumner W. Matteson, C. B. Waite, and Corral and Parker studios.
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. Holmes served as head curator for the US National Museum Department of Anthropology from 1897-1902 and head of the BAE from 1902-1909.
William Henry Jackson was a photographer for the US Geological and Geographical Surveys (1870-1878) before he opened a studio in Denver, Colorado, and began making official photographs for various railroad companies. In 1883, he made his first trip to Mexico under the sponsorship of the Mexican Central Railway. On one of his subsequent trips, he was accompanied by William Henry Holmes, who may have collected Jackson's photographs because of this trip.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 87-20
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Manuscripts and notes by Holmes can be found throughout the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4698, MS 2125, MS 7112, and MS 7570.
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds the William Henry Holmes Papers, 1870-1931 (SIA RU007084).
Additional photographs by Jackson can be found in the National Anthropological Archives in Photo Lot 24, Photo Lot 37, Photo Lot 40, Photo Lot 60, Photo Lot 93, Photo Lot 143, Photo Lot 87-2P, Photo Lot 90-1, Photo Lot 92-3, the records of the Department of Anthropology, and the BAE historical negatives.