This collection of copy negatives was taken approximately between 1896 and 1920 by the Lomen Brothers Studio among Inuit communities in Canada and Inupiaq communities in Alaska. Photographers include the Lomen brothers and Albert D. Kinne (1835-1925).
Scope and Contents:
This collection is currently unprocessed. Copy negatives include N35405–N35477.
Arranged by catalog number.
Biographical / Historical:
The Lomen Brothers Co. Was a photography studio founded in Nome, Alaska in 1908 by brothers Carl, Harry, Alfred, and Ralph Lomen. Gudbrand J. Lomen originally came to Nome, Alaska with his son George as part of the 1900 gold rush. G.J. Lomen soon established a profitable law practice in Nome. In 1903, G.J. Lomen's wife, daughter Helen, and sons Ralph, Harry and Alfred moved from Minnesota to join him in Nome. G.J. Lomen's son George arrived in Nome in 1906, opening a men's furnishing store in 1907. The family was involved in many commercial and civic interests including law, the Lomen Reindeer Corporation, lighterage, and retail.
In 1908, the brothers bought a photographic studio. Carl, Harry, Alfred, and Ralph Lomen were partners in the business. Harry managed the studio, and all four took photographs; however, Alfred became the most avid photographer. As part of their photography business, the Lomens regularly purchased the negatives of several other photographers including Dobbs, Nowell, Goetze and Kinne to be reissued under the Lomen Brothers Co. studio name. Their photographs focused on a variety of subjects related to Nome and the surrounding areas, including Nome mining operations, business in Nome, dogsled teams, ships and boats, aviation, and indigenous communities throughout Alaska and Canada.
In September 1934, a fire destroyed their studio along with 25,000-30,000 negatives and 50,000 commercial prints. Approximately 3,000 negatives were salvaged. The Lomens never reopened their photography business. By the 1940s they had all moved to Seattle, Washington, where George died in 1934, Alfred in 1950, Harry in 1957, and Carl in 1965.
Adapted from Archives West, Orbis Cascade Alliance.
Photographs received and copied from the Glenbow Museum in a 1967 exchange.
Access to NMAI Archives Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. Please submit a written request to email@example.com. For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian. For more information please see the Smithsonian's
and NMAI Archive Center's
Digital Image request
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Lomen Brothers Studio copy negatives from Alaska and Canada, image #, NMAI.AC.164; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, 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