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.
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 all of the photographs from the Library to the BAE.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 59
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Library of Congress Copyright Office photograph collection of American Indians, 1860s-1930s (bulk 1890s-1920s)
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 American Indians, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
The collection consists of photographs collected by the Albertype Company for their postcards and viewbooks, including portraits, scenery, camps, American Indian schools, and some paintings and composites for postcard printing. Additional subjects include rock drawings in Maine; a statue in Kansas City, Missouri; Standing Rock Monument in North Dakota; people in Atlin, British Columbia; Carib rock drawings in the Virgin Islands; and totem poles in Vancouver.
Included are works of Charles Milton Bell, E. A. Benson, C. R. Bourne, H. E. Brown, William Bull, H. H. Clarke, George B. Cornish, Frank Bennett Fiske, H. Lee Flood, N. W. Halsey, Fred Harvey, H. R. Hazeltine, Kiser Photograph Company, W. H. Martin, C. W. Mathers, Frank Matsura, W. H. Matthewson, Charles E. Morris, Ernest Moses, J. S. Myers, M. OʹConnor, G. W. Parsons, Roland W. Reed, C. B. Robinson , J. E. Stimson, W. M. Stoltz, and H. H. Watkins. Clarke and Fiske, however, are the only photographers with more than a few images.
The Albertype Company, headquartered in Brooklyn, New York, published viewbooks and postcards for national distribution. Founded by Adolph and Herman Witteman, the company began publishing souvenier photographic albums as early as 1867. The Wittemans established Witteman Brothers in 1885, and then the Albertype Company in 1890. From 1890 to 1950, the firm published collotypes made from the photographs of its agents (including Adolph Witteman), other companies, and independent photographers. The firm was purchased in 1952 by Art Vue Post Card Company.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 25
Modern copy negatives and prints made by Smithsonian Institution, circa 1972.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
The Library of Congress, Wisconsin Historical Society, and Historical Society of Pennsylvania also hold original Albertype Company prints and negatives.
Albertype Company views are also held in National Anthropological Archives Photo Lot 88-37, Photo Lot 92-37, and Photo Lot 92-3.
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Albertype Company photograph collection relating to American Indians, circa 1890-1910
Original nitrate negatives are in cold storage and require advanced notice for viewing. Modern copy prints and copy negatives for nearly all images are available.
Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians of North Carolina
These are the papers of Washington, D.C. attorney James E. Curry, whose legal career included work both as a government attorney and in his own private practice. The bulk of the papers reflect his private practice in the area of Indian affairs.
Scope and Contents:
The material in the collection includes documents relating to many aspects of Curry's career but most of it relates to his work with Indian tribes and the National Congress of American Indians. For the most, the collection is made up of such materials as letters exchanged with government officials, Indians, and other attorneys; copies of legal documents; published government documents; notes; and clippings and other printed materials. Of particular significance is a subject file relating to Indian affairs. It includes material concerning affairs of Alaskan natives and the Aleut (Akutan, Pribilof Islands), Apache (including Fort Sill, Jicarilla, Mescalero, San Carlos White Mountain), Arapaho (Southern), Assiniboine (Fort Belknap, Fort Peck), Bannock (including Fort Hall), Blackfeet, Caddo, Catawba, Cherokee (Eastern), Cheyenne (Northern, Southern), Chickahominy, Chickasaw, Chippewa (including Lac Courte Oreilles), Choctaw, Cochiti, Cocopa, Coeur d'Alene, Colville, Comanche, Creek, Croatan, Crow, Dakota (Big Foot, Cheyenne River, Crow Creek, Devil's Lake, Flandreau, Fort Totten, Lower Brule, Mdewakanton, Oglala, Rosebud, Santee, Sisseton-Wahpeton, Standing Rock, Yankton), Delaware, Eskimo (including Gambell, Kiana), Flathead, Fox, Haida (including Kasaan), Havasupai, Hopi, Iroquois (Caughnawaga, Seneca, St. Regis), Isleta, Jemez, Kalilspel, Kansa (Kaw), Kickapoo, Kiowa, Klamath, Kutenai, Laguna, Lummi, Maricopa (Gila River, Salt River), Menominee, Missouria, Mohave (Fort Mohave), Mohave Apache (Fort McDowell), Muckleshoot, Navaho, Nez Perce, Niska, Nooksak, Omaha, Osage, Oto, Papago, Paiute (Fallon, Fort McDermitt), Moapa, Pyramid Lake, Shivwits, Walker River, Yerington), Pima (Gila River, Salt River), Potowatomi, Quinaielt, San Felipe, San Ildefonso, San Juan, Santa Ana, Santa Clara, Sandia, Sauk, Seminole (Florida, Oklahoma), Seneca, Seri, Shawnee (Eastern), Shoshoni (including Fort Hall), Sia, Spokan, Stockbridge, Taos (Pyote clan), Tesuque, Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Arikara, and Hidatsa), Tillamook, Tlingit (including Angoon, Craig, Juneau, Kake, Ketchikan, Klawak, Klukwan, Taku, Wrangell), Tsimshian (Metlakatla), Umatilla, Ute (including Uintah-Ouray), Walapai, Washo, Wesort, Winnebago, Wyandot, Yakima, Yaqui, Yavapai, Yuma, and Zuni. There are also materials relating to Curry's work with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and National Congress of American Indians, and material that reflects his interest in conditions and events in given locations (often filed by state) and in organizations with interest in Indians. The material relating to Curry's work in Puerto Rico has been deposited in the Archivo General de Puerto Rico, Instituto de Cultura Puertorriquena, in San Juan.
The James E. Curry Papershave been arranged into 6 series: (1) Daily Chronological Files, 1941-1955; (2) Subject Files Regarding Indian Affairs, bulk 1935-1955; (3) Miscellaneous Files Regarding Indian Affairs, bulk 1947-1953; (4) Non-Indian Affairs, n.d.; (5) Puerto Rico Work, 1941-1947; (6) Miscellany, undated.
James E. Curry was trained in law in Chicago and practiced in that city from 1930 until 1936, serving part of that time as secretary of the local branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. From 1936 to 1938, he was an attorney with the United States Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs, being largely involved with matters of credit affecting Indians. From 1938 to 1942, he continued service with the Interior Department but worked in several capacities involving the Puerto Rico Reconstruction Administration, the department's Consumers' Counsel Division, and the Puerto Rico Water Resources Authority.
In 1945, Curry returned to Washington and set up private practice, also maintaining for a time an office in Puerto Rico. In Washington, he became the attorney for the National Congress of American Indians and from that time until the 1950s his practice increasingly involved representation of American Indian tribes, mostly in claims against the federal government. In this work, for a time, he was involved in business relations with a New York Law firm that included Henry Cohen, Felix Cohen, and Jonathan Bingham.
He also often worked closely with lawyers who lived near the tribes he represented, William L. Paul, Jr., of Alaska, for example. This aspect of his practice--representing Indian tribes--was largely broken up during the early 1950s when the Commissioner of Indian Affairs began to use his powers to disapprove contracts between Curry and the tribes. In 1952 and 1953, his official relationship with the National Congress of American Indians was also ended. After this, while Curry continued until his death to act as a consultant in Indian claims with which he had earlier been involved, his career and life developed in a different direction.
Additional material relating to James E. Curry can be found in the records of the National Congress of American Indians, also located at the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center.
The Curry papers were originally donated to the National Anthropological Archives by James E. Curry's daughter Mrs. Aileen Curry-Cloonan in December 1973. In 2007 The Curry papers were transferred from the National Anthropological Archives to the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center along with several other records concerning American Indian law and political rights.
Access to NMAI Archive 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: email@example.com).
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); James E. Curry papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Photographs relating to American Indian 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 Indians, 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 Indians 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 collected 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.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 90-1
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George V. Allen photograph collection of American Indians and the American frontier, circa 1860-1935
Indians of North America -- Southern States Search this
Scope and Contents:
Printed by Ed. Weber & Co., Baltimore, 1842. Inscribed, "Drawn on stone by Ferdinand Pettrich," and numbered Plates I-V with brief captions for the individual portraits and scenes illustrated. The tribes represented are "Sious of the Mississippi," Winnebago, Creek, Yankton Sious," Sac, Fox, and "Mohcogonuck" (Mohegan?).
Contents: Adirondack tribe (St Lawrence River) Old Manuscript Number 3553. Adoption Old Manuscript Number 4007. Refers to Algonquian method of counting -only; see Haas note 2/18/72; Old Manuscript Number 3864. "Alligewi"; Animism Old Manuscript Number 3867 and 2842-c, box 6. Blood Indians, origin of name; Brant, Joseph Old Manuscript Number 3874. Chippewa, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3646. Chiefs, function and significance of Old Manuscript Number 2842-c, box 6. Delaware tribe, New Jersey area claimed by Old Manuscript Number 3866. Detroit River, tribes near; Ekaentoton Island-- see Ste. Marie Island Environment (Bulletin 30 draft by O. T. Mason) Old Manuscript Number 4007. Erie, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3646. Erie and Black Mincqua tribes Old Manuscript Number 3586. [Eskimo] Arctic tribes, leaving elderly and sick people to die Old Manuscript Number 3668. Family, Bulletin 30 draft and notes Old Manuscript Number 4011 and 2842-c, box 6. Grand River (Tinaatoua), name of; Hebrew calendar; Hewitt, list of Bulletin 30 articles by Old Manuscript Number 4066. Hoboken, origin of name; Iroquois, "On the Northern and Eastern Territorial Limits of the Iroquoian people, in the 16th Century," and Algonquian tribes, at Chaleur Bay. Iroquois at Gulf of St Lawrence and Bay of Gaspe Old Manuscript Number 3625.
Iroquois, location of Six Nations tribes reservations Old Manuscript Number 3763. Iroquois false face; Iroquois preparation of corn ("as food") Old Manuscript Number 4009. Iroquoian early dress Old Manuscript Number 3660. Iroquoian "Gachoi" tribe, identity of (Correspondence with F. Bogaskie.) Old Manuscript Number 3816. Iroquoian moon names and concept of time; Iroquoian social organization, and place name-name origins; "Man," Iroquoian term for Old Manuscript Number 3781. Iroquoian towns Old Manuscript Number 4006. Kentucky, meaning of the word; Kentucky, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3840. Lenni Lenape, meaning of the word; Logstown-- see Shenango Old Manuscript Number 3773. Lost Ten Tribes as American Indians Old Manuscript Number 3670. Mayan linguistic family and other Mayan linguistic notes including Quiche and Tepehuanan notes Old Manuscript Number 3473. Mexico: idols, sacrifices, etc. Old Manuscript Number 3807. Mexico: Indian languages. Letter from Captain W.E.W. MacKinley Old Manuscript Number 3778. Missouri, Indian village, location of Old Manuscript Number 3944. Mohawk land near Lake Champlain; Mohawk grammar; Montour family, notes for Bulletin 30 Old Manuscript Number 3812. Muskhogean social organization. Letter from J. J. Harrison. Old Manuscript Number 3891. New England tribes Old Manuscript Number 3513.
Niagara, origin of name; "Old Smoke"-- see Sayenqueraghta Old Manuscript Number 3949. Onondaga tribe, text of memorial inscription to, and correspondence Old Manuscript 4391 and 4271- box 1 (part.) Ontwaganha or Toaganha, origin and meaning of name Old Manuscript Number 3864. Owego, meaning of town's name; Pekwanoket tribe (Cape Cod); Pemaquid, Abnaki word and its origin Old Manuscript Number 89. Piasa bird- pictograph formerly near present Alton, Illinois. Article is similar to that by Cyrus Thomas, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 30. Old Manuscript Number 3981. Potawatomi, notes on the name Old Manuscript Number 4034. Potawatomi Green Corn Dance; Roanoke, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3998. Sacagawea, spelling of; St Ignace, 3 settlements (Michigan); St Marie Island or Ekaentoton Island; Sauk, Bulletin 30 article and galley proof, notes Old Manuscript Number 3764. Sayenqueraghta or "Old Smoke" (correspondence with Alanson Skinner) Old Manuscript Number 3949. Scalping Old Manuscript Number 4025. Shenango and Logstown Old Manuscript Number 3773. Sioux, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3624. Society of American Indians, resolutions by thanking General Hugh L. Scott, Fr. Anselm Webber and others Old Manuscript Number 3868. Susquehanna, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3707. Tacoma, origin of name Old Manuscript Number 3470.
Thunderbird, notes on Old Manuscript Number 3552. Tinaatoa-- see Grand River; Toronto, origin of name; Tuscarora villages Old Manuscript Number 3998. Wampum Old Manuscript Number 3998. War club with inscription; West Virginia panhandle tribes Old Manuscript Number 3945. Williams, Eleazer Old Manuscript Number 3998. Women, status of Old Manuscript Number 3566. Wyandots (Huron) List of tribes of which Wyandots of today are constituted. Old Manuscript Number 3774.
In December 1805, Thomas Jefferson hosted a delegation to Washington DC of representatives of Indian tribes from Louisiana Territory. Early in the new year (1806), several members of the delegation traveled to Philadelphia. There they visited Charles Willson Peale's Museum and some had their silhouettes taken by Peale's physiognotrace.
Included are images of Joseph Barron (Baume), interpreter; Paul Choteau, interpreter, an Osage; Shegagahega, a Pawnee; Pagesgatse, a Pawnee; Tahawarra, perhaps a Missouria; Macapaba, perhaps a Missouria, Waconsca, perhaps a Kansa; and Sagessage ("The Wind"), an Osage. There are two items labeled number 10, one of which is possibly Mechenecka, a Sac.
The other silhouettes are undated. They include two labeled Titian R. Peale, and one labled "Black Hawk's son".
NAA MS 7129
OPPS NEG MHT 55,527-536
OPPS NEG 84-14405-407
The silhouettes of the delegates are described in John C. Ewers' " 'Chiefs from the Missouri and the Mississippi' and Peale's Silhouettes of 1860," Smithsonian Journal of History, Spring 1966, pages 1-26.
Transferred from the Division of Domestic Life, NMHT, December 7, 1979 (arrived in NAA in March 1980). Acc. 222,036.