Photographs depicting American Indian baskets and portraits of American Indians with whom C. Hart Merriam worked, as well as scenic views and images of animals and plants, mostly in California. Many of the photographs were made by Merriam himself or his daughter Zenaida Merriam Talbot. In addition, Merriam collected photographs from other researchers and photographers, including J. S. Diller, John Peabody Harrington, Henry Wetherbee Henshaw, and O. E. Meddaugh. There are also images acquired from the Boysen Studio of Yosemite and photographs of Mark Twain, John Muir, basketmaker Maggie James, and Merriam's family.
Clinton Hart Merriam (1855-1942) was a Columbia University-educated physician who worked as a naturalist, including as head of the Biological Survey for the US Department of Agriculture. He joined the Harriman Alaska Expedition as a zoologist in 1899. In 1910, he left the USDA and began to conduct research among the California tribes. Financed by Mary W. Harriman and the E. H. Harriman Fund administered by the Smithsonian, he researched tribes' vocabularies, history, mythology, crafts (particularly basketmaking) until about 1936. His resarch was assisted by his daughter, Zenaida, who took photographs and painted glass slides for him. Merriam served as President of the Anthropological Society of Washington in 1920-1921.
Local Call Number(s):
NAA Photo Lot 74-27
Additional information supplied by Marvin Shodas.
Location of Other Archival Materials:
Merriam's notes held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 1563 and in the Smithsonian Institution Archives in SIA Acc. 12-264.
Additional photographs by Merriam held in the National Museum of American Indian Archives in the Mary Harriman Rumsey Photograph Collection and the Harriman Alaska Expedition Photograph Collection.
Correspondence from Merriam held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4558, the Department of Anthropology records (Manuscript and Pamphlet file), Bureau of American Ethnology records, J.C. Pilling Papers, Ales Hrdlicka Papers, and Jesse Logan Nusbaum Papers.
The Bancroft Library at University of California, Berkeley holds the C. Hart Merriam Papers, C. Hart Merriam Collection of Native American Photographs (prints corresponding to negatives in this collection), and C. Hart Merriam pictorial collection.
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Merriamʹs family has requested that credit be given the C. Hart Merriam collection whenever the photographs are used.
Walker, Winslow M. (Winslow Metcalf), 1903-1996 Search this
8.67 Linear feet (8 boxes and 9 map folders)
4 Volumes (4 albums of nitrate negatives)
The nitrate negative albums are located in nitrate cold storage.
The Tulamniu C.W.A. Project SLF-76 excavated a group of large shell mounds near Taft, California, in the upper San Joaquin valley. The site had previously been located and tentatively identified as the village site of Tulamniu. The project was directed by Dr. William Duncan Strong, assisted by Winslow M. Walker. Two trained California archaeologists, W. R. Wedel, from the University of California, and E. F. Walker of the Southwest Museum, assisted. This collection includes field notes, records, specimen catalogues, correspondence, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, reference articles, maps, and charts and tables generated by the expedition. There is material mentioned in reports which is not included in this collection.
Scope and Contents:
Included in this collection are the field notes of Winslow Walker, E. F. Walker and other technicians; records; specimen catalogues; correspondence; a scrapbook of newspaper clippings; reference articles; maps; and charts and tables generated by the expedition. Cartographic materials comprise more than half of this collection. Dates of materials range from a 1905 U.S. Geological Survey Map to correspondence dated 1937.
There are no official reports of the project in this collection. These may be found in the Explorations and Field-Work of the Smithsonian Institution in 1934 (1935) where there is an article by Winslow Walker, "Excavating Ancient Yokuts Shellmounds in California" and BAE Bulletin 130 (1941), which contains "Archaeological Investigations at Buena Vista Lake, Kern County, California," by T. Dale Stewart.
The collection is incomplete since there is material mentioned in the Wedel report, notable text and several tables, which is not on deposit. Also missing are administrative records.
The William Duncan Strong papers, also located in the National Anthropological Archives, do not contain material concerning this expedition.
Arranged into the following series: (1) Winslow M. Walker's field notes, 1933-1934; (2) Notebooks of Field Notes, Burial and House Records, 1933-1934; (3) Catalogs of Specimens, circa 1933-1934; (4) Notes about Artifacts, circa 1933-1934; (5) Scrapbook of Newspaper Clippings, 1933-1934; (6) Correspondence, 1933-1937; (7) Reference Material, 1910-1937; (8) Photographic Records, 1920-1934; (9) Miscellaneous, 1934; (10) Maps, 1905-1934; (11) Charts and Tables, circa 1933-1934; (12) Cross Sections, Profiles, Stratigraphs, circa 1933-1934
This collection is the result of the vast Civil Works Administration program under the supervision of the Smithsonian Institution. During the winter of 1933-1934, the Tulamniu C.W.A. Project SLF-76 excavated a group of large shell mounds near Taft, California, in the upper San Joaquin valley. The site had previously been located and tentatively identified as the village site of Tulamniu, "the place of the Tulamni, or Tule dwellers." The Tulamni were one of the lake tribes of Yokuts first visited in 1772 by Spaniards. Because the excavation would require the labor of a large force of men for a considerable period of time, it was a desirable location for the archaeological project allotted to the BAE in California, according to Winslow Walker's report.
More than 4000 artifacts and hundreds of Indian burials were excavated at the site of the Yokut Indian village near Taft, California, in 1933-34. Dr. William Duncan Strong, of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE), headed the Tulamniu C.W.A. Project SLF-73 with Winslow Walker, also of the BAE, as assistant director. The excavations were one of a number of archaeological projects organized and financed by the Civil Works Administration as a means of reducing unemployment. Artifacts and skeletal materials were shipped to the United States National Museum for study after completion of the field work.
Work began December 20, 1933 under the direction of Dr. William Duncan Strong, assisted by Winslow M. Walker. Two trained California archaeologists, W. R. Wedel, from the University of California, and E. F. Walker of the Southwest Museum, assisted. The staff was augmented by technicians and graduate students: Engineer-Surveyor Lew Suverkrop; Supervising Foremen P. L. Stanley and H. I. McGrath; Photographer F. M. Boyd; Accountant-Timekeeper N. E. Taussig; Technicians Phillip Drucker, G. H. Denkel, H. E. Driver, Hans Fischel, H. G. Barnett, Paul McGrew, Milton O'Rourke, and M. P. Smith. Employment as laborers was given to about 175 unemployed men from the Taft region of Kern County. Large scale operations made possible the examination of two shell mounds on the slope of the hills at the western side of Buena Vista Lake and the uncovering of two large burial places on the hilltops just behind the mounds.
By combining the methods of trenching, screening and clearing large areas horizontally, a good idea of the internal structure and contents of the mounds was obtained. They had been used not only as places on which to build huts, but also as middens and burial spots. The mounds, more than 1000 feet long, 150 wide, and about 10 feet thick, were the result of accumulations of large amounts of shell, sand loam, ash and camp debris over long periods of occupation, perhaps conditioned by the rise and fall of the lake waters.
The burial hilltops yielded a large number of mortuary objects, including finely chipped flint points, knives, bone awls, shell beads and pendants. The bodies in these cemeteries had been buried in the flexed position, wrapped in soft woven fiber, and in some instances also encased in tule mats.
The picture in general is that of a primitive hunting and fishing people who had presumably followed up the course of the San Joaquin from the San Francisco Bay region and settled many hundreds of years ago around Buena Vista Lake.
The National Museum of Natural History holds in its collection many of the items excavated during the Tulamniu CWA Project. However, some materials were repatriated to the Tule River Indian Tribe and the Santa Rosa Rancheria of Tachi Yokuts Indians. Details of these materials can be seen in the report "Inventory and Assessment of Human Remains and Funerary Objects Potentially Affiliated with Yokuts Tribes from Kern and Tulare Counties, California, in the Collections of the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution," available at https://naturalhistory.si.edu/research/anthropology/programs/repatriation-office
This collection of material was in storage in the Department of Anthropology until donated to the National Anthropological Archives on May 22, 1973.
Literary property rights to unpublished material in the collection are in the public domain.
Access to the Tulamniu C.W.A. Project records requires an appointment.