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
Images in this collection were mostly taken by Frederick Dellenbaugh, William Henry Jackson, Alexander Gardner, John Wetherill, John K. Hillers, Edward O. Beaman, Charles Milton Bell and Frank Rinehart. Subjects include delegation portraits, images from the Hayden's and Powell's Geological and Geographical Surveys, cliff dwellings, landscape views, and images from the U.S. Indian Congress Trans-Mississippi and International Exposition in Omaha 1898.
Lantern slide: organized in envelopes; arranged by image number
Negatives: organized in envelopes; arranged by negative number
Prints: organized in folders; arranged by print number
Frederick Samuel Dellenbaugh (1853--935) was an American explorer, artist and mapmaker, best known for his travels and descriptions of the Southwest. At the age of only 18, he was chosen to accompany the second Powell expedition down the Colorado River, serving as both artist and mapmaker. In 1899, Dellenbaugh was part of the Harriman Alaska Expedition.
Access is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.