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Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian
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Related Web Resources:
Photography of American Indians in the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries

Adam Clark Vroman. (UCR/California Museum of Photography, University of California Riverside)
Modern gelatin silver prints from glass plate negatives. Over 50 are displayed from a collection of 400 negatives covering A.C. Vroman's work from 1895-1904. Vroman's photographs of the Southwest include portraits of Indians as well as a series on California missions.

American Memory. (Library of Congress):

  • American Indians of the Pacific Northwest.
    Over 2,300 photographs from the Northwest Coast and Plateau cultural areas. Drawn from the University of Washington Libraries, the Cheney Cowles Museum/Eastern Washington State Historical Society in Spokane, and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. Includes photos by both Edward and Asahel Curtis.
  • Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian: Photographic Images.
    Northwestern University Library mounted scans of all 2,226 photogravure plates from the twenty volumes and accompanying portfolios. Special site features include browsing and searching for subject keywords, background essays, and gallery views. Images now linked from Northwestern’s site Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian.

Benedicte Wrensted: An Idaho Photographer in Focus. (Idaho Museum of Natural History)
Presents around 30 portraits of Indians from southeastern Idaho in the 1890s-1910s, taken by a Danish-born woman photographer. The site includes notes on "Reading Historical Photographs," contrasting poses used for Euro-Americans and Native portrait subjects. Some of Wrensted's photographs deposited in the National Archives were used in the Handbook of the North American Indian.

The Collection of Native American Photographs. (Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford)
An introductory description to the collection held at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford, England. Sample photographs included.

Dawn of a New Day. (Arizona State University Libraries, Department of Archives and Manuscripts)
A photographic exhibition organized from six archival collections. Five individuals and one family who worked and sometimes lived among American Indians donated historical images that reveal cultural forces at work during the first half of the 20th Century.

Gallery of the Open Frontier. (The University of Nebraska Press in conjunction with the National Archives)
Largely drawn largely from the collections of the National Archives, this web exhibit and database indexes over 23,000 images of life west of the Mississippi up to 1917. Work by individual photographers and government agencies, including over 2,500 photographs from records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Hannah and Richard Maynard. (British Columbia Archives)
Database of about 110,000 photographs taken by Hannah and Richard Maynard in British Columbia during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Some are of American Indians and Indian cultural artifacts. A keyword search using the term "Indian" retrieves more than 3,000 images.

Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains -- Online Image Database. (Montana State University et al)
Includes photographs, ledger drawings, and other sketches of Plains Indian cultures from: the library collections of three Montana State University campuses ( Bozeman, Billings, and Havre); the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman; and Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana. The digital collection was created in consultation with Native Americans, educators, librarians, and historians.

Meeting of Frontiers. (Library of Congress)
Documents the parallel exploration and settlement of the American West, Siberia, and the Pacific Russian-American frontier. Two collections feature photographs of American Indians:

  • The John C. H. Grabill Collection.
    Grabill’s photographs of Colorado, South Dakota, and Wyoming document economic life on the frontier, and the interactions between Indians and early white settlers.

Native American Collection. (University of Utah)
Includes a list of 121 photographs, with only a few sample images online. Most of the photographs are copies of originals in the Smithsonian Institution.

Photographic Resources Guide to the North American Collection. (Peabody Museum, Harvard University)
Includes online finding aids and some sample images. The archival collection (not online) totals about half a million photographs of fieldwork from around the world.

Photography Collection. (Denver Public Library)
A selection of historic photographs (about 70,000) from the collections of the Denver Public Library Western History/Genealogy Department and the Colorado Historical Society.

Prints and Photographs Division. (Library of Congress):

  • Edward S. Curtis Collection.
    Illustrated online catalog of more than 2,400 first generation photographic prints made from Curtis's original glass negatives. Acquired through copyright deposit from about 1900-1930, about two-thirds of these images were not published in the North American Indian.

Reading Photographs. (Mathers Museum of World Cultures)
An illustrated essay exploring the potential uses of photographs as documents through an examination of the Wanamaker Collection of American Indian photographs at the Mathers Museum of World Cultures in Bloomington, Indiana. Describes the history of photographic documentation of Indian life, including use of studio props and manipulation techniques. Includes bibliography.

Richard Throssel: Photographer of the Crows. (American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming)
Richard Throssel, of Cree heritage and adopted into the Crow tribe, received instruction in photographic techniques from Edward Curtis in 1905. This site contains 16 images depicting individuals and scenes from southeastern Montana.

Women Photographers and the American Indian. (Women in Photography Archive)
Bibliography and some biographical descriptions of thirteen women who photographed Indian life in the late 19th and early 20th century. Some sample photographs. Text from Rendezvous 28:1&2 (Fall/Spring 1992/3).

 

 

 

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