Curtis (Edward S.) Collection

The Curtis collection consists of more than 2,400 silver-gelatin, first generation photographic prints–some of which are sepia-toned–made from Curtis’s original glass negatives. Images from each of the geo-cultural regions documented in The North American Indian are represented in the collection: the Pacific Northwest, New Southwest, Great Basin, Great Plains, Plateau Region, California, and Alaska. Included are both studio and field photographs. A large number are individual or group portraits, and many subjects are identified by name. Other subjects include traditional and ceremonial dress, dwellings and other structures, agriculture, arts and crafts, rites and ceremonies, dances, games, food preparation, transportation, and scenery. Acquired by the Library of Congress through copyright deposit from about 1900 through 1930, about two-thirds (1,608) of these images were not published in the North American Indian volumes and therefore offer a different and unique glimpse into Curtis’s work with indigenous cultures.