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Description found in Archives

Edward Curtis's The North American Indian Collection (graphic material) 

Collection consists of



Place of creation

United States


Edward S. Curtis

2226 reproductions: photogravures; various dimensions.

Scope and content

The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis is one of the most significant and controversial representations of traditional American Indian culture ever produced. Issued in a limited edition from 1907-1930, the publication continues to exert a major influence on the image of Indians in popular culture. Curtis said he wanted to document the old time Indian, his dress, his ceremonies, his life and manners. In over 2000 photogravure plates with accompanying narrative, Curtis portrayed the traditional customs and lifestyles of eighty Indian tribes. The twenty volumes, each with an accompanying portfolio, are organized by tribes and culture areas encompassing the Great Plains, Great Basin, Plateau Region, Southwest, California, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska. Featured here are all of the published photogravure images including over 1500 illustrations bound in the text volumes, along with over 700 portfolio plates.

Graphic (photo)
33: Restricted by custodian
Restricted access due to fragility of al
Graphic (photo)
33: Restricted by custodian
from CRT 001 to CRT 010
from CRT 012 to CRT 028
from CRT 030 to CRT 040
90: Open
Archival reference no.
Other accession no.
1966-122 NPC

Terms of use

Copyright expired. No restrictions on access or on use.

Researchers can find a complete list of the 2226 images in this collection on the Library of Congress American Memory website at Library and Archives Canada has described only 978 of the images from the North American Indian in its online catalogue. Of these 978 descriptions slightly less than half have been photographed, and relatively few have been copied. To see what plates are available it is suggested that the researcher consult the finding aid prepared and made available on the American Memory project. 90 (Electronic)

Additional information

Custodial history
Acquired directly from Edward S. Curtis in New York between 1912 to 1930. The LAC set is no. 126 of a limited edition set of 300, and was acquired as a standing order beginning in 1912.

Location of duplicates note
The Library of Congress and other major libraries in Canada and the United States also hold complete sets of this publication and accompanying portfolios. The Northwestern University Library has digitized and made available a complete finding aid and guide online, available through the Library of Congress American Memory project at the following location:

Subject heading

SUB. - INDIANS - Culture - Activities - General.