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Prints and Photographs Division



Graphic Journalism and Illustration
Photojournalism Collections
Documentary Surveys
Advertising and Propaganda
Pictures: Business and Art
Professional Photographers
arrow graphicCommercial Photographs of Native Americans
Detroit Publishing Company
Panoramic Photographs
Stereographs/Card Photos
Individually Cataloged Photographs
Fine Prints
Popular Graphic Arts
Design Collections
Organizations' Records
Personal Papers



Commercial Photographs of Native Americans
see caption below

Hopi woman grinding corn, Arizona. Kolb Bros. Copyright 1911. Prints and Photographs Division.
bibliographic record

Some commercial photographers produced images of individuals not for the individuals' own use but to sell as ethnographic documentation of foreign or “exotic” peoples.

A recent project to catalog groups of images relating to Native Americans demonstrates how many commercial firms embarked on such efforts in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As with the well-known Curtis photographs, the images frequently focus on women and their activities.

Searching the Collection

  • The recently produced catalog records describing the groups are found in both the Library of Congress and Prints and Photographs online catalogs.
  • A finding aid, entitled “Indians of North America: A Guide to LOTs,” provides a convenient listing of all the groups, both those that were recently cataloged and those cataloged earlier and listed in the Divisional Card Catalog.

Go to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

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