Library of Congress – Online
The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division preserves and makes available more than 17,000 pictorial records of native peoples made chiefly by European and Euro- American artists and photographers. Most of these have documentary importance; some are also important to the artistic development of graphic art and photography.
More than three-quarters of the Division’s images are photographs. Other material includes drawings, engravings, lithographs, posters, and architectural drawings. While pictorial material relating to the American Indian was produced as early as the fifteenth century, the Prints and Photographs Division’s holdings in this area are strongest for the period 1860 to 1940. Many of these images came to the Library through copyright. Other works have been obtained through gift, purchase, transfer from other federal agencies, and exchange.
All of the material can be viewed in the Reading Room. Hundreds of these images–which represent only a portion of the holdings–can be viewed on the World Wide Web through the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Search by “Indians of North America” or by keyword to access some of the images and records from the vast collections. For lists or summaries of the Division’s complete holdings, consult the reference works listed at the end of this document. For thematic overviews and sample images, consult the sections immediately following. (One sample image whose rights status is not known appears in a small version only; others can be expanded to view a larger version of the image, and they are considered to be in the public domain.) The web site includes not only the photographic images, but also field notes and other source materials related to the 2,234 images. NOTE: It takes some patience, but there is a lot here, and in many cases you can download very large images. Some items are restricted. Viewing images are fairly small, so pay attention to the download links, when available.
Curtis Collection – Online
The Curtis Collection owns the world’s largest, most extensive collection of Copper Photogravure Plates ever produced. These plates represent the life work of Edward Curtis and his massive documentation of Native Americans. The web site includes not only the photographic images, but also field notes and other source materials related to the 2,234 images.
Gathering of Nations Native American Photographs
This link takes you to a huge online Native American photo archive. Thousands of quality pictures of dancers and regalia from the Gathering of Nations Powwows dating back to 1999.
Photo galleries include annual galleries of these events:
• Gathering of Nations Powwow Pictures: 739 High Quality Photographs
• Miss Indian World Photos – 12 High Quality Photographs
Smithsonian Institution Photographic Services Database
Search over 6,000 online images, hundreds of which are Native American photos and digital images.
American Indians of the Pacific Northwest Digital Collection
University of Washington Digital Libraries provides an extensive collection of original photographs and documents about the Northwest Coast and Plateau Indian cultures, complemented by essays written by anthropologists, historians, and teachers about both particular tribes and cross-cultural topics. These cultures have occupied, and in some cases still live in parts of Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. Maps are available that show traditional territories or reservation boundaries.