PHOTOS: Rare collection on tribal life given to Seattle library | KUOW News and Information

PHOTOS: Rare collection on tribal life given to Seattle library

Jan 7, 2017

    

SEATTLE (AP) — Philanthropist Harriet Bullitt has donated her rare collection of photographer Edward S.Curtis' work on tribal life in the early 20th century to The Seattle Public Library.

City Librarian Marcellus Turner says the library is "beyond honored" to receive the collection, called "The North American Indian." 

Curtis, the famed Seattle photographer who died in 1952, feared tribal traditions were vanishing and made it his life's work to document them.

Over three decades, Curtis and his collaborators observed more than 80 tribes and detailed their customs in 20 informational books and 20 books of large images, containing more than 2,200 photogravure prints.

Some 222 sets were published; it's not clear how many remain. The Seattle Public Library says this will be its second complete set, enabling it to loan its first out to other institutions.

Bullitt says she received her copy from her mother, who helped found several Seattle institutions, including KING Broadcasting, the Seattle Symphony and Seattle Children's Hospital.

Hopi girl, 1922. From The North American Indian by Edward S. Curtis.
Credit Northwestern University Library, "The North American Indian": the Photographic Images, 2001.
Mandan buffalo hunter with skull, around 1909. A photo by Edward S. Curtis.
Credit Edward S. Curtis Collection, Library of Congress
Nez Percé man, wearing loin cloth and moccasins, on horseback, around 1910.
Credit Wikimedia Commons/Edward S. Curtis
Cheyenne maiden, 1930, by Edward S. Curtis.
Credit Northwestern University Library, "The North American Indian": the Photographic Images, 2001.
White Man Runs Him, c. 1908. Crow scout serving with George Armstrong Custer’s 1876 expeditions against the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne that culminated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Credit Edward S. Curtis Collection, U.S. Library of Congress, originally published in The North American Indian
Navajo weaver, 1930, by Edward S. Curtis.
Credit Northwestern University Library, Edward S. Curtis's 'The North American Indian': the Photographic Images, 2001.
Princess Angeline of the Duwamish (Seattle).
Credit Public Domain/Edward S. Curtis
A self-portrait by Edward S. Curtis, a Seattle-based photographer who focused his life on Native Americans in the U.S.
Credit Wikimedia Commons/Edward S. Curtis