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.