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Native American History and Culture

This guide provides links to the most useful databases, electronic and print resources for researching the history and culture of Native Americans including Native American authors and artists.

Native American Photographs

Find Images & Film

Select Online Resources
First American Art. The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection of American Indian Art in the National Museum of the American Indian. Hesburgh Library has the art book.
Edward S. Curtis's The North American Indian. Northwestern University Digital Library Collections.
George Catlin and His Indian Gallery. The Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Images of Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains: Online Image Database.
Images of Native Americans. Bancroft Library, University of California Berkeley.
Infinity of Nations: Art and History in the Collections of the National Museum of the American Indian. The National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI).
McKenney & Hall: History of the Indian Tribes of North America.
Native American Images Project. American Philosophical Society.
NativeTech: Native American Technology and Art. An internet resource for indigenous ethno-technology focusing on the arts of Eastern Woodland Indian Peoples.
The North American Indian Works. University of Cincinnati Libraries.
WWW Virtual Library - American Indians : Index of Native American Art Related Exhibits on the Internet.
The University of Arizona Libraries offers a very extensive list of North American Indian Films and Video.
Also check out Native Americans in the Movies: A Bibliography of Materials in the UC Berkeley Library. Covers both books and journal articles.
Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian Film & Media Catalog. The Film & Media Catalog provides information on films screened since 1995 at the National Museum of the American Indian in programs presenting indigenous media from North, Central, and South America, the Pacific region, and the Arctic Circle. It also includes information about productions, actors, and the film and media organizations.
Streaming Video
Filmakers Library Online / Alexander Street Press. To explore Native American films in Canada or the Latin America or to explore different topics, take a look at this resource. It provides award-winning documentaries with points of view and historical and current experiences from diverse cultures and traditions world-wide.
Ethnographic Video OnlineVolume 1 & Volume 2/ Alexander Street Press. This collection contains many videos relating to indigenous peoples around the world, a few of which are listed under Native American Documentary Films. 
ARTStor. Searchable database of digital images and associated catalog data, covering many time periods and cultures, and documents the fields of architecture, painting, sculpture, photography, decorative arts, design, anthropology, ethnographic and women studies, as well as many other forms of visual culture.

Google Images. Most comprehensive image search on the web.

Search tip: Good for a general search using keywords.

Life Photo Archive Hosted by Google. Search millions of photographs from the LIFE photo archive, stretching from the 1750s to today. Most were never published and are now available for the first time through the joint work of LIFE and Google. Heh, it may not be from a newspaper but it compliments the AP Images collection.

Library of Congress Newspaper Images via Flicker. In 2008, the Library of Congress began offering historical photograph collections through Flickr in order to share some of our most popular images with a new visual community. Now, the Library of Congress has expanded its Flickr collections to include illustrated and visual content from historic American newspapers available in its online collections.
Picture History. An on-line archive of images and film footage illuminating more than 200 years of American history.  Click on People and Professions, and then choose Native American Indians.
For Native American Heritage Month (November), Library of Congress (LOC) highlights its collections.
Celebrating Native American Heritage Month.  Resources and items from the Library of Congress collections on Pinterest.
Images of Indians of North America. View 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. Hundreds of these images can be viewed 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 collections.
Library of Congress Newspaper Images via Flicker. Take a look at some of LOC's most popular images. The LOC Flickr started with just photographs but has expanded to include illustrated and visual content from historic American newspapers available in its online collections.


Our Rare Book and Special Collections Library and University Archives have a number of pieces in the collection related to the topic. A collection currently being processed is Alfred W. Ramsey Papers, MSN/MN 0503. He was the head of the Business Department at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School from 1909–10.

Select Online Digital Collections