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Painted lodges - Piegan. Edward S. Curtis

[Detail] Painted lodges - Piegan. Edward S. Curtis

Chronological Thinking: Interpreting a Timeline

The Special Presentation section of the collection home page presents a "Biographical Time Line for Edward S. Curtis." Use the timeline to trace the major events in Curtis's life and his fieldwork in the development of his twenty-volume study of the American Indian.

  • In his "General Introduction," Edward S. Curtis wrote that the work of writing The North American Indian began in 1898. What happened that year that marked the beginning of his work?
  • Select three other events in Curtis's life prior to 1907 that you think were especially important in preparing him to undertake this huge task. Justify your selections.
  • No activities are listed on the timeline between 1907 and 1912. Use other resources in the collection to fill in Custis's activities in those years.
  • Why do you think the timeline shows so few events during the last years of Curtis's life? What might you conclude about how events are selected for timelines or other accounts of a famous person's life?