January 25, 1996 New Guide to Indian Pictorial Works Contains 525 Groupings of More Than 13,500 Images at Library of Congress: Now Available

Press Contact: Craig D'Ooge (202) 707-9189

A new annotated guide, which provides a comprehensive listing of 525 American Indian-related groupings of more than 13,500 photographs and other graphic images, is now available in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.

Indians of North America: A Guide to LOTS, which took two years to produce, will be particularly helpful to researchers and other persons who seek detailed access to historical images of Native Americans. The actual material listed in the guide may be viewed in the Prints and Photographs Division. Photographic copies of works may be ordered from the Library's Photoduplication Service at (202) 707-5640.

Subjects of the photographs range from life on reservations to formal portraits. Most listings identify the Indian tribe, the geographic location, activity, and the photographer or creator, and provide dates when the material was created, and number of items. The guide includes both a subject and a name index, and spans the exploration period, beginning in the 16th century, to 1968. The majority of photographs were produced from 1890 to 1920.

A "lot" is a classification term used by the Library to denote a cohesive body of material, which is maintained and cataloged as a group to preserve unity of subject, provenance, or format. Its contents can vary from a few items to many.

"The 135-page guide represents a two-year effort to combine and refine lot descriptions," explains Jennifer Brathovde, the division's reference specialist for American Indian materials, who is the guide's chief author. "The older cataloged collections were still on cards in the division's card catalog, while more recently processed collections have been put on-line in the Library's bibliographic database, which is available on the Internet. The goal, therefore, was to bring together, and upgrade, the two sets of descriptions in a single printed form with the valuable addition of a subject index and name index."

Nearly all the American Indian images described in the guide were produced for commercial purposes and entered the Library through copyright deposit. The remainder were obtained through gift, purchase, exchange, or transfer from other federal agencies. A free copy of Indians of North America: A Guide to LOTS can be obtained by writing the Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20504-4840.

Not all the Indian material in the Prints and Photographs Division is contained in the guide. About 2,300 items in diverse formats, such as original popular graphic art, posters, panoramic photographs, cartoon drawings, newspaper and magazine photographic collections, illustrations, master photographs, and architectural drawings and photographs, can be identified in specific catalogs and indexes in the division.


PR 96-017
ISSN 0731-3527