Photographs of Native Americans can be found throughout the holdings of the National Archives in many record groups and series. Most of the records pertaining to Native Americans can be found in record group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1793-1999. An interested researcher should certainly not overlook these records when conducting a search. However, a diligent search over multiple record groups and series will return greater rewards. In this blog post I will highlight some of the late 19th and early 20th century photographs that are located in the series 111-SC, Photographs of American Military Activities, ca. 1918-1981 from record group 111, Records of the Chief Signal Officer, 1918-1981. Although this series consists primarily of photographs of a military nature, and the early part of the series deals with World War I in particular, other subjects appear in many of the images found within. If one is searching for photographs of important historical events from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as the discussions surrounding the signing of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868, they can certainly be found in series 111-SC:
Perhaps a bit more unexpectedly, an interested researcher will also find photographs of a more personal or familial nature:
series 111-SC also contains photographs of wonderful hand-drawn images of Native Americans like these:
So when you are conducting your future research on Native Americans from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, consider searching the photographs in series 111-SC, Photographs of American Military Activities, ca. 1918-1981 whether your research involves military activities or not.