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Photographs in Special Collections & University Archives

Special Collections contains approximately half a million photographic images in its collections. Most photograph collections are not listed in the UO Libraries' online catalog, and many relate to manuscript collections.

Edward Curtis


Special Collections and University Archives is delighted to have one of the finest and most important copies of Edward S. Curtis’s The North American Indian. This set of folios and quartos is extremely fragile and irreplaceable. In order to ensure that these volumes are available for future generations of students and scholars, we must carefully control access to and use of the materials.

In addition to the original edition of The North American Indian, we also have a 1970s reprint of the entire set available to all researchers in our Paulson Reading Room.  Digital reproductions of photogravures from Curtis’s The North American Indian can also be viewed online at Northwestern University Library’s website, through the Library of Congress’s American Memory project. You can learn more about Curtis and access the images below.

We request that anyone interested in doing research on the original Curtis folios and quartos in Special Collections and University Archives first consult the reprint volumes in the Paulson Reading Room or the online images. If a researcher still finds it necessary to see the original photogravures, he or she must submit a written request describing the research project and need to use the originals. Please send this request to Curatorial staff will review the request and work with the researcher.

In cases where a compelling research need to see the original Curtis materials is not demonstrated, readers will be invited to attend a special viewing day where selections from the original set of Curtis’s The North American Indian.  If you are interested in learning when the next showing will be, please contact us at

Additional information about the Curtis volumes is highlighted in our blog, linked below.