Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tips for finding historic photos of the Tlingit and Haida

Quite often we receive requests from people seeking information about historic photos on the Tlingit and Haida. We often instruct people to view our online photo albums, which show scanned samples from our collection holdings, and/or let them look at our holdings in person. (photo shown is of two unidentified Tlingit, circa 1890, via our John DelGado Collection) In the next few months we aim to launch an online searchable catalog that will allow people to search our collection holdings (a more detailed update on this project is forthcoming). And we are always working to help people find what they need, whether we have it or if we need to steer them toward another repository. Regarding other resources, another great place to find photos of this type is via Alaska’s Digital Archives, which a searchable database containing thousands of images held by archival repositories across the state. Yet, as far as published photography books on the Tlingit and Haida during the 19th century are concerned, I’d recommend Victoria Wyatt’s 1989 book Images from the Inside Passage: An Alaskan Portrait by Winter & Pond. This 144 page photo history book contains images from the Winter & Pond Collection held by the Alaska State Library, Historical Collections Division. Winter and Pond were Juneau based photographers during the late 19th century and early 20th who regularly took pictures of the Tlingit and Haida, both at Juneau and in small villages across Southeast Alaska. The book contains many great views of people and places across Southeast before the turn of the century, allowing the reader to study aspects of the past.