For this post I wanted to briefly highlight one of our best and most important collections at SHI Special Collections, the Curry-Weissbrodt Collection. This 50+ transfer case/box collection (boxes are sized 16” long x 13” wide x 10” tall) contains papers gathered and saved by law firms representing the Tlingit and Haida from 1930s to the 1970s. These firms were primarily led by attorneys James E. Curry and I. S. Weissbrodt, who were first hired by the Alaska Native Brotherhood to fight for Native rights and land claims. The collection contains materials relating to the administration of the Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, lawsuits undertaken by the attorneys on behalf of the Tlingit and Haida, lobbying efforts leading to the enactment of the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act of 1971, the role of the Alaska Native Brotherhood in Native history, general Alaska Native history, and reference materials such as books, clippings, and government reports. The collection documents the high level of interest and participation in the claims movement by tribal members, the growing sophistication and changing activities of various individuals, and political, legal, and legislative tactics indicated or employed by the Tlingit and Haida Indians.
The Curry-Weissbrodt Papers really are one of the most important collections available for studies on Southeast Alaska Natives. The collection contains correspondence and depositions from Native people all across