Special Collections

Edward Curtis Requests

The North American Indian: Being a Series of Volumes Picturing and Describing the Indians of the United States, and Alaska
by Edward S. Curtis (Cambridge, Mass) : University Press, 1907-1930.
20 bound volumes and 20 portfolios of photogravure plates [722 plates]. Limited to 500 copies.

Image from book

The University of Washington owns a complete set of Curtis' North American Indian and strives to make this resource available to both the UW campus community and the public. Because of the extreme rarity of this resource and its substantial historical and monetary value, we have established some guidelines for access. Our goal is to provide access while protecting the material from damage through excessive and careless use.

Viewing of The North American Indian is by appointment. To facilitate scheduling, please contact Special Collections at least one to two weeks in advance.

Please fill out this form to request an appointment.

Request Form

Do you have a preferred day of the week and time? Our general hours of operation are Monday-Friday 10:00am-4:45pm. Wednesday evening we are open until 7:45pm.

Please note: Appointments will be made as schedules allow in concert with reference desk hours, other Curtis visits and other scheduled activities. Please submit your request at least two weeks in advance of your desired visit.

The North American Indian comprises 20 large volumes and 20 sets of plates [over 700 plates] and as such it is necessary to limit the materials shown during one session. We ask visitors to narrow their request to 2 volumes that focus on the specific tribal groups or geographic areas of greatest interest to them. The entire set of The North American Indian has been digitized and is available through Northwestern University Library. This site can serve both as a guide to identifying individual volumes and plates of interest and as an alternative for quick access and use in personal research.