Juanita Ahill gathers saguaro fruit. Photographer, Helga Teiwes.
Arizona State Museum's photographic collections contain more than 500,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies illustrating the prehistory and ethnology of the American Southwest and northern Mexico.
Access to the collections: ASM Photographic Collections is open by appointment on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. To make an appointment or to request a reproduction and permission to publish a photograph, contact Jannelle Weakly.
About the Collections
The photographic collection's emphasis is on prehistoric and historic archaeology and ethnology of the Native peoples of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Photographs document both fieldwork and artifact.
Major collections document archaeological excavations at Ventana Cave, Snaketown, Naco, Lehner, Point of Pines, and Grasshopper. A sampling of ethnographic materials includes O'odham peoples; contemporary craft artists (Hopi, Apache, and O'odham); contemporary use of traditional farming methods; historic photos by Daniel Linderman of Piman people; historic photos by Grenville Goodwin of Western Apache.
Special collections cover diverse topics such as aesthetic photography in Arizona; mission architecture of Sonora, Mexico; Mexican Indian costumes; and ethnoarchaeology in the Philippines.
Photographers in the Collection
Photographers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries attempted to document the changing lives and cultures of American Indians. Among them, Forman Hanna, a pharmacist by occupation and a photographer by avocation, who lived in Globe, Arizona, but traveled the Southwest photographing the native peoples and landscapes. His work, done in a "romantic" style, reflects his concern more with composing photographs than with documenting cultures; nevertheless, his photographs record many aspects of the lives and cultures of the people he photographed.
Anthropologist Grenville Goodwin conducted extensive fieldwork among the Western Apache during the 1930s studying their social structure and material culture. At the same time he photographed the Apache people and their lands, and attempted to preserve some of their past by collecting earlier photographs taken by others.
Missionary/teacher Daniel Boone Linderman recorded life on the Pima and Maricopa reservations during the early 1900s. His photographs concentrate on the mission schools, classes, and pupils; group portraits of families and their homes; and on farming.
Other collections include photographs by: Gwyneth Harrington of the Seri in the 1930s; prints from the Mennonite missionary H.R. Voth, who lived at Hopi on Third Mesa at the turn of the century; Elizabeth Hegemann, a trader on the Navajo Reservation; Julian Hayden of the Tohono O'odham and Seri, and Tad Nichols, photographer and filmmaker, of the Yaqui and Apache.
Arizona Memory Project
Selections from our photographic collections may be viewed at the Arizona Memory Project. This site, a service of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records, contains digital versions of primary source material from Arizona’s cultural institutions, libraries and archives. Projects are added by ASM on a regular basis.
Note: Ethical guidelines prevent us from providing appraisals for photographic or other privately owned artifacts. Download a list of resources.
Arizona State Museum
The University of Arizona
P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, AZ 85721-0026