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Spotlight on Records: Native American Reservation Photographs

Federal agencies, especially the Bureau of Indian Affairs, documented the Native American residents of reservations as well as their living and working conditions. The photographs in these series document daily life, work (especially farming), construction projects, houses, reservation schools, and traditional crafts. Thousands of them have been digitized and are available in the Catalog. We’ve highlighted a few examples in this issue.

As you explore these photographs in the Catalog, tag the details that you see. Identifying people, places and actions can help these records become more searchable.

New to tagging? Get started on our Citizen Archivist Dashboard and check out our recent newsletter on What Makes a Good Tag.

Rosebud Sioux Tribe (South Dakota) photograph

Rosebud Sioux Tribe (South Dakota)

Photographs, 1900-1960: 852 photographs mostly focusing on agriculture, land, and Civilian Conservation Corps-Indian Division projects created by the Rosebud Agency.

Three Affiliated Tribes (Arikara, Hidatsa and Mandan) (North Dakota)

Three Affiliated Tribes (Arikara, Hidatsa and Mandan) (North Dakota)

Photographs, 1900-1960: 866 photographs, including photos of areas of the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation that were flooded by the Construction of the Garrison Dam in 1946.
Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe (Wyoming)

Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapahoe (Wyoming)

Photographs, 1898-1953: 16 photos of reservation activities created by the Wind River Agency.

Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe (North Dakota)

Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe (North Dakota)

Photographs, ca. 1914 - ca. 1936: 300 photos recording daily life of Native Americans at the Fort Totten Agency in North Dakota.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (North Dakota)

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe (North Dakota)

Photographs, ca. 1930-ca. 1949: 5277 photographs documenting projects, including Civilian Conservation Corps-Indian Division projects, from the Standing Rock Agency.

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (South Dakota)

Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate (South Dakota)

Photographs, 1920-1965: 735 photographs documenting residences and projects, including Civilian Conservation Corps-Indian Division projects, on the Lake Travers Indian Reservation in North Dakota and South Dakota (Sisseton Agency).

Oglala Sioux (South Dakota)

Oglala Sioux (South Dakota)

Pine Ridge Agency: Miscellaneous Photographs, 1923 – 1955: Over 2,000 black and white photos from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Includes photos of building projects, farming and industry on the reservation, cultural events, and individuals.

This list is just a small sample of the digitized Native American records found in the Catalog and there are even more available when you research in-person. Researchers interested in records described in the Catalog that haven’t been digitized should get in touch with the appropriate National Archives reference unit using the contact information at the bottom of the Catalog description.

Did you find interesting or unexpected records in the Catalog? Tell us about them! Share your discoveries with us at

This post was excerpted from a blog post on History Hub written by textual processing archivist, Lauren Van Zandt.

Tag photos for the Archives Hashtag Party!

The National Archives recently kicked off a new social media campaign. The Archives Hashtag Party invites colleagues in the archives community to highlight the diversity of their holdings around a fun topic.

For our first party, we tagged photographs from our holdings that celebrated friendship, style, and history: #ArchivesSquadGoals. Last week, we searched through our Catalog to find some adorable animals and children for #ArchivesCute.

We had a lot of fun exploring the Catalog to find photographs representing each theme. Want to join the party? There are so many great images that fit these themes and we’d love your help identifying them.

We’ve already tagged some images that represent these themes, but please jump in and join us! Tag photos in the Catalog using the tags ArchivesSquadGoals or ArchivesCute (no # needed when adding Catalog tags). We can’t wait to see what you find.

Stay tuned for more themes in the coming months. Learn more on the Archives Hashtag Party webpage:

A Message from the National Personnel Records Center: "Hurricane Harvey" Requests of Military Personnel Records

While flooding and damage caused by Hurricane Harvey continues to devastate Houston, Texas and other Gulf Coast communities, the National Personnel Records Center is providing special help to veterans impacted by the storm.

If you were impacted by Hurricane Harvey and need priority service to ​obtain or replace proof of U.S. military service, please contact the National Archives National Personnel Records Center:

​*** Include the words “Hurricane Harvey” in the "Comments" section of eVetRecs

Call 314-801-0800​, Monday-Friday, between ​​7 a.m. - 5 p.m., CST
(Closed weekends and Federal holidays)
​Please note:  due to ​high call volume, hold times ​can be long.
*** Mention "Hurricane Harvey" at the start of the call

Fax your SF-180 form to 314-801-0927  
*** Include the words “Hurricane Harvey” in the in the "Purpose" section of form

For more information about information needed to request military personnel records, visit the NPRC website.
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