Cyrus Thomas photograph collection relating to Mayan and Aztec carvings, circa 1880-1910
NAA.PhotoLot.169

Summary
Collection ID:
NAA.PhotoLot.169
Creators:
Thomas, Cyrus, 1825-1910, collector and possible photographer
Dates:
circa 1880-1910
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
35 mounted prints
albumen and silver gelatin
Repository:
National Anthropological Archives

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The bulk of the photographs document Mayan reliefs and hieroglyphics at ancient sites, including Chichen Itza, Palenque, and Yaxchilan. Additional photographs depict items in the Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico, including a necklace, the Stone of Tizoc, and a stone altar disk to Tlaltecuhtli. The collection includes photographs made by Alvarez y Medina, Kildare y Cia, and a photograph of a drawing by Frederic de Waldeck.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Cyrus Thomas (1825-1910) was an archeologist for the Bureau of American Ethnology best known for his work on American Indian burial mounds in the American Midwest. Born in Kingsport, Tennessee, Thomas was educated in law and served as Deputy County Clerk under his brother-in-law, the County Clerk of Jackson County, Illinois (1850-1853). In 1858, Thomas helped found the Illinois Natural History Society, through which he met John Wesley Powell. Thomas served for a brief period as an Evangelical Lutheran minister (1864-1866) before becoming an entomologist for the U.S. Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (1869-1873), Illinois State Entomologist (1874-1876), and a member of the US Entomological Commission (1876-1882). In 1876, he also worked as a professor of natural history at Southern Illinois Normal College and founded the school's Museum of Natural History (now the University Museum). During this time, Thomas also became interested in Mesoamerican ethnology, publishing articles about Mesoamerican codices and writing systems. In 1881 Thomas joined the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian and served as the Director of the Division of Mound Exploration, a position he maintained until his death in 1910.

Local Call Number(s)
Local Call Number(s)
NAA Photo Lot 169

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
The collection is open for research.
Access to the collection requires an appointment.
Conditions Governing Use note
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Preferred Citation note
Photo Lot 169, Cyrus Thomas photograph collection relating to Mayan and Aztec carvings, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Location of Other Archival Materials
Location of Other Archival Materials
This collection has been relocated from Photo Lot 123.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Additional Cyrus Thomas materials relating to Mesoamerica held in the National Anthropological Archives are in MS 103, MS 1328, MS 3705, MS 3956, MS 3530, MS 3941, MS 3260, MS 2337, and MS 3920-b.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Correspondence from Thomas is held in the National Anthropological Archives in MS 4821, the J. C. Pilling papers, and records of the Bureau of American Ethnology.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
Photographs probably donated by Cyrus Thomas to the Bureau of American Ethnology.

Other Finding Aids note
Other Finding Aids note
Folder list available in repository.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Alvarez y Medina, photographers Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kildare y Cia, photographers Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Museo Nacional de Antropología (Mexico) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Waldeck, Frédéric de, 1766-1875, artist Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aztecs Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of Mexico -- Languages -- Writing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mayas Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mexico--Antiquities Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland, Maryland , 20746
Phone: 301.238.1300
naa@si.edu