Mary Harriman Rumsey collection of Harriman Alaska Expedition photographs
NMAI.AC.053

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAI.AC.053
Creators:
Averell, William H.
Coe, Wesley R., (Wesley Roswell), 1869-1960
Cole, Leon J., (Leon Jacob), 1877-1948
Curtis, Edward S., 1868-1952
Devereux, W. B.
Gilbert, Grove Karl, 1843-1918
Harriman, Edward Henry, 1848-1909,
Keen, Dora, 1871-
Merriam, C. Hart, (Clinton Hart), 1855-1942
Pillsbury, Arthur C., (Arthur Clarence)
Ridgway, Robert, 1850-1929
Rumsey, Mary Harriman, 1881-1934.
Schreyvogel, Charles, 1861-1912
Dates:
1898-1900
1903
1914
bulk 1899
Languages:
English
This collection is in English.
Physical Description:
396 Lantern slides
286 photographic prints
1 Maps
Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
The Mary Harriman Rumsey collection largely consists of photographic prints and lantern slides documenting the Harriman Expedition to Alaska in summer 1899. These depict members of the expedition and Alaskan scenery and people. The collection also includes scenic photographs of Alaska taken by Dora Keen in 1914 and photographs of Blackfeet, Hopi, Apache, and Suquamish Indians made by Edward Curtis in 1900 and 1903.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The bulk of the collection comprises photographic prints, lantern slides, and one map documenting the Harriman Alaska Expedition from May to July of 1899. These photographs were made by members of the expedition, most prominently its official photographer Edward S. Curtis, funder Edward Henry Harriman, and lead scientist C. Hart Merriam. They depict Alaskan scenery, members of the expedition, and Native people and settlements that they encountered. Mary Harriman Rumsey’s collection also includes later platinum prints of American Indians made and signed by Curtis (1900, 1903), photographs of glaciers in Alaska by Dora Keen (1914), a photograph of a painting by Charles Schreyvogel (1903), and a photograph of White Pass by Arthur Clarence Pillsbury (1898).

Arrangement note
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged in three series: photographs relating to the Harriman Expedition; photographs of Alaska that were not made on the Harriman Expedition; and other photographs relating to American Indians. The Harriman series is arranged in a rough chronological order.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Mary Harriman Rumsey (1881-1934) was an important American philanthropist and the oldest child of railroad tycoon Edward Henry Harriman. In 1901, while studying at Barnard College, she co-founded the Junior League for the Promotion of Settlement Movements (later named the Junior League of the City of New York), which facilitated charitable work by privileged women among New York’s impoverished groups. Rumsey’s efforts lead to the establishment of the Association of Junior Leagues International Inc. in 1921. Additionally, Rumsey co-founded
Today
magazine with her brother Averell Harriman and others, and in 1933 she chaired the Consumer Advisory Board of the National Recovery Administration.
In 1899, Mary Harriman was among the Harriman family members who accompanied the Harriman Alaska Expedition. Originally planned as a bear-hunting trip for the family, the expedition, was funded by Edward Henry Harriman and organized with the help of ethnographer and naturalist Clinton Hart Merriam. The party of accomplished scientists, naturalists, photographers, artists, and writers cruised from British Columbia to Siberia and back on a private ship, the
SS George W. Elder
, in June and July of 1899. The scientists' findings were published in the thirteen-volume Harriman Alaska Series, and Harriman also paid the expedition’s official photographer, Edward S. Curtis, to compile souvenir albums from the over 5,000 photographs made during the course of the expedition.

Administration
Separated Materials note
The following materials were also part of Mary Harriman Rumsey's estate, gifted to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, in 1934. Where possible, their current locations have been noted.
33 artifacts, most of which were likely collected in Alaska by the Harriman Alaska Expedition, are now housed in the NMAI object collection (catalog numbers 18/6460 - 18/6494)
A set of Harriman Alaska Expedition books, probably now in the Cornell University Libraries
4 phonograph records
A bundle of botanical specimens
Processing Information note
Processed by Sarah Ganderup, Contract Archivist in 2014, with funding from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.
Author
Finding aid prepared by Sarah Ganderup
Sponsor
This collection was processed with funding from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
This collection was donated as part of the estate of Mary Harriman Rumsey to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation, in May 1934.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Mary Harriman Rumsey Collection of Harriman Alaska Expedition Photographs, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use note
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Conditions Governing Access note
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).

Related Archival Materials note
The Smithsonian Institution Archives, University of Washington Special Collections, and Library of Congress have photo albums relating to the Harriman Alaska Expedition. The SI Archives also holds the Harriman Alaska Expedition Collection and photogravure plates from the
Harriman Alaska Series
.
NMAI holds photogravure plates and proofs made from Edward Curtis’s later photographs and Frederick Dellenbaugh’s expedition notes in the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation records. The National Anthropological Archives also holds Curtis photographs and papers.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
Photographs of the Harriman Alaska Expedition may have originally been collected by Edward Henry Harriman.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Harriman Alaska Expedition (1899). Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
A:shiwi (Zuni) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alaska Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Alaskan Eskimo Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Apache Indians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
British Columbia Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hopi Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pikuni Blackfeet (Piegan) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scientific expeditions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Siberia (Russia) Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Suquamish Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tlingit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Unangan (Aleut) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yakutat Tlingit Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Yuit (Siberian Yup'ik) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center
4220 Silver Hill Rd
Suitland , Maryland, 20746-2863
Phone: 301.238.1400
nmaiarchives@si.edu