These records document the governance and programmatic activities of the Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation (MAI) from its inception in 1904 until its sublimation by the Smithsonian Institution in 1990. The types of materials present in this collection include personal and institutional correspondence, individual subject files, minutes and annual reports, financial ledgers, legal records, expedition field notes, research notes, catalog and object lists, publications, clippings, flyers, maps, photographs, negatives and audio-visual materials. These materials span a varied range of subjects relating to the activities of the museum which are more fully described on the series level.
The files are those of the Washington, D.C., office that were accumulated primarily under William Youpee. Youpee served as the first president of the association and became its executive director in 1972. There are also files accumulated by Chinzu Toda, a Bureau of Indian Affairs employee who was on loan to the National Tribal Chairmen's Association. In 1978, Kenneth E. Black became the executive director. Material created from 1978 to the end of the National Tribal Chairmen's Association are in private hands.
The Lawrence 'Larry' James Beck papers, located in the Cultural Resource Center of the National Museum of the American Indian, contain biographical materials, sculpture portfolios, art shows, notes, sketches and drawings, publications, correspondence and visual material including photos, slides and negatives of Larry's art.
The Phyllis Hersh collection consists of papers and photographs associated with a book project on contemporary Hopi, Navajo, Santo Domingo, and Zuni jewelry and jewelers. The collection measures 1.3 linear ft. of mansucript materials, 521 photographic prints, and 85 photographic negatives, and dates from 1974 to 2008, with the bulk of the material dating from 1975 to 1980. The papers primarily document Hersh's work on "The Indian Jewelers' Art," an unfinished book on contemporary Native American jewelry.
The Flora S. Kaplan collection includes manuscript materials, field notes, slides, negatives and photographs. The extensive slide collection was taken in several regions of Mexico from the mid-to-late 1960's through the early 1980's and documented local craft processes, particularly ceramics, their makers, their families and life styles.
Videotapes of interviews with basketmakers from the Maine Indian Basketmakers' Alliance (MIBA) documenting Maine Indian art forms. Created by the Hudson Museum in partnership with MIBA.
The George L. Nelson papers consist of documents belonging to Chief Nelson and left in the posession of his daughter Waneta Swain. The bulk of these documents relate to the work done by Chief Nelson in establishing the Rappahannock Indian Association in 1922 and the activities that led to the recognition of the tribe as part of the larger Virginia Indians Powhatan Confederacy. Chief George L. Nelson was born and raised in Indian Neck, VA.
This collection contains 85 black-and-white acetate negatives taken by Melvin R. Gilmore in 1923-1924. The images depict scenes of everyday life among the Sahnish (Arikara) Indians of the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota.
This collection contains 30 black-and-white acetate negatives dating from 1942-1946. Taken by archaeologist Edward Brooks, the majority of the images portray the Guida Farm Site excavation in Westfield, Massachusetts, along with related archaeological objects. The remaining images are from Charlemont, Massachusetts and Vergennes, Vermont.
This collection contains 536 black-and-white acetate negatives taken by Ralph Glidden between 1919-1923. Most of the images depict scenic views and archaeological excavations on Catalina Island, San Miguel Island, San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island, California. Also included are approximately 88 images of objects excavated by Glidden; these objects are now in the collections of the National Museum of the American Indian.