W J McGee collection of Bailey Willis photographs and Macas Indian head lithograph, circa 1903-1904

Collection ID:
Willis, Bailey, 1857-1949
McGee, W J, 1853-1912
circa 1903-1904
Physical Description:
6 Prints
duplicates not counted
silver gelatin
1 color lithograph

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
Photographs and a lithograph probably collected by W J McGee during the first decade of the 20th century. The photographs were probably made by Bailey Willis during his 1903 expedition to China and were collected by W. J. McGee for his US Department of Agriculture bulletin on Soil Erosion (1911); they document terraced rice fields in China. The lithograph, which may have also been collected by McGee, depicts a shrunken head made by Macas or Shuar Indians; it was made by Kell Brothers Lithographers and published by the Royal Anthropological Institute.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
W J McGee (1853-1912) was a self-educated geologist, anthropologist, and hydrologist best known for his work with the United States Geological Survey and the Bureau of American Ethnology. In 1883, McGee was hired as a geologist for the USGS by its director, Major John Wesley Powell. McGee stayed with the USGS until 1893, when he resigned to join the Bureau of American Ethnology, again under Powell. During his time with the BAE, McGee made three expeditions to southern Arizona and northern Sonora in 1894, November 1895-January 1896, and 1900. McGee resigned from the BAE in 1903 to head the anthropological and historical exhibits at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, held the following year in St. Louis, Missouri. He later served on the Inland Waterways Commission and studied water resources of the United States for the US Department of Agriculture.
Bailey Willis (1857-1949) was an artist, traveler, geologist, and writer. After studying mechanical (1878) and civil (1879) engineering at Columbia University, he traveled and did geological work in the northwestern United States. Willis joined the United States Geological Survey in 1884 and became known for his research on the southern Appalachian mountains and eastern United States (1885-1892). In 1903-1904, Willis led the Carnegie Institute of Washington's expedition to northern China. He later became a consulting geologist to the Minister of Public Works of Argentina, professor of geology at Stanford Univeristy, and research associate of the Carnegie Institution.

Local Call Number(s)
Local Call Number(s)
NAA Photo Lot 121

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 121, W J McGee collection of Bailey Willis photographs and Macos Indian head lithograph, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Location of Other Archival Materials
Location of Other Archival Materials
The National Anthropological Archives also holds W J McGee biographical materials, photographs, and publications, 1883-1914, 1971 (MS 2003-31). The Library of Congress holds the W J McGee papers, 1880-1916.
Location of Other Archival Materials
Additional Bailey Willis photographs and papers are held by the Huntington Library, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, and Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Custodial History note
Custodial History note
Probably donated by W J McGee to the Department of Anthropology.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Chinese Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shuar Indians Culture Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Terracing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
China Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Anthropological Archives
Museum Support Center
4210 Silver Hill Road
Suitland 20746