National Museum of the American Indian

Haskell Institute photograph album, 1930-1934


Collection ID:
Haskell Institute
circa 1930-1934
Physical Description:
1 Linear foot
1 photograph album containing 42 prints

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
This collection consists of 1 photograph album containing 42 snapshot photographs and photographic postcards from circa 1930-1934. The bulk of the photographs depict Haskell Institute students including members of the football team Arnes Barlow, Paul Edge, Leonard Barlow, Guy Bush, Charles Bernard, Led Wilson, and coach John Levi [Inunaina (Arapaho)]; other unidentified students; buildings on campus including Hiawatha Hall (Chapel); a 1930 pageant and pow-wow; and athletics including archery, baseball, and track, among other scenes.
Other photographs depict the University of Kansas and Memorial High School both in Lawrence, Kansas. Some photographs were also shot at an unidentified Wyoming Indian school.
Many photographs have handwritten captions on the back of the prints. The album has a soft leather cover that features a painting of an American Indian man in a headdress.
One photographic postcard may provide a clue as to the album's creator; the postcard was sent in 1932 from a Haskell teacher named Mary to a teacher named Elsie C. Ramage (Mrs. J. C. Ramage) of Denver, Colo. This postcard may have been sent by Mary Louise Breuninger who was a Haskell teacher according to the 1929 Lawrence, Kansas City directory. The photographs in the album may have been shot, collected, and/or assembled by either Mary or Elsie.


Original order was maintained when processing this collection, however it does not appear that the photos were assembled in chronological order. Some of the photographs are attached to the album pages via photo corners. The loose are stored in folders in the original order in which they were found.

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Located in Lawrence, Kansas, the United States Indian Industrial School opened its doors in 1884. The school soon changed its name to Haskell Institute after the passing of Dudley Haskell (1842-1883)- a U.S. Representative and chairman of the House Committee on Indian Affairs- who was instrumental in opening the school in his hometown of Lawrence.
The first twenty-two students that attended Haskell Institute were from the Ponca, Chilocco, and Ottawa communities. The school initially taught trades such as blacksmithing, farming, cooking, and sewing, among other industrial skills. As the school grew and expanded its curriculum, American Indian and Native Alaskan students from communities across the country enrolled in the boarding school. The student population grew from 22 to 400 pupils in just one semester. Similar to other Indian boarding schools of its time, Haskell Institute's mission in part was to "civilize" American Indian students and the school employed militaristic techniques in its teaching and discipline. By 1927, the school taught both high school and post-graduation courses.
From 1896-1930, the school also sustained prominent athletic teams, including its nationally recognized football team. Fullback John Levi [1898-1946; Inunaina (Arapaho)] led the football team to many victories in the mid-twenties and eventually went on to coach the team from 1926-1936.
By 1965, the school discontinued its high school courses and in 1970, it transitioned into the Haskell Indian Junior College. The school was renamed Haskell Indian Nations University in 1993 and began offering a four-year baccalaureate degree program with a mission dedicated to Indian cultural preservation, research, and education. The University continues to teach students from federally recognized tribes.


Emily Moazami
Processing Information
Processed by Emily Moazami, Assistant Head Archivist, in 2017.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Purchased from New Durham Auction Barn, Inc. in 1985.
Separated Materials
The photograph album in this collection was purchased at an auction in 1985 along with a pair of bookends that were probably made by a Haskell Institute student. The bookends are in NMAI's object collection, catalog number 25/2220. A 1931 Haskell yearbook was also purchased at the auction and is now located in the Huntington Free Library Collection at Cornell, call number E97.6.H34.

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access
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:
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited users to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not changed, the Smithsonian Institution copyright notice (where applicable) is included, and the source of the image is identified as the National Museum of the American Indian.
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Haskell Institute photograph album, NMAI.AC.105; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Sports -- American Indian Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Cultural assimilation Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Off-reservation boarding schools -- Photographs Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Indians of North America -- Education Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photograph albums Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levi, John, 1898-1946 -- Photographs Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Haskell Institute -- Photographs Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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