National Museum of the American Indian

Mary Roberts Rinehart photographs of Glacier National Park


Collection ID:
Rinehart, Mary Roberts, 1876-1958
Physical Description:
107 Gelatin silver prints
0.25 Cubic feet
This collection contains 107 gelatin silver photographs depicting mystery novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart and her family's travels around Glacier National Park in Montana during the summer of 1916.

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
P20639- P20762, P21187-P21191
This collection contains 107 gelatin silver photographs depicting mystery novelist Mary Roberts Rinehart and her family's travels around Glacier National Park in Montana during the summer of 1916. The bulk of the photographs were shot by Mary herself. Rinehart wrote about this trip in her 1917 book,
Through Glacier Park
The photographs in the collection depict candid and staged outdoor portraits of Pikuni (Piegan) [Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana] peoples and scenes of community gatherings. Chief Eagle Child and Chief Two Guns White Calf are included in photographs. Other chiefs and leaders that may also be depicted include Medicine Owl; Curly Bear; Big Spring; Bird Plume; Wolf Plume; Bird Rattler; Bill Schute; Stabs-By-Mistake; Mad Plume; and Many Tail-Feathers. Mary Roberts Rinehart was adopted by the Blackfeet tribe and given the name Pi-ta-mak-an (Running Eagle).
Rinehart's family are featured in the photographs including her husband Dr. Stanley Marshall Rinehart, her eldest son Stanley Marshall Rinehart, Jr. (b. 1897), her middle son Alan Gillespie Rinehart (1900-1982) and her youngest son Frederick "Ted" Roberts Rinehart (b. 1902).
The collection also includes depictions of Ralph Radnor Earle (1875-1958) during his trip through National Parks. According to February 3, 1917 issue of
Moving Image Picture World
, Earle traveled via automobile in the summer of 1916 filming moving image footage of the National Parks, including Glacier National Park. Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946)- a founding member of Boy Scouts of America and author of the Boy Scout Handbook- is featured in some photographs as well.


Arranged by catalog number. 

Biographical / Historical

Biographical / Historical
Mary Roberts Rinehart (née Mary Ella Roberts) was born in 1876 and raised in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania, now the North Side of Pittsburgh. Mary and her parents, Thomas (Tom) and Cornelia Roberts, lived with Tom's mother and siblings until Mary's sister Olive was born. At 17, Rinehart enrolled in the Pittsburgh Homeopathic School for Nurses. She drew on her experiences nursing patients in the Pittsburgh Homeopathic Hospital in some of her writing. In 1896, shortly after her graduation from nursing school, she married Stanley Marshall Rinehart, a young doctor. In their house in Allegheny City, Mary Roberts Rinehart managed the household, assisted with Dr. Rinehart's medical practice, and began raising their family of three sons: Stanley Marshall Rinehart Jr., born 1897, Alan Gillespie Rinehart, born 1900, and Frederick "Ted" Roberts Rinehart, born 1902.
In the early 1900's, Rinehart began writing in earnest as a way to contribute to the family's income. The poems and short stories of her early career were published in magazines such as Munsey's Magazine and The All-Story. Her first book, The Circular Staircase, was published in 1908. As her popularity grew so did the family's income, and they moved to a large house in Glen Osborne, Pennsylvania around 1912. In early 1915, Rinehart asked her Saturday Evening Post editor to send her to Europe to report on World War I prior to U.S. involvement. Rinehart toured the Belgian front and interviewed Albert I, King of the Belgians, and Queen Mary of England at a time when very few journalists were granted such access. Rinehart returned to Europe in 1918 to report on the war to the War Department and was in Paris on November 11 when the armistice ended the war.
The Rineharts moved to Washington, D.C. during the winter of 1921-22 when Dr. Rinehart accepted a position with the Veterans' Bureau. There, Rinehart continued to write and also became involved in Washington society, hosting and being hosted by presidents, senators, and ambassadors. In summer the family traveled to their cabin at Eatons' Ranch in Wyoming, a part of the country that Mary fell in love with after being invited to join a horse packing expedition out west in 1916. In 1929 her sons Stan and Ted, along with John Farrar, launched Farrar & Rinehart Publishing Company, which would publish many of her works. Dr. Rinehart died in 1931 after a period of poor health. A few years later, Rinehart relocated to New York City, where she would be closer to her sons and their growing families. In 1937 she purchased a large house in Bar Harbor, Maine, and spent summers there until 1947 when her house burned down in a large fire. Rinehart died in 1958 in New York City at the age of 83. She experienced several episodes of poor health during her life, including breast cancer and coronary thrombosis. Despite this, she lived an active, busy life filled with writing, travel, family, and other pursuits.
More detailed information about Mary Roberts Rinehart's life can be found in her autobiography My Story, published in 1931, and My Story: A New Edition and Seventeen New Years (1948), as well as in Improbable Fiction: The Life of Mary Roberts Rinehart by Jan Cohn (1980).
[Biographical note written by the University of Pittsburgh]


Emily Moazami
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Mr. Stanley Rinehart, Jr., 1961.
Processing Information
Processed by Emily Moazami, Supervisory Archivist, 2020.
Separated Materials
The Rinehart family also donated a set of Diné (Navajo) jewelry to NMAI: Object catalog numbers 230710 – 230715.

Digital Content

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access
Access to NMAI Archives 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:
Preferred Citation
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Mary Roberts Rinehart photographs of Glacier National Park, image #, NMAI.AC.329; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Permission to publish materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center. Please submit a written request to For personal or classroom use, users are invited to download, print, photocopy, and distribute the images that are available online without prior written permission, provided that the files are not modified in any way, 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. For more information please see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use and NMAI Archive Center's Digital Image request website.

Related Materials
The University of Pittsburgh holds a collection of Mary Robers Rinehart Papers.


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Pikuni (Piegan) [Blackfeet Nation, Browning, Montana] Cultural Context Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Glacier National Park (Mont.) Geographic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

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