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 collection primarily includes photographs of Limba peoples taken by anthropologist Simon Ottenberg during field research in northern Sierra Leone within Bafodea Town, the capital of Wara Wara Bafodea Chiefdom, and Guinea, from October 1978 through July 1980. The collection also includes photographs taken while conducting field research at an Afikpo village-group, in southeastern Nigeria, from January 30, 1988 to February 5, 1988 and in 1992.