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Touring the Department of the Interior Library

From Frontier Photographer: Edward S. Curtis, Selections from Volume I of The North American Indian, 1907, Facing page 94,

Selections from Volume I of The North American Indian, 1907, Facing page 94 "Haschogan-Navaho"

Lynne Altstatt, Librarian at the Vine Deloria Jr.  Library, National Museum of the American Indian, and Elviria Aquino, library intern from Ohkay Owingeh attended a presentation by Marian Hansson (Kiowa) at the Department of the Interior Library. A blurb for the presentation follows and the presentation was great.

“Documenting the American West – Edward Curtis's Contributions to American Indian Culture and Artistry. Edward Curtis's photographs are appreciated for their artistic merit and their ability to reveal the personality, traditions, and culture of the subject. Marian Hansson, Bureau of Indian Affairs Curator, will explore Curtis's work and how his photographs have contributed to Indian artistry, genealogical research, and legislation.”

Following the talk Lynne and Elvie toured the Department of the Interior Library, which was fascinating. The library stacks were constructed by Navy contractors and had decks, portholes, one person width stairs, and pneumatic tubes just like Navy ships. Many movies have featured the Department of the Interior‘s Library including the Kevin Costner film No Way Out. We really enjoyed the tour and hope the Libraries plans a tour for staff soon, as the Library is due for renovation, which will take away from its current charm. 

A stop at the Indian Craft Shop is also a plus if you visit the Department of the Interior.—Lynne Altstatt

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