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Primary Sources for Native American History: Native American History Collections

Manuscript, Archive and Rare Book Collections

The American West Guide to Mauscript collections related to the American West at MARBL.

Native American Microfilm, A-Z

  • Department of Records of Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, Indian Committee records [microfilm]. Major topics discussed in the records include Friends' 18th and 19th century visits to Indians at various locations (Oneida, Genesanguhta, Stockbridge, etc.), the settlement at Tunesassa and later boarding school (Friends Indian School), the Ogden Land Company, Buffalo Treaty fraud of 1838 and resulting land problems, Kansas land claims, leasing of Indian land, temperance, legislation impacting on Native Americans, the "Salamanca Commission" (Joseph Scattergood), the Kinzua Dam project (Allegheny Reservoir, N.Y.) and efforts to stop it, civil rights issues and the 1972 shooting by police of Leroy Shenandoah in Philadelphia. Digital guide.
  • Cherokee Nation papers [microfilm]. Reproduction of the Cherokee Nation papers held by the University of Oklahoma Libraries' Western History Collections. The papers contain the official documents and records of the former Cherokee Nation, as well as the personal papers of the families of James Madison Bell, Stand Watie, John Rollin Ridge, and Elias C. Boudinot. The papers date from 1830-1907. Guide available.
  • County Histories of the Old Northwest, Series III, Indiana [microfilm]. Mostly 19th century records from local governments in Indiana. The Fort Wayne Public Library, the Indiana State Library and others served as the basis for this collection. Thirteen cities and regions are covered in 262 titles. Draper manuscript collection [microfilm]. The collection as a whole covers primarily the period between the French and Indian War and the War of 1812 (ca. 1755-1815). The geographic concentration is on what Draper and his contemporaries called the "Trans-Allegheny West," which included the western Carolinas and Virginia, some portions of Georgia and Alabama, the entire Ohio River valley, and parts of the Mississippi River valley. Military records and information are pervasive throughout the
  • Draper Manuscripts. Particular strengths include the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812, especially those actions which occurred in the West. Digital guide.
  • Duke Indian Oral History Collection [microfilm]. Sponsored by Doris Duke, the American Indian Oral History Collection, grew out of a program of Indian oral history designed to give Indians an opportunity to express their own views on their heritage and place in American history. Tape-recorded testimony, taken from members of most of the Indian tribes in Oklahoma, has been transcribed without changes. This oral history represents Indians' own perspective on the historical process in which they have been involved, and their aspirations and feelings as they search for a meaningful existence within the context of our plural society.
  • George Bird Grinnell papers [microfilm]. This collection contains letterbooks, correspondence, and subject files, including photographs and writings, which document Grinnell's interest in Native Americans of the West; his role in the American conservation movement; his editorship of Forest and Stream magazine; and his participation in the National Audubon Society, Boone and Crockett Club, American Game Protective and Propagation Association, and National Parks Association.
  • Office of Indian Trade, Creek Factory Records, 1795-1821 [microfilm]. Government-operated posts for trade with the Indians, known as factories, began operation, 1795, under the immediate supervision of the Secretary of War. Office of Indian Trade established in the War Department by an act of April 21, 1806, to administer the factories. The Office of Indian Trade was abolished and the factories closed, authorized by an act of May 6, 1822. Last Supervisor of Indian Trade became the first head of the Office of Indian Affairs, March 11, 1824. 
  • Papers, 1883-1901 (Indian Rights Association) [microfilm]. The Indian Rights Association (IRA) was an American social activist group dedicated to the well being and acculturation of Native Americans. Founded in Philadelphia in 1882, the Indian Rights Associations (IRA) was highly influential in American Indian policy through the 1930's and remained involved as an organization until 1994. The organization's initial stated objective was to "bring about the complete civilization of the Indians and their admission to citizenship." 19th and 20th Century groups such as the Indian Rights Association considered themselves the "friends of the Indian" but, by modern standards, had little understanding of the cultural patterns and needs of Native Americans. Although the IRA and related groups were well intentioned and some of their activities were beneficial, many policies they helped enact were destructive to Indian people in the long term. Guide available.
  • The Peter Force collection [microfilm]. Force's major achievement was as an editor and collector of historical material. He published four volumes of rare pamphlets, Tracts and Other Papers, Relating Principally to the Origin, Settlement and Progress of the Colonies in North America (1834-1836). The remainder of his career he spent on his monumental work, the American Archives. Force projected a 20-volume series of primary sources of American history from the seventeenth century to 1789.
  • The Rupert Costo Archive of the American Indian [microfilm]. Rupert and Jeannette Costo, both of whom were Native American, were prominent national leaders in the fight for the economic and social rights for American Indians. The Ruper Costo Archive of the American Indian contains all of the manuscript and non-monograph publications amassed by the Costos as a result of their social and scholarly endeavor, including manuscript and published materials on land, fishing, and water rights; Indian sovereignty issues and land claims; language and education, and many other issues. The types of materials researchers will find in this collection include correspondence, litigation briefs, court records, congressional testimony and legislation, committee reports, tribal newsletters, scholarly field and research notes, newspaper clipping, and much else. Digital guide. The Rupert Costo Archive of the American Indian [microfilm]. This collection includes manuscript and non-monograph publications amassed as a result of their social and scholarly endeavors. While the 1960's and 1970's are the most strongly represented periods in the collection, a significant portion comprises original source documents produced and collected by the Costos throughout their lifetimes, including manuscripts and published materials on land, fishing and water rights; Indian sovereignty issues and land claims; language and education; and other important issues. Guide available.
  • Records of the Cherokee Indian Agency in Tennessee, 1801-1835 [microfilm].This collection contains records of the agency, including its correspondence with officials, private individuals, and chiefs and other members of the Cherokee tribe. Subjects include economic and social conditions, trade and travel, work of missionaries, friction between whites and Cherokee and within the tribe, the treaty of July 8, 1917, and the Cherokee migration westward . It also includes the records of the Cherokee agents as the financial and procurement agent for the War Department in Tennessee and the records of Joseph McMinn, special agent for the removal of the Cherokees.
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