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Sigurd Russell Photograph Collection of Southwest Indians and Schools: Finding Aid
photCL 399  
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  • Overview of the Collection
  • Access
  • Administrative Information
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Overview of the Collection

    Title: Sigurd Russell Photograph Collection of Southwest Indians and Schools
    Dates (inclusive): 1890s-1927
    Bulk dates: 1920s
    Collection Number: photCL 399
    Creator: Russell, Sigurd, 1885-1946
    Extent: 144 photographs and 22 postcards in 1 box; prints and postcards 12 x 16.5 cm. (4.75 x 6.5 in.) and smaller.
    Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Photo Archives
    1151 Oxford Road
    San Marino, California 91108
    Phone: (626) 405-2191
    Email: reference@huntington.org
    URL: http://www.huntington.org
    Abstract: A collection of photographs and postcards focusing on Navajo and Hopi Indians and various Indian schools and schoolchildren throughout Arizona, mostly dating from the 1920s, and compiled by Los Angeles teacher and journalist Sigurd Russell (1885-1946).
    Language: English.
    Finding aid last updated on October 21, 2014.


    Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Sigurd Russell Photograph Collection of Southwest Indians and Schools, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


    Gift of Beatrice Russell Beck, October 1996.

    Biographical Note

    Teacher and journalist Sigurd Russell (1885-1946) became a well-seasoned traveler in his formative years after being moved around Europe for his education. In order to support himself as an adult, he became a journalist, and founded the Lamanda Park Herald (later the East Pasadena Herald) in 1915. Russell later became a teacher at Los Angeles High School, and used school vacations to travel to the Southwest. During these trips, he may have written about the Indians who lived there for the Southwest Museum, as Charles F. Lummis frequently attended parties at the Russell house. In his later years, Russell’s health grew worse and he died due to heart complications in 1946. [For additional information, see the transcript of oral interview with Beatrice Russell Beck in Huntington library files.]

    Scope and Content

    A collection of photographs and postcards focusing on Navajo and Hopi Indians and various Indian schools and schoolchildren throughout Arizona, mostly dating from the 1920s, and compiled by Los Angeles teacher and journalist Sigurd Russell. There are views of Peach Springs Trading Post, the Cameron Suspension Bridge trading post, missions at Chinle and Lukachukai (Arizona), Navajo family groups, Navajo schools at Tuba City and Oraibi (Arizona), and Navajo school crafts fairs and exhibits. Acoma, Apache, Tohono O'odham (Papago), and Hualapai Indians are also represented.
    The photographs were taken from 1890 to 1927, but the bulk of the collection was created during the 1920s. Includes some photographs by George Wharton James, E.E. Hall, and Burton Frasher (Frasher Fotos) . These images of Indians were taken as both posed and candid field photographs, in particular of young Navajo schoolchildren during class time and outside of school. Other subjects pictured are L.H. McSparron, owner of Thunderbird Ranch and acting custodian of Canyon de Chelly; Father Leopold Ostermann, the founder of the mission at Chinle; possibly John Lorenzo Hubbell Jr., of the Hubbell trading family; an Indian all-boys track-and-field team at an unidentified school; Indian schoolchildren; and nature views throughout Arizona.
    Russell also collected postcards with images of Southwest Indians, with some cards having correspondence from Russell, addressed to Beatrice Madelleine, Mrs. George R. Simmons, and Madeleine Touchaux (Russell’s wife), describing how travel conditions were as well as opinions on the Indians that were encountered.


    The photographs have been arranged by Indian tribe, starting with the tribe with the most photographs and/or postcards. Navajo Indians appear first in the arrangement, followed by Hopi, Apache, and other Southwestern tribes with fewer photographs. Within each tribe, photographs and postcards have been further organized by individual tribe members, activities, crafts, associated communities, and schools. Images of Caucasian people involved in Indian trade, trading posts, and unidentified Indian schools and students are placed at the end of this collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


    Ostermann, Leopold -- Photographs.
    Acoma Indians -- Photographs.
    Apache Indians -- Photographs.
    Basket making—Arizona -- Photographs.
    Dakota Indians -- Photographs.
    First communion -- Photographs.
    Havasupai Indians -- Photographs.
    Hogans -- Photographs.
    Hopi Indians -- Photographs.
    Hualapai Indians -- Photographs.
    Hubbell family -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America—Education -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America—Missions -- Photographs.
    Indians of North America—Southwest, New -- Photographs.
    Indian school children -- Photographs.
    Indian traders -- Photographs.
    Navajo blankets -- Photographs.
    Navajo Indians -- Photographs.
    Navajo shepherds -- Photographs.
    Priests -- Photographs.
    Tohono O’odham Indians -- Photographs.
    Trading posts—Arizona -- Photographs.
    Yuma Indians -- Photographs.
    Albuquerque (N.M.) -- Photographs.
    Chelly, Canyon de (Ariz.) -- Photographs.
    Chinle (Ariz.) -- Photographs.
    Fort Mojave (Ariz.) -- Photographs.
    Oraibi (Ariz.) -- Photographs.
    Peach Springs (Ariz.) -- Photographs.
    Tuba City (Ariz.) -- Photographs.



    Additional Creators

    James, G. Wharton (George Wharton), 1858-1923, photographer.
    Detroit Publishing Co.
    Frashers Inc., photographer.
    Fred Harvey (Firm)
    Lollesgard Specialty Company
    Southwest Arts & Crafts (Santa Fe, N.M.)