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Charles F. Lummis Collection

Identifier: PAC 022

Scope and Content

Consisting primarily of cyanotype images, the bulk of photos between 1888-1894 documents pueblo life and New Mexico, Latin America, archaeology, Bandelier family


  • 1884 - 1925


Access Restrictions

Researchers under supervised oncditions in the Reading Room may examine material upon approval of request. There are no copyright restrictions.

Copy Restrictions

Permission to publish must be obtained from Photo Archives. Online Request Permission form available at : User responsible for all copyright compliance.

Biographical information

In September of 1884 Charles Fletcher Lummis began a trek from Cincinnati, Ohio to Los Angeles, California to take a job as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Born in Massachusetts in 1859, the 25 year old Lummis took 143 days to walk across the country, documenting it with the book A Tramp Across the Continent. Once in Los Angeles, the strain of being city editor caused a mild stroke for which he moved to New Mexico in 1888 to recuperate. His reporting on corruption in New Mexico resulted in a hit man shooting him at Isleta Pueblo, nearly taking his life. It was during his time at the Isleta Pueblo that he became an advocate for Indian rights, campaigning for reform of government policy, an interest he would champion throughout his life. Lummis spent 10 months in Peru between 1893-1894 with his second wife before moving back to Los Angeles in 1894, taking the position of editor for the regional magazine Out West, and writing several more books. But, by 1918 he was destitute having suffered personal setbacks including more than a year of blindness from a “jungle fever”. During his time in California he authored several books and was a founding member of the Southwest Museum. He died on November 24, 1928 leaving a legacy of Indian lore and photography. But it was his 5 years in New Mexico and frequent visits that provided the inspiration for the almost 10,000 photographs he produced which document the life of not only the Pueblo Indians but also the people and towns of New Mexico and the Southwest. His obituary in the New York Times read, “Charles Lummis was one of the first ‘discovers’ of the southwest. Many a person had traveled through Arizona and New Mexico before he did. A few had written of it glowingly. But Mr. Lummis combined the skill and instinct of a journalist with a deep love of the country.”


3 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Charles F. Lummis Collection, 1884 - 1925
Edited Full Draft
© 2010
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the NMHM Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Repository

113 Lincoln Ave.
Santa Fe NM 87501 USA