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Series 1: Album 1, 1905-1906

 Series — Box: 1, Album: 1

Scope and Content

From the Collection: Six (6) photograph albums with captioned or identified photographs by Simeon Schwemberger of Native Americans in New Mexico and Arizona, including views of people, places and events, particularly around St. Michaels, Arizona and Gallup, New Mexico, in the years 1905-1910.

Schwemberger photographed individuals and family groups of Native Americans, capturing details of dress, jewelry and other objects. Portraits of Navajos appear in three albums, and are represented with the greatest number of prints, not surprising given that St. Michaels Mission is located on the Navajo reservation in Arizona very close to the New Mexico border. Also represented are Acoma, Cochiti, Hopi, Isleta, Jemez, Laguna and Zuni Indians. There are a number of series presenting foot and other races, chicken pulls, feast days and trade between tribal groups. Businesses and events, such as the July 29, 1910 flood in Gallup are represented. Along with views of people, there are settlement views of Pueblos, natural wonders and buildings.

The albums are broadly grouped by Native American tribe or event, and there is some duplication of photographic prints between albums and within albums. Four albums (#1-4) are in identical black alligator skin-like covers, and the fifth and sixth (#5-6) are slightly larger with a brown calf textured leather cover. Photographs are pasted on both sides of album pages and most have typewritten labels or handwritten captions. Most of the prints appear to be gelatin prints (developing out prints, based on visible silvering) or albumen prints; all are presumed to be made from Schwemberger’s glass plate negatives. Most prints are 4.5x6.5".

Album 6 was acquired separately, and adds additional images of Navajos along with expanding representation of Native Americans to include Hopi (called Moqui in the image captions), along with views of Four Corners canyons, and the Hubble trading post. The album pages in were bound so that the the viewer could begin from the back or front of the album. This along with the fact that captions were written in both pen and pencil may indicate the volume is not in its original configuration. CSWR staff has re-oriented the pages so that they can be viewed sequentially from front to back of the album. In this album, 3 pages have written captions, but the photographs are missing.


  • 1905-1906

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. Researchers must use gloves when handling the albums.


From the Collection: 304 items (2 boxes) : 6 albums with 304 photographic prints ; most prints 4.5 x 6.5 in.

Language of Materials

From the Collection: English


Navajo images with a few Pueblo images, typewritten paper label reads “All Navajos”, but there are Pueblo and non-Indian photographs, too. Subjects include armed men, babies in cradleboards, mother and child, family groups, portraits of individual men, women and children with some named, some with squash blossom necklaces or other jewelry, and horse-mounted riders.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131