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Florence Crannell Means Photograph Collection

Identifier: PICT-2012-003

Scope and Content

The collection consists primarily of photographs of native people and scenes in the Southwest, circa 1920s-1940s. Photos were likely taken during research field trips to the area. Navajo and Hopi people and the Arizona desert dominate the photographs in this collection. Natives and scenes from Taos Pueblo, Acoma, Mexico, Mesa Verde, and California’s Mono, Paiute and other tribes are also present.

Some photos are identified and annotated. These include Hopi sheep shearing, Polacca, Dr. Salisbury with a Navajo patient, doorway of the dugout home of Gladys Reichard, Canyon De Chelly, Navajo Indian Council (Keams Canyon, AZ). Many photos focus on children and families.


  • 1928-1941

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution. For more information see the Photographs and Images Research Guide and contact the Pictorial Archivist.

Biographical Information

Florence Crannell Means was born in Baldwinsville, NY on May 15, 1891. She attended the Henry Read School or Art following high school. She married attorney and businessman Carleton Bell Means in 1912.

Florence Crannel Means was one of the first children’s literature authors to focus on minority groups, hoping to dispel fears and misconceptions about others. Her first book, Rafael and Consuelo (1929) written with Harriet Fullen, was about Mexicans living in the United States. Shuttered Windows (1938) was one of the first novels written by a white author to focus on African American characters. The Moved-Outers (1945), about a Japanese American family put into an internment camp was a Newbery Honor Book and also received an award from the Childhood Education Association. Means' Southwest themed books include Tangled Waters: A Navajo Story (1936); Adella Mary in Old New Mexico (1939), Whispering Girl: A Hopi Indian Story of Today (1941), and Shadow over Wide Ruin (1942).

Many of her stories feature teenage protagonists overcoming struggles and developing a greater appreciation of their heritage. To ensure that her characters were realistic, Means often spent time on Indian reservations and in other minority communities.

Means also wrote biographies of George Washington Carver, Clarence G. Salsbury, and Abigail E. Johnson. During the 1940s and 1950s, she lectured at various writing conferences and workshops. Florence Crannell Means died on Nov. 19, 1980, in Boulder, CO.

Source: Florence Crannel Means biographical sketch


141 items (1 box) : 141 black and white photographs

Language of Materials



The collection consists primarily of photographs of Navajo, Hopi, and other native people and scenes in the Southwest, circa 1928-1941.

Physical Location

B2. Shelved by Pictorial Number
Finding Aid of the Florence Crannell Means Photograph Collection, 1928-1941
Edited Full Draft
B. Silbergleit
© 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English

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