Edward S. Curtiss at Josephy!

The Josephy Library has been gifted an amazing set of books, Edward S. Curtiss’ THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN: THE COMPLETE REFERENCE EDITION.

This is a reprint of the original work done over 30 years at the beginning of the 20th century by the famous photographer. The publisher, CHRISTOPHER CARDOZO FINE ART, says it is “An affordable re-creation of Edward Curtis’ original masterpiece, the Complete Reference Edition is finished with a hardcover and printed on archival, acid-free Finch Opaque paper.”

This set is still available–at $6500! As far as I can see, no other library in Eastern Oregon has it. The U of O Library has the original edition (my recollection is that the last original set sold for a million bucks, which prompted the Cordoza reprints.) U of O also has this reprint, and advises researchers to use it in their reading room before even thinking about access to the original (only with a written request outlining exactly why it is needed).

More on the set:

“Edward Curtis’ magnum opus, The North American Indian is an iconic, landmark publication; a rich and detailed artistic and ethnographic record of over eighty North American tribal groups from throughout the American West. It contains over 2,200 photographs and over 5,000 pages of text as well as extensive transcriptions of Native languages and music. Much of the information in The North American Indian is found nowhere else, including personal histories and detailed information about Native religion, spirituality, and Native Lifeways.”

We want to make sure that readers and researchers in Eastern Oregon know that the set is available for reading and studying in The Josephy Library. (These books do not circulate!) We are open 12-4 Monday–Friday, and by appointment.

For those interested in learning more about Curtiss and his work, I highly recommend Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, by Timothy Egan. And, by the way, Alvin Josephy helped bring Curtiss back to national attention with an article and several of his photos in American Heritage Magazine in 1974! https://www.americanheritage.com/splendid-indians-edward-s-curtis

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