Reading Historic Photographs: "Reading Historic Photographs
Thomas W. Kavanagh
All photographs courtesy of the National Anthropological Archives.
Historic photographs of American Indians, long used simply as images or as illustrations, can be sources of ethnographic and historical information, particularly about aspects of material culture. In documenting artifact use and distribution, photographs can supplement museum collections, which often lack that information. Moreover, while an individual photograph is a singular record of a moment in time, a group or series of photographs is a record across time and space, and can expand the information potential of photographic interpretation. "