Portraits represent various tribal groups, including, among many others, the Apache Indians, Arapaho Indians, Arikara Indians, Bannock Indians, Cherokee Indians, Cheyenne Indians, , Oglala Indians, Ojibwa Indians, Omaha Indians, Oohenonpa Indians, Santee Indians, Seminole Indians, Tohono O’odham Indians, Ute Indians, Wichita Indians, and Yuma Indians. Exterior images consist primarily of informal portraiture, as well as depicting residences and settlements, including the Crow Indian Agency in Montana, 1871; the Pawnee Indian School and buildings at the Pawnee Reserve, Loup Fork, Nebraska, 1871; and a Bannock Indian camp near Fort Hall, Idaho, 1872.
Mammoth plate photographs are photographic prints made through contact printing a photographic print from a large glass plate negative, usually 18 by 21 inches, but may vary in size from 15 by 18 inches to 22 by 25 inches. These large negatives allowed photographers to produce outsized photographic prints before the development of photographic enlargers. The collection consists of 57 black and white photographic prints roughly 21 x 17 inches Cite as: Mammoth Plate Photographs of the North American West. Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Call Number: WA Photos Folio 1
Pittsburgh native Walter McClintock graduated from Yale in 1891. In 1896 he traveled west as a photographer for a federal commission investigating national forests. McClintock became friends with the expedition’s Blackfoot Indian scout, William Jackson or Siksikakoan . When the commission completed its field work, Jackson introduced McClintock to the Blackfoot community of northwestern Montana. Over the next twenty years, supported by the Blackfoot elder Mad Wolf, McClintock made several thousand photographs of the Blackfoot, their homelands, their material culture, and their ceremonies.