The University of Arizona
Yuma flute player Hopi corn Snaketown excavationMimbres bowl with bat design

Photographic Collections

Due to budget cuts and lack of staffing:

  • The Archives will be closed July 1–December 31, 2016.
  • The Library will be closed  July 4–8 and December 23 2016–January 2, 2017
  • Reduced public hours for the ASM Library:
    July 11–August 19, 2016                  Open on Wednesday, 1–4pm
    August 22–December 22, 2016      Open Tuesday–Thursday, 1–4pm
  • As of July 1, 2015, all ASM Collections offices, including the Library and Archives, are closed to researchers and other visitors on Mondays and Fridays. Exhibit galleries and the Museum store remain open.

Arizona State Museum's photographic collections contain more than 500,000 prints, negatives, and transparencies illustrating the prehistory and ethnology of the American Southwest and northern Mexico.

General Information

The collection's emphasis is on prehistoric and historic archaeology and ethnology of the Native peoples of the American Southwest and northern Mexico. Photographs document both fieldwork and artifacts.

Major collections document archaeological excavations at Ventana Cave, Snaketown, Naco, Lehner, Point of Pines, and Grasshopper.

A sampling of ethnographic materials includes: O'odham peoples; contemporary craft artists (Hopi, Apache, and O'odham); contemporary use of traditional farming methods; historic photos by Daniel Linderman of Piman people; historic photos by Grenville Goodwin of Western Apache.

Special collections cover diverse topics such as aesthetic photography in Arizona; mission architecture of Sonora, Mexico; Mexican Indian costumes; and ethnoarchaeology in the Philippines.

Contact Jannelle Weakly by email for research requests and photographic permissions. See the Fees & Permissions page for costs and to download the permission form.

Arizona Memory Project

Selections from our photographic collectionsOpens in a new window can be viewed at the Arizona Memory Project. This site, a service of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public RecordsOpens in a new window, contains digital versions of primary source material from Arizona’s cultural institutions, libraries and archives. Projects are added by ASM on a regular basis.

Photographic Hazards

ASM has done research into the hazards related to collections of photographic negatives. Results have been compiled into the following paper -
Deteriorating Negatives: A Health Hazard in Collection Management

Note Regarding Appraisals

Ethical guidelines prevent us from providing appraisals. For businesses that can assist you with appraisals you may consult our List of Resources (PDF * ). The list does not indicate any preference or recommendation by the museum. It contains mainly businesses in the Tucson, AZ area. For other areas you may refer to the American Society of AppraisersOpens in a new window to locate an appraiser or check with a local gallery that deals with American Indian art.

* PDF requires Adobe Acrobat ReaderOpens in a new window.

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