Biography and History

Prince Roland Bonaparte was a grand nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte. He had no royal aspirations; instead he turned to study science, geography, geology, botany, ethnology, and anthropology. He focused on the documentation of physical characteristics, in particular the shape and dimension of the skull as a way to established relations between the human races. He perceived photography as a scientific tool for preserving data from his expeditions, and used it to document the American Indians, Surinamese, Hottentots, and other ethnic groups. Bonaparte was president of the "Société de géographie" (France) from 1910 till his death, and was also a member, then president, of the "Académie des sciences" (France).

Alfred Ayotte was a French (?) journalist, photographer, and traveler who was interested in the anthropological aspects of the natives of the countries he visited.

Source: From the finding aid for C1177