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Collection Overview

Scott, Julian, 1846-1901
Julian Scott Photographs for the 11th Census
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
2 boxes, 1 item, and 0.7 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2


Consists of 170 albumen prints of Native Americans and frontiersmen taken by Julian Scott in 1890 for the 11th United States Census with a No. 2 Kodak camera, with accompanying documentation.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of 170 albumen photographic prints taken by Julian Scott from August 1890 to August 1891 for the 11th United States Census published in 1893. Locations include Oklahoma and settlements and pueblos in New Mexico and Arizona. Beyond images of Native Americans there are also images of frontiersmen and woman, frontier life, the census party and their camps, and images of United States Calvary men. Notable individuals photographed include General Alexander McDowell McCook, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Thomas Jefferson Morgan, Quanah Parker, and Thomas V. Keam. There is also an elicpsed view of Ben Wittick or Charles F. Lummis, photographers who also photographed the Walpi Snake Dance the same day as Scott.

The last series, Miscellaneous Materials, consists of a single manuscript letter by Julian Scott, and the documentary and digital media included with the collection at the time of purchase.

The images have been numbered 1-170 in a best approximation of chronological order and are arranged in series by location. The images were made with a No. 2 Kodak camera that produced three different style plates. The prints measure 8 x 9 cm on 10 x 12.5 cm board mounts. Image titles are transcribed from manuscript captions written in pencil or ink on either the image side (recto) or the reverse (verso) of the card. The abbreviation "I.T." stands for Indian Territory. Any differences between the title and caption are noted at the item-level. Notes on condition and other physical characteristics of the prints are also included at the item-level.

In-line citations refer to Julian Scott: Artist of the Civil War and Native America by Titterton and Eleventh Census of the United States, 1890: Extra Census Bulletin by Donaldson as listed in the Works Cited.

This collection is arranged into nine series in chronological order.

Collection Creator Biography:

Scott, Julian, 1846-1901

The 11th Census (conducted in 1890) was the first census in which Native Americans were counted at the same time as the general population rather than in a separate Indian Census. Beginning in that year all populations were counted by the Census Office even while the Department of the Interior's Commissioner of Indian Affairs was responsible for Native Americans.

The 1890 Census of Indians Taxed and Not Taxed was to include information about the variety of native lifestyles in addition to population counts: some Native Americans were still nomadic; some had become assimilated and were not on tribal lands or reservations; of those that were on tribal lands or reservations, some were receiving rations of food and farming supplies and some were not, and some were taxed and some were not. Each of these groups was counted separately. The compilation of data included the taking of photographs as a way of reporting on the Native Americans' living conditions.

Therefore, the Census Office hired special agents for the 1890 Indian Census, such as Julian Scott, Walter Shirlaw, Henry R. Poore, Peter Moran and Gilbert Gaul. They were charged with verifying the enumerator's figures, providing illustrative material and submitting a written report with recommendations for future policy.

A chronology of the life of Special Agent Julian Scott provides context for his activity with the 1890 Census:

1846 15 February – Julian Scott born in Johnson, Vermont, the fourth of eight children.

1861 1 June – Scott enlists in the Union Army, gives his age as 16 and his occupation as painter. He became a drummer boy for Company E of the Third Regiment of Vermont Volunteers.

1863 28 April – Scott receives an honorable discharge from the US Army.

1863 November – Scott is a student at the National Academy of Design, New York City; paid for by Henry E. Clark, who also paid Scott's living expenses.

1864 11 May – Scott receives a pass to the war zone so he can sketch the war. He is back in New York in about a month. He continues to study art and travel to former battlefields or to his boyhood home in Vermont until 1867.

1890 22 July – Julian Scott learns of his appointment as Special Agent for 1890 Indian Census.

1890 27 July – Meeting in Philadelphia of all Special Agents for Indian Census. Orders are to "leave immediately." Scott's first post is the Indian Territory.

1890 late July – Scott purchased a No. 2 Kodak camera. It took circular photographs on a 60-exposure roll of celluloid film. The roll was sent to Rochester, New York for development and printing.

Collection History


Purchased from Andrew Smith Gallery in 2011 (AM2012-22).


No materials were separated during 2011 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Valerie Addonizio in 2011 November . Finding aid adapted from research and descriptive information provided by Austin Lamont and edited by Valerie Addonizio in 2011 November .

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Julian Scott Photographs for the 11th Census; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Box 1-2

Find More


Donaldson, Thomas. 1893. Eleventh census of the United States, 1890: extra census bulletin. Washington, D.C.: United States Census Print Office. Titterton, Robert J. 1997. Julian Scott: artist of the Civil War and native America. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland & Co.

Subject Terms:
Indigenous peoples of North America -- Photographs.
Snake dance -- 19th century -- Photographs.
Genre Terms:
Albumen prints -- 19th century.
United States. Census Office (11th census : 1890)
Keam, Thomas V.
McCook, Alexander McDowell, 1831-1903
Morgan, T. J. (Thomas Jefferson), 1839-1902
Parker, Quanah, 1845?-1911