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Collection Overview

Gaede, Marc
Marc Gaede Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
1910-1999 (mostly 1971-1999)
40 boxes and 23.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-000836 to B-000856, P-000061 to P-000070, P-000083, Z-000001 to Z-000003
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 32-35; 40


Marc Gaede (1946- ) is an American photographer, environmental activist, and teacher based in California. The collection consists of Gaede's black-and-white photographs of the American West and Southwest, correspondence, contracts, and other working files primarily related to his books on photography, archaeology, and conservation, and a large group of working files, which include audiovisual and digital materials, for a biography project Gaede collaborated on with Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux activist Robert Sundance (1927-1993).

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of black-and-white photographic prints, working files, and correspondence of Marc Gaede, including materials created in collaboration with Marnie Walker Gaede and Robert Sundance, largely related to book projects between the mid 1970s and the late 1990s. Photographic materials include over 250 mounted prints of landscapes and portraits that appeared in photography books published under the Gaedes' Chaco Press, which include Images from the Southwest (1986), Bordertowns (1988), and Images from the Great West (1990), as well as several portraits of friends and family and other images. Working files exist for the same books as well as for Camera, Spade and Pen (1980), The Hopi Photographs (1988), and other published works on archaeology and conservation. These files are comprised of correspondence, publishing contracts and agreements, drafts, image lists, publicity materials, legal and financial documents, sound recordings, and other related materials.

A large portion of the collection consists of working files for Sundance: The Robert Sundance Story (1994), a biography of Lakota Sioux activist Robert Sundance written collaboratively by Sundance and Marc Gaede and edited by Marnie Gaede. The book tells the story of Sundance's struggle with and recovery from alcoholism, his famous court battle against the city and county of Los Angeles to improve the treatment of alcoholics on Skid Row, and his later work as an American Indian rights activist. Working files for this project include sound recordings and transcriptions of Sundance's oral narration, drafts of chapters and the full book in both paper and digital form, as well as publishing correspondence, agreements, and related documents. Also present are extensive research, legal, and publicity files Sundance kept regarding his legal case and other cases involving tribal sovereignty and American Indian rights, as well as personal writings, family documents, photographs, and correspondence of Sundance provided to Gaede as source material.

A small amount of additional correspondence pertains to publishing, as well as to courses Gaede taught on environmentalism, participation in the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and other professional activities.


Organized into the following four primary file groups: Photographic Prints; Photography, Archaeology, and Conservation Working Files; Robert Sundance Working Files; and General Correspondence.

Collection Creator Biography:

Gaede, Marc

Marc Gaede (1946- ) is an American photographer, environmental activist, and teacher. Born in Tuscon, Arizona, Gaede grew up in Flagstaff, where he immersed himself in the study of field geology, archaeology, and physical anthropology. After returning in 1968 from military service as a U.S. Marine Corps photographer, Gaede became involved in environmental activism. In 1970, he co-founded the early direct action environmental group Black Mesa Defense Fund. In collaboration with members of the American Indian Movement and Edward Abbey (1927-1989), the group organized a direct action campaign against strip mining on shared Navajo and Hopi land on Black Mesa in April 1971. The group's actions inspired Abbey's 1975 novel The Monkey Wrench Gang, along with the next generation of radical environmental advocacy groups, such as Earth First!, who practiced a form of ecological sabotage against environmentally damaging companies and individuals that came to be known as "monkeywrenching." Gaede received his Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology from Northern Arizona University in 1972, and he worked at the at the Museum of Northern Arizona from 1968 to 1977, first as a staff photographer and later as curator of photography. For five months in 1977, he worked for photographer Ansel Adams as a temporary darkroom assistant in Adams's darkroom and studio in Carmel, California. Later he was the Photographer-in-Residence at the University of Arizona's Center for Creative Photography in 1978-1979.

In 1973, Marc Gaede married Marnie Walker Gaede, a writer, editor, publisher, and environmentalist who collaborated with him to edit and publish photography books centering on indigenous cultures and landscapes of the American West and Southwest, many under their own publishing imprint Chaco Press. The Gaedes moved to the Los Angeles area in 1982, where they worked in the television and film industry, including as script analysts for the Walt Disney Company. Gaede received a Master of Fine Arts in photography from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1988, where he has since worked as an instructor in subjects including photography, environmental issues, and physical anthropology. Since 1989, the Gaedes have also been actively involved with the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Marc Gaede joined Sea Shepherd on a 1989 dolphin campaign in Costa Rica as a photographer for Outside magazine and has since photographed numerous high seas campaigns. From 1990 to 1993, the Gaedes worked closely with Robert Sundance, a Lakota Sioux activist from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, to collaboratively write Sundance's biography.

Collection History


Gift of Marc and Marnie Gaede in 2012 (AM 2013-55), with an addition in May 2018 (AM 2018-104).


No materials were separated during 2016-2018 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in November-December 2016. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in December 2016-January 2017. Finding aid updated with new additions by Kelly Bolding in May 2018. Audiovisual materials in this collection were digitized in 2022.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Several folders (housed in Box B-000856) are closed due to the presence of personally identifiable information.

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.

This collection contains digital files, which may require specific software or hardware for access. Refer to our Tips on Accessing Born-Digital Content for information on how to render these file formats.

Credit this material:

Marc Gaede Papers; 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:
  • This is stored in multiple locations.
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-000836 to B-000856, P-000061 to P-000070, P-000083, Z-000001 to Z-000003
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 32-35; 40