Contents and Arrangement

Series 7: Bill Reid, 1967-2008 (mostly 1976-2002)

4 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series contains contact sheets, approximately 3300 negatives, and prints, mainly black-and-white with a few in color where noted, along with correspondence, pamphlets, and research files pertaining to Haida artist Bill Reid (1920-1998), an accomplished goldsmith, sculptor, carver, and writer working on Granville Island in Vancouver. Reid, a Canadian of mixed Haida and European heritage, is often credited as a major force in the resurgence of Haida art in the late 20th century. Having photographed Reid for Indian Artists at Work, Steltzer later published two versions of a book about Reid's Spirit of Haida Gwaii, a massive bronze sculpture that was installed in front of the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. in 1991. A second bronze casting, patinated in blue-green, was later commissioned for the Vancouver International Airport.

The Black Canoe: Bill Reid and the Spirit of the Haida Gwaii was published in 1991 in collaboration with author Robert Bringhurst. In 1997, Steltzer published the same collection of photographs in a new edition without Bringhurst's text, after Bringhurst's interpretations of Haida culture drew a highly critical response from various Haida artists and tribal leaders. Correspondence in this series provides insight into debates about the portrayal of Haida art and mythology for non-native audiences, including a critique from Robert Davidson.

Steltzer also collaborated with Reid on an unrealized book project about Charles Edenshaw (circa 1839–1920), a Haida carver and jewelery maker whose work inspired a new generation of artists, including Bill Reid and Robert Davidson.

Unless otherwise noted in folder title or description, folders contain contact sheets and negatives with interspersed prints.


Original order was preserved, followed by a file group of materials related to Charles Edenshaw.

Collection History


Duplicate copies of bound volumes were removed from the collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in September - November, 2013. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in November, 2013.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The Trustees of Princeton University hold the copyright for materials in this collection that were created by Ulli Steltzer. 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, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, 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. 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 a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting 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:

Series 7: Bill Reid; Ulli Steltzer Papers, C1454, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 8-10; 21

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