Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

August 1994


Published in Great Plains Research 4:2 (August 1994). Copyright © 1994 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln. Used by permission.


For his The First Americans, Goetzmann selected photographs from the Library of Congress collection. Since their prints were offered for sale, turn-of- the-century photographers submitted copies of their work for federal copyrights. The collection does not include anthropological photographs since they were not generally sold to the public. The photos are indicative of the fascination with Native Americans which existed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Goetzmann notes that this fascination centers on the aspect of "lost innocence" from a classical, romantic point of view.