Trip to Seattle Public Library Special Collections

Trip to Seattle Public Library Special Collections

At SPL Special Collections
Viewing a portfolio photogravure from the NAI
John and Ann Ferguson at the SPL Special Collections
John reading letters from Curtis to Harriet Leitch from 1948

Prior to the world premier of Vaun Raymond’s film on Curtis, he, his sister Monica, John and Coleen all met at the Seattle Public Library to get a peek at some Curtis materials in their special collection. Monica had never seen the original volumes and very few of the photogravures so she picked out Volumes I and XX along with the accompanying portfolios. (They got a special treatment due to being descendants of Edward Curtis, usually you can only see one set per appointment.) 

Ann Ferguson, Curator of the Seattle Collection, meticulously showed them the individual albums, photogravures, and letters between Edward and Harriet Leitch, a former librarian in 1948. Ann shared stories that she had heard from different people she had shown the collection to previously.

John got to tell all the stories about the Inupiats in Alaska that he had just learned from photographing Anna Ellis, a 94 year old that was a toddler in one of Curtis’ photographs in 1927. Monica had lived in Alaska, so she also shared things she had learned about the culture there.  

When they were finished, they all roamed through the Seattle Collection area. There is incredibly fascinating things in this collection. Old maps, tons of documents and old directories that tell who lived at what addresses, what they did professionally, how many kids… all kinds of information! If you ever are in Seattle, it’s worth checking out!

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