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Introduction to the Collections
The Humanities and Social Sciences Library possesses a broad, outstanding collection of published books, serials, and related materials on Native American culture and history. Responsibility for collecting works on Native American studies lies with the General Research Division, accessible from Room 315 and the Rose Main Reading Room. Over the years, this collection has grown to reflect the great increase in publications on the indigenous peoples of North America. Since 1980, many publications now incorporate a native viewpoint; writings by Native authors and scholars have also increased. This bibliography takes note of these and other developments such as the renewed interest in Native American fine and decorative arts, historical analysis of Indian wars and civil rights movements, and the important issue of cultural patrimony, especially in the recent law devised to permit tribes to reclaim sacred artifacts and skeletal remains of ancestors from museums and other cultural institutions (known as repatriation). Terms for locating works on Native North America are described.
Materials on aspects of Native American culture may also be found within other areas of the Research Libraries. The Special Collections also possess remarkable materials – pre-1900 illustrated plate books and prints can be found in the Rare Books Division and the Wallach Division’s Print Collection. The Arents Collection contains materials on Natives and tobacco. The Wallach Division’s Photography Collection also possesses original photographs related to Native life. Materials on American Indians and the performing arts are collected by the Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center. Black American Indians are part of the subject matter of the Schomburg Center.Compiled by Paula A. Baxter 2009