National Anthropological Archives
The National Anthropological Archives collects and preserves historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world’s cultures and the history of anthropology. The NAA was formed in 1968, but the foundations of its collections can be traced to the founding of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1879 and early anthropological research at the Smithsonian (as early as 1846). Its collections represent the four fields of anthropology - archaeology, biological anthropology, cultural anthropology, and linguistics - and include field-notes, journals, manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, maps, and sound recordings created by Smithsonian anthropologists, other preeminent scholars, and Indigenous peoples from around the world.
Human Studies Film Archives
The Human Studies Film Archives is devoted to preserving, documenting, and providing access to anthropological moving image materials. The Film Archives officially began its mission in 1975 when, as the National Anthropological Film Center, it initiated a program that both created and collected films of anthropological research interest. The archives promotes the importance of moving image materials as an integral part of the anthropological record related to documentation and research. HSFA collections and resources support research on specific cultures, the development of ethnographic film, and the broad study of visual culture.
Search the Collections
Resources for Researchers
This search guide and information packet includes information about the NAA and HSFA, as well as helpful tips for finding materials using the Smithsonian online catalogs, Collections Search Center and the Smithsonian Online Virtual Archives (SOVA).
These guides highlight collections at the National Anthropological Archives and Human Studies Film Archives related to Indigenous languages and cultures and are intended to facilitate research by enhancing the discoverability of materials and efficiency of searches. The materials represented in these subject guides and held at the NAA and HSFA are not exhaustive, nor are they representative of all documentation in existence of these particular Indigenous cultures and languages.
These guides are living documents and are subject to change and revision as staff update catalog descriptions and access policies, and as further materials are processed and/or acquired by the archives. The NAA and HSFA welcome input and edits from Native community members, and will work to incorporate these changes into catalog records, access policies, collection information, and subsequently, subject guides.
Questions about collections in the National Anthropological Archives? Contact the archivists at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-238-1310.
Questions about the collections in the Human Studies Film Archives? Contact the archivists at email@example.com.