Elizabeth Compton Hegemann Photograph Collection of Navajo Indians and the Southwest

Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Huntington Library. Photo Archives
Photograph Collections, 1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
(626) 405-2129

Descriptive Summary

Title: Elizabeth Compton Hegemann Photograph Collection of Navajo Indians and the Southwest
Dates: 1922-1934
Collection Number: photCL 125
Creator/Collector: Hegemann, Elizabeth Compton, 1897-1962
Extent: 729 photographs in 2 boxes; prints 9 x 14 cm. (3.5 x 5.5 in.) and smaller. A detailed list of all the photographs, with descriptions, can be seen under “Additional collection guides.”
Repository: Huntington Library. Photo Archives
San Marino, California 91108
Abstract: This collection contains photographs of Elizabeth Compton Hegemann’s travels through the Navajo Indian Reservation and the Grand Canyon from 1922 to 1934. It also documents Southwest Indian life and archaeological monuments during Hegemann’s career based at the Shonto Trading Post. The most notable images depict Hegemann; United States National Park Service rangers; Fred Harvey Trading Company sites and employees; Navajo and Hopi Indians; trading posts; Charles F. Lummis; the Grand Canyon; various ruins of Indian pueblos; Hopi ceremonies; Navajo horse races; and natural rock formations scattered throughout Arizona. Many of the photographs were published in Hegemann's 1963 book "Navaho Trading Days."
Language of Material: English


Access is granted to qualified researchers and by appointment. Please contact the Curator of Photographs at the Huntington Library.

Publication Rights

The photographs which appeared in "Navaho Trading Days" are under copyright to the University of New Mexico Press. While the Huntington will provide copy prints for this material, permission to publish the photographs must be requested in writing from the Press itself. However, not all of the material in the Hegemann Collection is copyrighted by UNM Press. Hegemann arranged the photographs so that those images which appear in the book, and are hence under copyright, come first, followed by the uncopyrighted material. The images which are copyrighted are separated by those that are not by white paper dividers within the collection, and the status of the material is noted on the transcript. None of the photographs acquired in 1965 are copyrighted. At some point the status of this copyright needs to be investigated, since in several instances UNM Press has been unaware of the copyright status when approached by researchers for permission.

Preferred Citation

Elizabeth Compton Hegemann Photograph Collection of Navajo Indians and the Southwest. Huntington Library. Photo Archives

Acquisition Information

The Hegemann Collection of 729 prints came to the Huntington as two separate gifts. The first and largest part of the collection was donated by Elizabeth Hegemann in 1962. This portion (photographs numbered 1 through 539) was accompanied by copy negatives, the original negatives having been lost in the 1938 fire which claimed the Shonto Trading Post. The second group of photographs (numbered 540-729) came to the Library in 1965, three years after Hegemann’s death. Copy negatives were made for a sprinkling of this second group.

Biography/Administrative History

Elizabeth C. Hegemann (1897-1962) traveled through Arizona and Southern California when married to her first husband, Mike Harrison, who was a National Park Service employee. She and Harry Rorick, her second husband, ran the Shonto Trading Post west of Tsegi Canyon on the Navajo Reservation for ten years from 1929 until it burned down around 1938. ADMINISTRATIVE HISTORY: Hegemann had arranged her photograph collection before donating it to the Huntington, and this order which Hegemann imposed on the photographs was maintained where possible; she prepared a typewritten transcript of captions for the photographs which elucidates her organizational schema. She apparently bundled the photographs into groups which corresponded to the chapters in "Navaho Trading Days," assigning letters such as “A” for Chapters 1-2, “B” for Chapter 3 and so forth. Within each lettered grouping she made the distinction between those images which were published in the book and those which were not, placing the published material at the beginning of each group. In the margin of the list, each image received a letter and a number (A2/1). In the left margin of the original typescript, a former Huntington curator (Edwin H. Carpenter or “E.H.C.” in original correspondence) put a red number corresponding to the plate number of the photograph as it appeared in "Navaho Trading Days." Now that the collection has been fully processed, each image has been given a unique number which follows the sequential order in which Hegemann arranged the material. All copy negative numbers correspond to the print numbers. The prints and negatives are filed according to the Huntington number. The material which came in after Hegemman’s death was divided into four groups. The first had the same letters as the original group (A through I) and are directly related to the book. The rest of the material was geographically divided into Arizona, California, and New Mexico. No transcript accompanied this material, but one has been generated using the information written on the verso of the photographs. There is now a list describing each item in the collection - see link "List of photographs" under "Additional Collection Guides."

Scope and Content of Collection

The subject of the first batch of this collection centers around Hegemann’s experiences from 1922 to 1926 at the Grand Canyon and on the Navajo Reservation, as narrated in her book, "Navaho Trading Days." The second batch of photographs contains more candid moments from Hegemann’s travels through Arizona, Southern California, and New Mexico during the same time period as the first group of photographs. The second batch of photographs do not appear in "Navaho Trading Days." Photographs that are not published in "Navaho Trading Days" include Huntington call numbers (40-47), (84-85), (95), (119-142), (167), (170), (172-185), (257-271), (293-313), (340-361), (382-402), and (416-426). For a list of photographs that have been published in "Navaho Trading Days" and their corresponding call numbers, see "Call numbers of photos published in Navaho Trading Days" under "Additional collection guides" below.

Indexing Terms

Adobe houses
Hopi House (Ariz.)
Hopi Indians
Horse racing
Hubbell Trading Post National Historic Site (Ganado, Ariz.)
Indian dance—Southwest, New
Indians of North America—Southwest, New
Navajo blankets
Navajo Indians
Park rangers
Petrified forests--Arizona
Rock formations
Santa Barbara Mission
Theodore Roosevelt Dam (Ariz.)
Trading posts—Arizona
United States. National Park Service
Women—Travel—Southwest, New
Bass, William G., 1900-
Hegemann, Elizabeth Compton, 1897-1962
Lummis, Charles Fletcher, 1859-1928
Morris, Earl Halstead, 1889-1956
Secakuku, Joseph, d. 1969
Walcott, Frederic Collin, 1869-1949
Wetherill, John
Fred Harvey (Firm)
Hotel El Tovar
Inscription House Site (Ariz.)
Scenic Airways
Acoma (N.M.)
Chelly, Canyon de (Ariz.)
Colorado River (Colo.-Mexico)
Fire, Valley of (Nev.)
Grand Canyon (Ariz.)
Isleta Pueblo (N.M.)
Kayenta (Ariz.)
Moenkopi Plateau (Ariz.)
Monument Valley (Ariz. And Utah)
Navajo Mountain (Utah and Ariz.)
New Mexico
Oraibi (Ariz.)
Santa Clara Pueblo (N.M.)
Second Mesa (Ariz: Mesa)
Shonto (Ariz.)
Shungopavi (Ariz.)
Tuba City (Ariz.)

Additional collection guides