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Walter McClintock Collection.

Identifier: MS-533

Scope and Contents


Box 1 1. Manuscript “A Naturalist’s Adventures Among the Indians: published as “Old Indian Trails” (1923) – typed manuscript

2. 2 lectures • “My introduction to the Blackfeet and Adoption by Chief Mad Wolf” • “Sun Festival of the Blackfeet”

3. 2 lectures in German • “Fünfzehn Jahre unter den Schwarzfuss Indianer” (“15 Years Among the Blackfeet Indians”) t.c. corrected; delivered in Berlin in 2 parts; part 1 – to p. 28; part 2 – p. 30 – 66.

4. 4 lectures • #1 - “My Life Among the Indians” (typed manuscript) • #2 - “Home Life of the Indians” (typed carbon copy manuscript) • #5 - “Old Indian Trails” (typed manuscript) • #6 - (1926) “Sun Dance of the Blackfoot Indians” (typed manuscript)

5. Comments on Glacier National Park in The Great Northern Goat summer 1938 – re: McClintock and his comments on Glavier • “Exhibition of Indian Photographs” catalog – McClintock’s Carnegie Museum November 11-25, 1923. • “How it was possible to make the Blackfoot Indian Collection” Yale University Library Gazette vol. 23 #4 April 1949 p. 158-74. • “Medizinal – und Nutzpflanzen der Schwarzfuss Indianer” in English (Blackfoot Medicinal plants) – 2 copies (1 unbound, printed, autographed; 1 bound in collection as 970.651). • “The Passing of the Indian Dance” The Southern Workman November 1900, vol. 29 #11, p. 597-8. • “Statement of the Coloring of Blackfoot Indian pictures” (1936) • “The Tragedy of the Blackfoot” SWM Papers #3 (1930) autographed

6. Biography • Biographical list of accomplishments (1941) for 50th Reunion of the Yale class of 1891 • Obituary, not published March 28, 1949 • Obituary Pasadena Star News March 28, 1949 • Obituary The Masterkey by F.W. Hodge May 1949

7. Typed carbon copy correspondence • Dr. J.G. Frazer • William Ridgeway • George A. MacMillan • Letter of commendation from Alfred Hayes of Birmingham and Midland Institute – 2 copies

8. Clippings • With picture, January 1940; probably a Pittsburg paper • Clipping Pittsburg Post January 17, 1907 re: opera Poia • Typed carbon copy press comments on Poia from: (Berlin Presentation) o The Musical Courier (Berlin) May 10, 1910 o Spectator May 1910 o New York Tribune April 24, 1910 o Paris Herald April 25, 1910 o London Sunday Times April 24, 1910 • New Haven (Connecticut) Register October 28, 1934

9. Advertisements and announcements (old vertical file)  Announcements for “The Old North Trail” – 2 copies (1 by J.R. Weldin & Co.; 1 by Macmillan  Announcement – Academy of Science at Pittsburgh – 1906 (folded)  3 lectures on Blackfeet in Great Britain – 1910  3 travelogues – announcement  Announcement of appointment as research fellow in ethnology at Southwest Museum – July 31, 1927 – 2 copies  Announcement and review – Yale News November 6, 1936 (folded)  News release – Yale November 7, 1936  Yale advertisement – October 28, 1937 (folded)  News release – Yale November 7, 1938  Invitation to lecture at Southwest Museum – April 26, 1938  Invitation to lecture at Southwest Museum – April 10, 1939 – 2 copies  Advertisement – 2 striking lectures – 2 copies  Comments on his lectures blurb  3 striking lectures  Review of European success

10. Scrapbook (filled with scrapbooks) • Contains newspaper clippings reviewing his lectures and career – some in German with translations • Letters (typed carbon copy) from notables like Theodore Roosevelt, crown prince of Germany, etc. • Lecture announcements, etc. (some duplicate of what is separate in boxes)

Box 2 11. Copies of letter to walter McClintock

12. CATA. Exhibition of Indian photographs 1-15 January 1928 Carnegie Museum

13. CATA. Free exhibition of Indian photographs – Southwest Museum 1930(?) – 6 copies

14. “Four Days in a Medicine Lodge” Harper’s Monthly Magazine vol. 101 #604, p. 519-532 September 1900 – 4 copies in old vertical file

15. Clippings New Haven (Connecticut) Register 28 October 1934 – Exhibit of photos at Yale “Mystic Rituals of Blackfeet Indians” (old vertical file) 16. Program: The Pittsburg Orchestra “Two Movements from Poia” 1904-1905

17. 2 copies “The Story of Arthur Nevin’s Indian Opera Poia” Emil Paur (?) Walter McClintock c. 1905

18. 8 pages – Origins Composition (?); Prodiction of Poia by Walter McClintock 47 (?) typed copy of European Press Reviews – notices 1910 Berlin, etc.

19. Poia: Grand Opera in Three Acts – Libetto by Randolph Hartley/Music Author (?), in Germany (?), Comments about Poia in Germany (?)

20. 6 clippings from American newspapers – 1907, 1909, 1910

21. 8 envelopes of newspaper clippings about the Indian opera Poia 1907-1910

22. Translation … of the Preface … of German Edition of the Old North Trail by Johonnes Vilhelm Jensen

23. Typed manuscript of “Tragedy of the Blackfeet”


  • 1904 - 1949



Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit or contact library staff at An item-level inventory is available from library staff.


Copyright has not been assigned to the Braun Research Library at the Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Braun Research Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Biographical note

Walter McClintock (born 1870 April 25, died 1949 March 24) was an ethnologist and a specialist on Blackfoot Indians. He lectured on the Blackfoot in the United States, England, Scotland, Denmark, and Germany. McClintock was a research fellow in ethnology at the Southwest Museum for 22 years as well as a curator and lecturer at Yale University. He was a photographer, lecturer, and the author of several publications and books that were translated to many languages.

McClintock was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Oliver McClintock and Clara C. Childs McClintock. He graduated from Yale in 1891 where he also received an honorary M.A. in 1911. In 1896, he accompanied Gifford Pinchot on an expedition to recommend a national policy for forest preserves at the request of President Cleveland. Though he was not a professional photographer, McClintock was assigned the duty of making photographs for the Commission. It was then that McClintock was introduced to and became friends with the expedition’s Blackfoot Indian scout, William Jackson or Siksikakoan.

When the Commission completed its field work, Jackson introduced McClintock to the Blackfoot community of northwestern Montana. Over the next twenty years, McClintock studied the Blackfoot and their homelands, customs, beliefs, legends, songs, and ceremonies. In this period McClintock made several thousand photographs of the Blackfoot and also made sound recordings of their legends in song, some of which are housed at the Braun Research Library. These recordings were used to inform the first Native American Opera, Poia, in which McClintock collaborated with its creator Arthur Nevin. The opera debuted at Carnegie Hall on 16 January 1907. It was conducted by Nevin and performed by the Pittsburgh Orchestra as well as Madame Piper, Kelley Cole, Madame Fisk, and William Harper. This opera was also performed in Berlin, Germany at the Royal Opera House in April of 1910.

McClintock’s unique and intimate relationship with the Blackfoot tribe earned him the honor of not only being accepted into the tribe after participating in a two-day ceremony, but also being adopted as a son by its venerable chief, Mad Wolf. McClintock also has the distinction of having a landmark named after him, McClintock Peak, at National Glacier Park in Montana. This was conferred by the Government in 1912.

In 1927 McClintock was appointed a Fellow in Ethnology at the Southwest Museum. While there he created the McClintock Library of Ethnology and the McClintock Ethnological Collection; formed a collection of oil paintings of Blackfoot chiefs; and established the McClintock Gallery of Indian Pictures, a collection of 150 photographs which were photographed by McClintock and hand colored by artist Charlotte Pinkerton Blazer, which used a coded color system recorded in McClintock’s field notes that were designed for accuracy and consistency. McClintock also continued his research, gave frequent lectures, and published many papers and articles while at the Southwest Museum.

McClintock was appointed Curator in charge of the Walter McClintock Indian Collection by Yale University in 1933. During his time at Yale McClintock gave a series of University lectures on the Blackfoot, prepared and presented a series of picture exhibitions, and wrote several manuscripts.

McClintock died at the age of 79 after a brief illness.


Authors of new Indian Opera. (1906, December 30). The Pittsburgh Gazette Times.

Hodge, F. W. (1949). Walter McClintock. The Masterkey, 23(3). 68-70.

Hold final rights for W. McClintock. (1948, March 28). Pasadena Star-News.

Walter McClintock Collection, 5 April, 2012, Autry National Center, Los Angeles; MS 533; [6] [McClintock, Walter: Biography] [1906 – 1949].

Yale Collection of Western Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.


0.75 Linear Feet ([1 HBL5; 1HB21/2] 1 scrapbook [photos])

Language of Materials


Processing history

...completed by Holly Rose Larson, NHPRC Processing Archivist, [date], made possible through grant funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commissions (NHPRC).

Processing of collection and publication of finding aid made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Finding Aid to the Walter McClintock Collection
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Repository Details

Part of the Braun Research Library Collection Repository

234 Museum Drive
Los Angeles CA 90065-5030 USA US