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The Lee Marmon photographs: chronicles of the west

Claire-Lise Bénaud (Zimmerman Library, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)
Clare Marie Daniel (American Studies, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 7 October 2013




The purpose of this article is to document the acquisition and processing of an important Native American pictorial archive, the Lee Marmon Pictorial Collection, and to elucidate some of its research and cultural value.


This paper combines research into archival and secondary sources with documentation of professional procedures relating to the acquisition, processing, and digitizing, as well as the content of the Lee Marmon Pictorial Collection.


The paper finds that working directly with the creator of the archive increased its value significantly by both improving the archive's organization and enriching the identifying information accompanying the items. It also shows the broad scope and valuable content of the Lee Marmon Pictorial Collection.

Research limitations/implications

The collaborative efforts of the archive's creator and its processors made available to the public an archive that will undoubtedly contribute to scholarship in a number of fields, including Native American Studies, American Studies, and historical and cultural studies of the Southwest.


The paper discusses the unique vision of photographer Lee Marmon and his professional legacy. While the paper gives an overview of Marmon's work, it focuses on two distinct groupings, photographs of Pueblo elders and celebrities in show business and politics, and explains how Marmon's ability to serve as a conduit between these groups and the public makes the collection so valuable.



The authors would like to thank Lee Marmon for his continued time and support in the processing of his archive. They would also like to thank the UNM Center for Regional Studies for funding the Pictorial Fellowships that made the processing possible. Received 22 March 2013 Revised 18 June 2013 Accepted 22 June 2013


Bénaud, C.-L. and Marie Daniel, C. (2013), "The Lee Marmon photographs: chronicles of the west", Collection Building, Vol. 32 No. 4, pp. 133-138.



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Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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