Native American Collections
The following pages present descriptions and context for all of the items shown in the lobby exhibit with some repsentative images. Please visit the lobby of Library Hall at 105 South Fifth Street to see this exhibit in its entirety.
The current exhibit in Library Hall, “Languages & Cultures: Selections from the Native American Collections of the American Philosophical Society,” features a diverse range of maps, drawings, handwritten texts, artifacts, photographs, and sound recordings covering the history of the study of Native American cultures and languages from the mid-18th century up into the 21st century. From Thomas Jefferson’s early word list of the Delaware language, to the innovations of Indian linguists such as Sequoyah and Joseph Laurent, through the development of modern ethnology by accomplished figures such Franz Boas and Frank Speck, the exhibit highlights the unique role that the APS has played in encouraging this research from its founding up through the present.