The Walter Mason Camp digital collection includes 86 photographic images, centering on Camp’s interest in the Indian Wars of North America occurring between1865 and 1890. These images, from the larger collection of 218 photographs housed in the L. Tom Perry Special Collections, are a significant contribution to further study of Native American Wars.
Of the 86 images, 76 are photographs, 10 backs of photographs are included which have rich information or value, e.g., George Armstrong Custer signatures and notes, and two images which represent the front and back of a calling card with the name of Sitting Bull laboriously written. According to Camp this card was received directly from Sitting Bull by Edward Freeman Wells.
The photographs in the digital collection represent portraits of Native American leaders, e.g., Chiefs Big Road, Big Nose, Joseph, and Gall; American military personnel, e.g., Generals George Crook, and George Armstrong Custer, Captains George W. Yates and Thomas M. McDougall; Scouts Charlie Reynolds, Hairy Moccasins, and John Donovan; and various battle sites, e.g., the Beecher Island Fight, the Fetterman Massacre, and the 1890 Battle of Wounded Knee.
Walter Mason Camp, 1867-1925, a civil engineer and railroad man, aided by a railroad pass, was able to feed his passionate interest in Native American Wars. As a collector, rather than a photographer, his research activities included extensive correspondence, field interviews and visits to historic sites, libraries, and archives. The Lee Library purchased the photograph and manuscript collection from Fred Rosenstock, a noted Denver book dealer. See the finding aid for this collection to see a list of significant Camp collections preserved in other institutions.