Walter Mason Camp Collection
L. Tom Perry Special Collections at BYU is one of three primary repositories of the papers and photographs of author, editor and researcher Walter Mason Camp. Camp is most known for his interviews of hundreds of Native Americans and white soldiers involved in the American Indian Wars of the late 19th century. Along with BYU Special Collections, papers related to Camp and his research are housed in the Lilly Library on the campus of Indiana University-Bloomington and the Denver Public Library.
The Walter Mason Camp papers (MSS 57) at BYU consist of 9 boxes (4 linear ft.) of materials pertaining to Camp’s research on the Indian Wars of the Plains (1864-1890), with an emphasis on the Battle of Little Bighorn of 1876. The collection Includes his personal correspondence with officers, enlisted men, and Indian Scouts of the U.S. 7th Calvary. It also contains Walter Camp’s interviews with Native American individuals associated with the battles, general research and field notes. The collection is arranged into seven series or groupings: 1) Biographical information; 2) Correspondence; 3) Interviews; 4) Notes; 5) Typescripts of selected interview; 6) Writings; and 7) Research and reference file. These papers were compiled by Camp with the end purpose of being drafted into a book on the topic. Materials are largely textual comprising correspondence, notes, clippings, typescripts, publications, blueprints, maps, and related printed material. The collection materials date from approximately 1870 to 1943.
BYU also houses a large photograph collection related to Walter Mason Camp and his research (MSS P 16). These photographs were acquired at the same time as the Walter Mason Camp papers. The collection contains over 200 photographs of battlefields and Indian groups and portraits of noted individuals who were prominent in the Indian Wars including George A. Custer and other U.S. Army and Indian participants. Original prints (albumen, cartes-de-visite, cabinets, etc.) copy prints, postcards, halftones, engravings and selected copy negatives prepared by the repository staff. The bulk of the collection was compiled by Walter Mason Camp and pertains almost exclusively to the Indian Wars of North America from 1865 to 1890.