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Native American Studies Research Guide: Microforms


Before the Internet and digitization projects, the only way for some libraries to acquire original primary sources was to buy microfilm collections.  A few of those collections are listed to the right.  Microfiche are microfilm chopped up into smaller flat sheets.

FBI Records on the Internet

Here are some examples of FBI records pertaining to Native Americans or related topics that have been digitized and made available over the Internet:

To find electronic FBI records, do a subject search in the MSU Library online catalog using the subject United States Federal Bureau Of Investigation Archives

Osage Indian murders

Microfilm/Microfiche Resources in the MSU Library

All of the following microfilm are located in the Microfilm Collection next to the Photocopy Center on 2 West of the Main Library (unless otherwise indicated)  The corresponding finding guides are shelved in the Microform Guides Collection.

All land patents to Ottawas and Chippewas in Michigan under the Treaty of 1855, from the records of the land divisionWashington : National Archives and Record Service, [1976]  2 reels.  15004 Microfilm

American Indian correspondence : the Presbyterian Historical Society collection of missionaries' letters, 1833-1893Westport, Ct. : Greenwood Press, 1978.  15788 microfilm : MSU Library only has selected reels.

American Indian oral history : the Duke Collection.  Norman : American Indian Institute, University of Oklahoma, 1972.  55 vol. in 310 microfiche.  E78 .O45 Microfiche -  Also available online as

American Indian Oral History : Duke CollectionBeginning in 1966, tobacco heiress and philanthropist Doris Duke funded seven American Indian oral history projects, including one based at the University of Oklahoma. The Duke Collection of American Indian Oral History online provides access to typescripts of interviews (1967 -1972) conducted with hundreds of Indians in Oklahoma regarding the histories and cultures of their respective nations and tribes. Related are accounts of Indian ceremonies, customs, social conditions, philosophies, and standards of living. Members of every tribe resident in Oklahoma were interviewed.

American Indian periodicals in the Princeton University Library.  New York, N.Y. : Clearwater Pub. Co., [1981]-  3 microfilm reels + 2,690 microfiche MSU Microforms (2 West)   28922 Microfilm and PN4883 .A43 1981 Microfiche : For more information consult guide in the Microform Guides Collection: Z1209 B83 1980z pt.1-2 - 94 titles of the Princeton University collection are reproduced on microfiche (MFICHE 607) and can be found in Current Periodicals/Microtext Collection  Pt. 1. The Arrow. Tushkahomman. (2 reels) -- pt. 2. Nishnawbe News, 1971-1982 (1 reel).

A birdseye view of Indian policy historic and contemporary / [John Collier, Commissioner of Indian Affairs].  1935.  PAH I 650 Microfiche   : Submitted to the Sub-Committee of the Appropriations Committee of the House of Representatives, December 30, 1935, upon request of Representative Marion Zioncheck, of Washington

Census roll of the Ottawas and Chippewas of Michigan and supplemental census of 1909 (Durant roll). 1 reel. University Archives and Historical Records c00455 (Note: the Library of Michigan has a number of other Indian Census Rolls - check our online catalog for holdings)

Correspondence, field notes, and the census roll of all members or descendants of members who were on the roll of the Ottawa and the Chippewa tribes of Michigan in 1870, and living on March 4, 1907 (Durant Roll) [Washington, D.C.] : National Archives and Records Administration, 1996.  28041 Microfilm  r.1-r.4

Decisions of the Indian Claims Commission : findings, opinions, orders, and final awards of the United States Indian Claims Commission, 1948 et seq New York : Clearwater Pub. Co., 1973-  406 Microfiche  For more information consult the print index which can be found in the Microforms Guide Collection at  KF8208 .A55 Index

Documents relating to the negotiation of ratified and unratified treaties with various tribes of Indians, 1801-69U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs.  Washington, 1801-1869.  14910 Microfilm  r.1-r.8

Draper Manuscript Collection. 1740-1891. Not available in the MSU Library, but at the Archives of Michigan Vault E173 .D73 1980  : This well-known collection of American historical records runs to 500 volumes and includes references to Native American history, primarily from 1755 to 1812. It contains the 24-volume Frontier Wars Papers and the 13-volume Tecumseh Papers.  491 v. (on 123 reels of microfilm and 84 microfiches)  udes letters, miscellaneous legal documents, transcripts of interviews, family and personal records, land deeds, muster rolls, military discharges and business records collected by Draper. The collection reflects Draper's interest in the "trans-Allegheny West", from the period of frontier conflicts in the 1740s and 1750s to the American Revolution and The War of 1812. These include the western Carolinas and Virginia, portion of Georgia and Alabama, Ohio River Valley, and upper Mississippi Valley. Calendars of eight series are on microfiches as are printed volumes on the Ohio River valley: Pioneer's mission, the story of Lyman Copeland Draper / W. B. Hesseltine -- Frontier advance on the upper Ohio, 1778-1779 / L. P. Kellogg -- Frontier retreat on the upper Ohio, 1779-1781 / L. P. Kellogg -- Documentary history of Dunmore's War, 1774 / R. G. Thwaites -- Frontier defense on the upper Ohio, 1777-1778 / R. G. Thwaites -- Revolution on the upper Ohio, 1775-1777 / R. G. Thwaites.  Accompanied by: Guide to The Draper Manuscripts, by Josephine L. Harper. Madison : State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1983.

Expert testimony before the Indian Claims Commission 344 microfiche. 405 Microfiche For more information consult the guide available at Microform Guides Collection  KF8208 .E9 Index

FBI file on the Osage Indian murders.  3 reels    27983 Microfilm : Between 1921 and 1923, several members of the Osage Indian Reservation died under suspicious circumstances. The FBI became involved after the Department of Interior wrote to Director William J. Burns requesting assistance in investigating these deaths. William "King of Osage" Hale was suspected of being involved in the deaths. Posing as medicine men, cattlemen, and salesmen, FBI agents infiltrated the reservation and solved the murders. Hale and other members of the Osage Indian Tribe were convicted and sentenced to life in prison, It was determined that the murders were committed in an attempt to collect insurance money and gain control of valuable oil properties owned by the deceased persons.

The FBI files on the American Indian Movement and Wounded Knee / edited by Rolland Dewing.  23050 Microfilm  |  E93.S33 1986 Guide

General Accounting Office reports before the Indian Claims Commission.   New York : Clearwater Pub. Co., c1975.  301 microfiche.   E93 .G46 1975 Microfiche : Each report details the disbursements in goods and dollars made to various tribes or bands of Indians under the terms of a specific treaty. To be used with: General Accounting Office Reports on Offsets Index, call # E93 .G46 1975 available in the Microfilm Guide Collection.

Indian Census Rolls, 1885-1940 : Mackinac (Chippewa Indians) 1902-3, 1910, 1915-27.  Washington : National Archives, 1965.  22356 Microfilm (Note: the Library of Michigan has a number of other Indian Census Rolls - check our online catalog for holdings)

Indian census rolls, 1885-1940].  Washington : National Archives and Records Service, 1965.  28939 Microfilm   r.2  Reel 2. Bay Mills School (Chippewa Indians), 1909-1911, 1913-1915.

Indian pioneer papers : [1860-1935]  [Greenwich, Conn.] : Johnson Associates, [1981?]   E79 Microfiche : Interviews from early-day settlers in Oklahoma, both white and Indian.  Published in cooperation with the Western History Collection of the University of Oklahoma.  Also avalable online at

Indian-Pioneer Papers Collection.  The Indian-Pioneer Papers oral history collection spans from 1861 to 1936.   It includes typescripts of interviews conducted during the 1930s by government  workers with thousands of Oklahomans regarding the settlement of Oklahoma and  Indian territories, as well as the condition and conduct of life there. Consisting  of approximately 80,000 entries, the index to this collection may be accessed  via personal name, place name, or subject. Courtesy of the University of Oklahoma Western History Collections.

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : Chippewa Agency, 1851-1880 Washington : National Archives, 1957. 20 reels 23023 Microfilm  r.149-168

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : La Pointe Agency, 1831-1880.  Washington : National Archives, 1956. 14 reels.   23022 Microfilm r.387-400

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : Mackinac agency, 1828-1880.  Washington : National Archives, 1959. 14913 Microfilm r.1-14

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : Michigan Superintendency.   United States. Office of Indian Affairs.  Washington : National Archives, , 1959.  28040 Microfilm Reels 419-427

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : Potawatomi Agency, 1851-1880.  Washington : National Archives, 1958-1959.  18 reels.  28936 Microfilm

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs: Saginaw Agency, 1824-1881Washington : National Archives, 1959.  27731
   Reels covering Saginaw Agency, 1824-81 numbered 745 and 746.  Library of Michigan has reels 745-746 under call number E78.M6 U5

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : Sandy Lake Agency, 1850-1851 and Santa Fe Agency, 1849-1851Washington, D.C. : National Archives, 1958.  23053 Microfilm

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : Sault Ste. Marie Agency, 1824-1852.  Washington : National Archives, 1959.  2 reels.   23054 Microfilm

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81 : St. Peter's Agency, 1824-1870.  Washington, D.C. : National Archives, 1956-1958.  10 reels. 23057 Microfilm  r.757-766

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81. Wisconsin Superintendency, 1836-1848] Washington, [D.C.] : National Archives, 1956.  2 reels.  24093 Microfilm

Letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-81. Roll 772-799, Schools, 1864-1873.  Washington : National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1958.  28 reels.  28935 Microfilm 

Letters sent by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1824-1881.  Washington [D.C.] : National Archives, 1963.  23432 Microfilm  r.1-166

Native Americans and the Mass Media / Ray Newton.  22pp.  ERIC microfiche collection  ED127087 : Presenting testimony from various sources, this report describes growing resentment in the American Indian community of Anglo media misinterpretation and exploitation of Indian culture and Indian people. The full text of the Navajo Nation's plan for a Navajo Communications Board (established by the Advisory Committee of the Navajo Tribal Council) is presented as evidence of such resentment in the Southwest. Additionally, criticism from the Indian media is presented (Wassaja, The Navajo Times, The American Indian Press Association, The Ramah Navajo Broadcasting Station, etc.). Results of a survey are presented to indicate the lack of Indian representation in the New Mexico media where there is only one Indian reporter (Albuquerque Journal) and two Indian correspondents (Farmington Daily Times and the Santa Fe New Mexican). Citing lack of self determination, formal training, and organized tribal input as major deterrents (outside of Anglo domination) to the lack of Indian media representation, this report concludes with a brief description of the progress now being made by: (1) Ron Wood and Native Americans for Community Action; (2) Chester Yazzie and the Navajo Nation Report (a half-hour television program out of Flagstaff, Arizona); and (3) Ernest Lavato and the Communications Center for the All Indian Pueblo Council in Albuquerque.

Native Americans and the New Deal : the office files of John Collier, 1933-1945 / project editor and guide compiled by Robert E. Lester.  Bethesda, MD : University Publications of America, c1994.  Microfilm no. 27622 : Reproduced from the Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Record Group 75, at the National Archives and Records Administration. These papers were filmed from Records of the Office of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, entry #178: Office file of Commissioner John Collier.  For more information consult A guide to the microfilm edition of Native Americans and the New Deal.  Microform Guides E93.U5L47 1994.  Also see John Collier and the American Indian, 1920-1945 / by Kenneth R. Philip.  1968.  248pp. MSU Dissertation  121 888 THS  

The Native Americans reference collection [microform] : documents collected by the Office of Indian Affairs.  August Imholtz, editor.  Bethesda, MD : University Publications of America, c1991-  27627 Microfilm Microforms Guides E77.N38 1991

The papers of Carlos Montezuma, M.D. : including the papers of Maria Keller Montezuma Moore and the papers of Joseph W. Latimer / edited by John William Larner, Jr.  Wilmington, Del. : Scholarly Resources, 1983.  9 reels.  24347 Microfilm :   Carlos Montezuma (tribal name Wassaja), a Yavapai Indian born in 1866 and raised in urban white society, was a prominent physician, crusader for Native American rights, and a founding member of the Society of American Indians. Contains "a virtually complete run of Dr. Montezuma's newsletter 'Wassaja'.  For more information consult Guide and index to the papers of Carlos Montezuma, M.D., Microforms Guides E99.M6534. Also see Carlos Montezuma wikipedia entry.

The Papers of the Society of American Indians  / editor, John W. Larner ; consultants, Charles E. Gillette, Hazel W. Hertzberg ; sponsors, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, Juniata College.  Wilmington, Del. : Scholarly Resources, c1986. 10 reels  24346 Microfilm  is 5,600-document collection is a record of the organization, personalities, and accomplishments of the nation’s first modern Pan-Indian reform group; it is one of only a handful of document collections generated by Native Americans themselves.   For more information, Guide to the Scholarly Resources microfilm edition of the Papers of the Society of American Indians. Edited by John W. Larner, Jr. E77.S6 L3 in the microform guides collection.  Also see Society of American Indians wikipedia entry.

Periodicals by and about the North American Indian, 1923-1981.  [Bethesda, Md.?] : Congressional Information Service, [1982?]  82 reels.  23058 Microfilm : The majority of the publications in the collection are short-lived Native American newsletters, tabloids and newspapers

Ratified Indian treaties, 1722-1869   Washington : National Archives, 1966. 16 microfilm reels.  Library of Michigan Microforms  E95 .U53 1966 : Reel covering index to ratified Indian treaties, 1722-1869 numbered 1; reels covering numbered treaties and inclusive dates numbered 2-16.

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs : registers of letters received, 1881-1907.  Washington [D.C.] : National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1983.  147 microfilm reels. 23051 Microfilm Registers for letters received by the Office of Indian Affairs, 1881-1907, from Office employees, government officials, and private sources concerning Indians and the business and activities of the Office. Given for each letter are name and address of writer, date it was received, date it was written, and indication of its subject matter and its file number. Letters were registered in these volumes chronologically in order of receipt. To be used with: Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs : Indexes to Letters Received. Microfilm #23052.

Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs : indexes to letters received, 1881-1907.  Washington [D.C.] : National Archives, National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1983.  35 reels.   23052 Microfilm  To be used with Microfilm set 23051

Records of the Michigan Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1814-51. Washington : National Archives, 1942. 71 reels.  511 Microfilm | E93 .U935 1976 Guide

Special files of the Office of Indian Affairs, 1807-1904.  Washington [D.C.] : National Archives, 1964.  MSU has Reels 2-3, 5-9, 14-16, 18, 20-24, 28-32, 34-37, 43-44, 47, 50-51, 53-55, 57-62, 65-66, 72, 76, 80 (44 total reels).  28937 Microfilm

Superintendents' annual narrative and statistical reports from field jurisdictions of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, 1907-1938   Washington : National Archives and Records Service, General Services Administration, 1975.  MSU has reels 3, 27-28, 81, 82.  28938 Microfilm

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