Search

or, search Yale Library holdings below:

Yale Library's Catalog

Yale Library's catalog; start here. Help | Search | Advanced

Yale Finding Aid Database

Finding aids for archival and manuscript materials. Help | Search | Advanced

Digital Collections

Thousands of partial and fully digitized items from a wide range of materials from the Beinecke collections. Help | Search | Advanced

Uncataloged Acquisitions

Brief records of material not found in Orbis or the Finding Aid Database. Help | Search

Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts

Descriptions of Medieval and Renaissance manuscripts. Help | Search

Yale Papyrus Collection

Catalog of the papyri held at Beinecke; includes digital images. Help | Search

Richard Henry Pratt Papers

Writings, photographs, and artwork from the papers of the American soldier and Indian educator.
Tom Torlino, Navajo, before and after. ca. 1882

Richard Henry Pratt devoted his life to public service, beginning as a soldier in the Civil War and later fighting Indians on the frontier. It was on the frontier that Pratt came in contact with the American Indian and began developing the theories that were to guide him throughout his life.

It was Pratt's belief that the American Indian, although leading a savage and uncivilized life, was fully capable of being educated and absorbed into American society. Pratt gained support for this view when he commanded a group of seventy-two Indian prisoners at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1875. Through education and humane treatment, Pratt believed that even the most "savage" of Indians might become educated and law abiding citizens.

Pratt's efforts resulted in the founding of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania, in 1879. As head of the school, Pratt stressed both academic and industrial education. He believed that if the Indian was to claim his rightful place as an American citizen, he must renounce his tribal way of life, abandon the reservation, and seek education and employment among the "best classes" of Americans.

The Collection

The collection includes letter-press books, writings, diaries, notes, photographs, and drawings. The papers largely relate to Pratt’s work with and theories on the education of American Indians and his involvement with the Carlisle Indian School. Included is material relating to the controversies surrounding his work and much relating to Indians and Indian life in general. There are a group of Indian photographs and drawings, and papers relating to members of Pratt’s family. Currently, only a portion of these papers are available online.

Western Americana
Call Numbers
WA MSS S-1174
Citations
Richard Henry Pratt Papers. Americana, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University

Contact

Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library
121 Wall Street | New Haven, CT 06511
Campus Map

Tel: (203) 432-2977    Fax: (203) 432-4047

USPS: Mailing Address and Information

email: Ask a Librarian

Join our email list for the latest updates on exhibitions, events, and other library news.

 

Hours

Exhibition Gallery
Monday - Thursday: 9 am to 7 pm
Friday: 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 12 pm to 5 pm

Reading Room Hours
Monday - Thursday: 9 am to 6:45 pm
Friday: 9 am to 4:45 pm

Holiday Schedule and Closed Collections Schedule