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David Grant Noble Photographs of Southwestern Cultural Landscapes

Call Number: WA Photos Folio 142

Scope and Contents

Photographs created by David Grant Noble documenting cultural landscapes in the American Southwest, 1971-2002. The images document petroglyphs, structures, cliff dwellings, and other reminders of the ancestors of Southwestern Native American people and cultures. Many images appear in his book, In the Places of the Spirits (Santa Fe, New Mexico: School for Advanced Research Press, 2010).

Photographs of structures in Arizona include White House Ruin and Antelope House Ruin at Canyon de Chelly; Spanish Cavalcade and Mummy Cave at Canyon del Muerto; and Kiet Siel and Betatakin cliff dwellings at Navajo National Monument, as well as sites at Petrified Forest National Park and Wupatki National Monument.

Photographs of structures in Colorado include Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde. There are also several images of sites at Hovenweep National Monument, which straddles the border between southwestern Colorado and southeastern Utah, including House Ruin and Holly Ruin.

Photographs of structures in New Mexico include Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon; Kin Ya-a at Crownpoint; and Tyonyi Pueblo and Cavates at Frijoles Canyon; as well as sites at Bandelier National Monument and Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Photographs of structures in Utah include Monarch Cave and Moon House at Cedar Mesa and a cliff dwelling along the San Juan River.

There is also a photograph of a structure at the Casas Grandes Site in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Photographs of petroglyphs in Arizona include works in Canyon del Muerto.

Photographs of petroglyphs in Colorado include works at Mancos Valley and San Luis Valley.

Photographs of petroglyphs in New Mexico include works at Galisto Basin in Santa Fe County, Glorieta, El Guique, Pecos Pueblo Site, Petroglyph National Monument, Pony Hills in Luna County, Three Rivers, and Velarde, as well as near the Santa Fe River.

Photographs of petroglyphs in Utah include works at Bluff, Canyonlands National Park, Dry Fork Canyon in Uintah County, Grand Gulch Primitive Area, and San Rafael Swell, as well as near the San Juan River.

The collection also includes landscape photographs of sites in New Mexico including Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, Chama Valley, and Llano Estacado. There is also a view of a waterfall in Havasu Canyon (also known as Cataract Creek Canyon) in Arizona.


  • 1971-2002


Language of Materials

In English.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The David Grant Noble Photographs of Southwestern Cultural Landscapes is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from David Grant Noble on the Walter McClintock Memorial Fund, 2009-2011.


Arranged by David Grant Noble.

Related Materials

David Grant Noble photographs and papers (WA MSS S-4504), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.

David Grant Noble, Photographs of Mohawk steelworkers, New York City (WA Photos 318), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. David Grant Noble, Photographs of Ojibwa wild rice harvests (WA Photos 380), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. David Grant Noble, Photographs of Ojibwa cemeteries and Ojibwa families (WA Photos 401), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. David Grant Noble, Portfolio of photographs of American Indians (1988 Folio 79), Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.


1.1 Linear Feet (4 boxes)

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

David Grant Noble (born 1939)

David Grant Noble (Yale 1961) was born and raised in rural Massachusetts. He majored in French at Yale University, and began photographing seriously in 1962 while serving in army counterintelligence in Vietnam. During the 1960s, he lived in New York City and wrote articles and photographed for the weekly newspaper, Manhattan East. In 1971, Noble moved to New Mexico. Initially, he worked as the record photographer for archaeological excavations by the School of American Research at Arroyo Hondo Pueblo near Santa Fe; he continued to work for the school until 1989. In 2003, Noble received the Victor Stoner Award from the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society in recognition of his "outstanding efforts to bring historical and archaeological awareness of the Southwest to the general public." In 2011, he received the Emil Haury Award from the Western National Parks Association for "outstanding contributions in scientific research or other activities that advance the understanding and interpretation of the natural and cultural resources of western national parks."

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

Information included in the Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from communication with David Grant Noble.

Former call numbers: Uncat Mss 1210, Uncat Mss 1242, Uncat Mss 1258, and Uncat Mss 1270

Guide to the David Grant Noble Photographs of Southwestern Cultural Landscapes
by Matthew Daniel Mason
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.