Ferguson-Royce: Pre-Columbian Photography (University of Texas at Austin)

Artstor and the Art and Art History Department at The University of Texas at Austin are collaborating on a project to digitize and distribute the department's Ferguson/Royce Archive. The Ferguson/Royce Archive consists of approximately 5,200 negatives, created by William Ferguson and John Q. Royce and depicting views of Mesoamerican and Southwest United States sites. Ferguson and Royce were amateur archaeologists and aviators who devoted themselves to documenting major Pre-Columbian ruins from the air. Their photography is best known from publications they authored, together or individually. These books include: Maya Ruins in Central America in color: Tikal, Copan, and Quirigua, 1984; Maya ruins of Mexico in color: Palenque, Uxmal, Kabah, Sayil, Xlapak, Labná, Chichén Itzá, Cobá, Tulum, 1977; Anasazi ruins of the Southwest in Color, 1991; The Anasazi of Mesa Verde and the Four Corners, 1996; and Mesoamerica's Ancient Cities: Aerial Views of Pre-Columbian Ruins in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and Honduras, 1990.  

The Ferguson/Royce Archive represents a photographic portrayal of many of the major Pre-Columbian sites in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. Magnificent aerial views, as well as ground photographs, provide glimpses of these ancient cities rarely seen by most visitors, often capturing vistas that preserve specific moments in the history of the discovery and excavation of these sites.  

Dr. Julia Guernsey, who teaches Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican Art at UT Austin and is a frequent user of the Ferguson/Royce Archive, attests to the importance of this collaboration. “The Ferguson/Royce archive is a rich resource for students and scholars, as it provides rare views of sites and monuments, many of which would be impossible to duplicate today. Having the resource available online in a digitized form through Artstor will be invaluable for both research and teaching." Max Marmor, Artstor's Director of Collection Development, adds: "Our partnership with the Art and Art History Department at The University of Texas at Austin will significantly advance Artstor's effort to provide a rich body of images of Pre-Columbian art and archaeology, for use by teachers, students and scholars." This is one of several important Artstor projects involving the rich collections of The University of Texas at Austin.