Artstor and the Art and Art History Department at The University of Texas at Austin collaborated on a project to digitize and distribute the department’s Ferguson/Royce Archive, contributing nearly 5000 images to the Digital Library.

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.

Notably, the Archive represents 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.

The photography of Ferguson and Royce is best known from publications they authored, together or individually, including: 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.

This is one of several Artstor projects involving the rich collections of The University of Texas at Austin.  See also Jacqueline Barnitz: Modern Latin American ArtHal Box and Logan Wagner: Mexican Architecture and Urban DesignHarry Ransom CenterChristopher Long: Central European ArchitectureWilfried Wang: Modern Architecture, and Restoration of Cultural Monuments in Oaxaca, Mexico.