In 1935, the Morgan estate sold the rights to The North American Indian and remaining unpublished material to the Charles E. Lauriat Company in Boston for $1,000 plus a percentage of any future royalties. This included 19 complete bound sets of The North American Indian, thousands of individual paper prints, the copper printing plates, the unbound printed pages, and the original glass-plate negatives. Lauriat bound the remaining loose printed pages and sold them with the completed sets. The remaining material remained untouched in the Lauriat basement in Boston until they were rediscovered in 1972.
Around 1970, Karl Kernberger, of Santa Fe, New Mexico, went to Boston to search for Curtis’s original copper plates and photogravures at the Charles E. Lauriat rare bookstore. He discovered almost 285,000 original photogravures as well as all the copper plates. With Jack Loeffler and David Padwa, they jointly purchased all of the surviving Curtis material that was owned by Charles Emelius Lauriat (1874–1937). The collection was later purchased by another group of investors led by Mark Zaplin, of Santa Fe. The Zaplin Group owned the plates until 1982, when they sold them to a California group led by Kenneth Zerbe, the owner of the plates as of 2005. 1985 Zerbe donated a portion of the collection to the Museum of the American Indian (National Museum of the American Indian New York). Other glass and nitrate negatives from this set are at the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (Santa Fe, New Mexico).
This plate was purchased directly from Zerbe in 2021.