Edward S. Curtis inscribes a 1908 photogravure from his celebrated The North American Indian (1907–30), "The American Indian affords [word illegible] its best opportunity to study primitive man, as a living human document of supreme importance. His life history, in its evolution of thousands of years, is a unique revelation of beginnings, early stages and developments in language, customs, manners and institutions. The complete scientific study of this subject seems a national and imperative duty of the Modern Historic Records Association. The rapid changes make quick action essential. It cannot be deferred if it is to be done at all. For this work there is no tomorrow."