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Collection

Ida Grady scrapbook, circa 1927-1930 0.5 Linear Feet — 1 box

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Nancy Ida Grady, a native of Asheville, N.C., graduated from Duke University's Woman's College in 1928. Scrapbook contains photographs, postcards, calling cards, invitations, programs, poems, and other memorabilia. Among the programs are several from church services in Durham and Asheville, theatre productions including performances by the Taurian Players and the YWCA, and several guest lectures at Duke. Also present are exams, quizzes, and study questions from courses at Duke in Bible study, religions of China and Japan, Egypt and Mesopotamia.

Scrapbook contains photographs, postcards, calling cards, invitations, programs, poems, and other assorted ephemera and memorabilia. Among the programs are several from church services in Durham and Asheville, theatre productions including performances by the Taurian Players and the YWCA, and several guest lectures at Duke. Also present are exams, quizzes, and study questions from courses at Duke in Bible study, religions of China and Japan, Egypt and Mesopotamia.

The scrapbook has been disassembled and foldered for preservation purposes. Detached clippings and assorted ephemera are housed in envelopes. Nitrate negatives are closed to use; digital scans are available with advance request.

Collection

Michael Francis Blake photographs, circa 1912-1934 1.0 Linear Foot — 3 boxes — 243 items

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Michael Francis Blake was one of Charleston, South Carolina's first African American studio photographers. Collection consists of 118 photographs, mostly studio portraits taken by Michael Francis Blake from about 1912 to 1934, with some outdoor settings. There is also a full set of copy prints. The great majority of the subjects appear to be African American; however, there are also individuals who are multi-racial, and possibly white and Asian. Formats comprise 91 photographic postcards and 28 black-and-white prints, many on card mounts but some in the form of more casual snapshots; there are also eight copy negatives. A few of the photographs may be taken by others. Thirty-six individuals in the photographs have been identified, including a portrait of the photographer. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

Collection consists of 118 photographs of men, women, and children as single individuals, family groups, and other group shots. There is also a full set of copy prints (preferred for access) and eight copy negatives. The great majority of the subjects appear to be African American; however, there are individuals who are multi-racial, and possibly white and Asian. The photographs were taken by Michael Francis Blake, an African American photographer from Charleston, South Carolina, from about 1912 to 1934, mostly in his studio at 384 West Sumter Street. There are a few that may have been taken by another indiviual. Some of the photographs are stamped with Blake's name and studio addresses.

The majority of the photographs were originally housed in a photograph album entitled "Portraits of Members," also included in the collection, but have been rehoused for preservation purposes. Ninety-one of the photos are photographic postcards and the others are either mounted photographs or snapshots. The predominant style is the formal studio portrait, standing or seated. There are also some informal snapshots that may or may not have been taken by Blake. Some portraits were taken outdoors in front of a backdrop with props such as rugs, chairs and plants to recreate a studio setting. Others were taken on the street; the location of photograph #28 has been identified as just outside of Blake's studio. Some have what appear to be shopping lists and other notations written on the backs, and a few have names, ages, and street addresses, presumably of the sitter or their household.

Through existing captions and public input, thirty-six individuals in the photographs have been identified, including the photographer, Michael Francis Blake, who appears in one portrait.

Each original print has been assigned a unique institutional identifier. All but one have been digitized and are available online through the Duke Digital Collections website.

Collection

Paul Kwilecki photographs and papers, circa 1910-2008, bulk 1960-2008 42 Linear Feet — 54 boxes; 1 oversize folder; 2 oversize boxes — Approximately 9480 Items

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Collection comprises over 500 black-and-white photographic prints, along with negatives, contact sheets, photographer's notes, journals, writings, speeches, correspondence related to photography, and printed material, totaling over 9000 items. Kwilecki's photographic work documents rural and small-town life in and around Bainbridge, Decatur County, Georgia, an undertaking he began as a self-taught photographer in 1960 and continued until his death in 2009. Subjects include local landscapes, tobacco workers, county fairs, hog slaughtering, cemeteries, churches, courthouses, recreation on the Flint River, local industry, shoppers, downtowns, and house porches and interiors. The themes of race relations and religious life predominate. Many of Kwilecki's subjects come from the African American community in Decatur County. Significant correspondents in the manuscripts series include photographers Alex Harris and David Vestal; the collection includes a small set of Vestal photographs. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

The Paul Kwilecki Photographs and Papers span the whole of his career and include over 500 black-and-white photographic prints, negatives (chiefly safety but also some nitrate and glass plate), contact sheets, photographer's notes, journals, writings, speeches, correspondence related to photography, and other printed material, totaling over approximately 9000 items.

The bulk of the collection consists of Paul Kwilecki's prints and other photographic material documenting rural and small-town life in and around Bainbridge, Decatur County, Georgia, an undertaking he began as a self-taught photographer in 1960 and continued until his death in 2009. Although Kwilecki developed an interest in photography in the 1940s, only a very small portion of the images in the collection pre-date 1970.

The collection is organized into two major series: Photographic Materials, containing prints, contact sheets, and negatives, and a Manuscripts Series housing many files of correspondence, writings, and other personal papers.

While initially interested in photographing tobacco workers, Kwilecki turned his focus to other subjects, including county fairs, hog slaughtering times, cemeteries, churches, courtrooms, recreation on the Flint River, local industry, bus stations, shoppers, downtowns, house porches and interiors, and landscapes. Many of Kwilecki's subjects come from the African American community in Decatur County. Throughout the collection, the themes of race relations and religious life tend to predominate.

The Manuscripts Series (1967-2008) also provides an interpretation of life in Decatur County but also documents Kwilecki's photographic philosophy and practices. The correspondence and the journals, related to Kwilecki's work and career as a photographer, comprise the largest groupings. The series also contains Kwilecki's personal journals, dating from 1967-1969; Kwilecki's printing notes; news clippings; exhibition brochures; and a brief internet biography of Kwilecki. Many of Kwilecki's writings attempt to express in words the same topics he tried to illuminate through photography.

Additional manuscripts (14 boxes) and photographic materials were received in 2010 following Kwilecki's passing away. They include many folders of correspondence dating from 1971-2008, arranged in original order either chronologically or alphabetically by folder title. Significant correspondents include photographers Alex Harris and David Vestal; the collection also includes a small set of Vestal's photographic prints. Other files contain writings, clippings, and other items. The writings include journals from the 1970s; typed excerpts from early 20th century Georgia newspapers, some on racial incidents; drafts of Kwilecki's talks; and notes for the Decatur County photography publication (one folder). A few publications round out the last box in the collection.

The negatives are closed to use; contact sheets and prints offer alternate access to Kwilecki's images. Eleven nitrate large-format sheet negatives, dating from approximately the 1940s-1960s, are slated for digitization. Also included in the collection are several glass plate negatives by an unknown photographer dating perhaps from the 1910s.

Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

Collection

James Van Der Zee photographs, circa 1908-1935 .5 Linear Feet — 1 box — 42 photographic prints

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Collection comprises 42 photographs taken by James Van Der Zee, known for his portraits and documentation of daily life in Harlem, N.Y., especially during the Harlem Renaissance (1920s-1930s). There are views of parades, athletic teams, a Baptist group, a first-grade Harlem classroom, and the interior of Van Der Zee's studio, as well as fictionalized settings and poses conveying hopes, dreams, and humorous situations. Subjects include an elegant couple in raccoon coats, a soldier, a female impersonator, a funerary portrait of a man in an open casket, Black Hebrews, Black Cross nurses, Marcus Garvey in regalia during a parade, entrepreneurs Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter A'Lelia, boxer Jack Johnson, and entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. Included is a self-portrait of the photographer playing a violin, circa 1930. An early portrait of Van Der Zee's first wife and daughter was taken around 1908, in Lenox, Massachusetts, his birthplace. Average print size is roughly 10 3/4 x 12 inches. Almost all are exhibit prints created mostly in the 1980s from original negatives. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

Collection comprises forty gelatin silver exhibit prints and two vintage prints of images taken by photographer James Van Der Zee, known for his portraits and documentation of daily life in Harlem, N.Y., especially during the Harlem Renaissance (1920s-1930s). There are views of parades, athletic teams, a Baptist group, a first-grade Harlem classroom, and the interior of Van Der Zee's studio, as well as fictionalized settings and poses conveying hopes, dreams, and humorous situations. Included is a self-portrait of the photographer playing the violin, circa 1930. Other subjects include an elegant couple in raccoon coats; a 1923 soldier; the New York Black Giants baseball team; a female impersonator; a man in an open funeral casket with a superimposed poem extolling fatherhood; a group of African American Hebrews in front of the Moorish Zionist Temple; Marcus Garvey in regalia during a parade; a Garveyite with his son; entrepreneurs Madam C.J. Walker and her daughter A'Lelia in their "Dark Tower" salon with a large group of friends; boxer Jack Johnson; and a double exposure portrait of entertainer Bill "Bojangles" Robinson.

Prints are arranged in chronological order. The earliest images, from 1908, are of Van Der Zee's first wife and daughter, probably taken in Lenox, Massachusetts, Van Der Zee's birthplace, and a blacksmith, probably taken in Virginia, where Van der Zee spent some time before moving to New York.

The exhibit prints were created from original negatives chiefly from 1981-1983, under the supervision of James Van Der Zee until his passing in 1983. Others were printed around 1987 by his widow Donna Mussenden Van Der Zee. All prints bear titles, dates, edition information, and copyright on verso. Most are from runs of 250 limited edition prints created for various exhibits. Some are signed by the photographer.

The majority of the prints measure 10 x 12 inches (sheet dimensions); image sizes range from 10 1/8 x 8 to 10 x 2 5/8 inches.

Collection

Alvin T. Parnell photographs of Durham, North Carolina, circa 1898-1986, bulk 1910-1960 1.5 Linear Feet — 2 boxes; 183 items — 2 boxes; 183 items

Alvin T. Parnell was a commercial photographer based in Durham, N.C. Collection chiefly consists of 167 black-and-white photographs of the city and people of Durham, North Carolina. The majority, chiefly taken by Parnell from 1920 through the 1950s, are views of downtown streets, commercial and industrial buildings, churches, and infrastructure, especially transportation. Many sites are related to the tobacco manufacturing businesses based in Durham. A few are of African American tobacco workers posed in the field and female factory workers ending their shift. Other images range widely and include a Trinity College (later Duke University) reunion, war veterans at gatherings, a minstrel band, a cart advertising Bull Durham tobacco, and tobacco fields with posed workers, white and African American. In addition, there are portraits of prominent Durham individuals and families. Formats include 85 vintage and modern gelatin silver prints, chiefly 8x10 inches, 82 contact prints, and 12 safety negatives. Includes an information folder with 1986 obituary and collection information.

Collection comprises 167 early to mid-20th century black-and-white photographs of the city and people of Durham, North Carolina. The majority of the images were taken by Alvin T. Parnell, a commercial photographer with a studio in downtown Durham, from about 1920 to 1950; prints from 1898 to 1919 likely were from the Cole-Holladay studio, which Parnell took over around 1920. Formats include a few vintage mounted albumen and gelatin silver prints, unmounted vintage and modern gelatin silver prints, and small contact prints made from original nitrate negatives. There are also twelve safety film negatives present, from which some copy prints were made. Includes an information folder with Parnell's 1986 obituary and collection information.

The largest group of photographs, taken from the late 1910s through the early 1950s, features views of Durham's growing downtown, often commissioned by Parnell's business and City Hall clients. In the background of the many street scenes one can see the progression of small storefront businesses that made up life on Main Street in a 20th century Southern Piedmont city. Given Durham's role as a birthplace for the post-Civil War tobacco manufacturing industry, it is not surprising that there are numerous photographs of buildings and industrial sites belonging to American Tobacco, Blackwell Tobacco, and Liggett Myers. Parnell also photographed buses, trolleys, and other scenes for an early Durham power and transportation company, Durham Public Services.

Other images focus on people, and range widely in subject matter: men posed at a Trinity College (later Duke University) reunion, war veterans at gatherings, fraternities, children on a playground, and a minstrel band. A few are of African American tobacco workers posed in the field and female factory workers ending their shift. There are also portraits of prominent individuals and families: an elderly Bennehan Cameron with family members; John Ruffin Green (one of Durham's earliest tobacco entrepreneurs); Washington Duke and sons with associates at a barbeque; the Rosenstein family (optometrists from New York who came to Durham in 1904); William Umstead (U.S. Senator from northern Durham County); and various police chiefs and businessmen. There are also a few portraits of women, some with captions and some unidentified.

There are also twelve safety film negatives in the collection, sized 8x10 and 4x5 inches, from which a selection of copy prints were made after the collection was acquired. A few have no existing prints – these are noted in the collection guide.

In addition to photographs in this collection, some if not most of the earlier images of Durham in the Durham Chamber of Commerce collection in the Rubenstein Library are likely to have been taken by Parnell. His work is also likely to be found in other collections related to Durham residents containing photographs.

Collection

Irvin Family papers, circa 1890s-2016 10.25 Linear Feet — 23 boxes; 2 oversize folders — approximately 5150 Items

Collection consists largely of correspondence between historian Nell Irvin Painter and her parents (1969-2003), documenting various stages of their lives, travels, and Painter's scholarly career. Also includes writings by or about Nell Painter, including reviews of her work; materials, including photographs and tintypes (circa 1890s-1910s) of African Americans in Victoria, Texas, kept by Frank and Dona Irvin, relating to their early life near Houston, and documenting aspects of African American history in that area; copies and reviews of Dona Irvin's writings; documents related to Frank and Dona's education and careers; family photographs; videos; Frank irvin's diary (2000-2003); legal papers; and other items. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection consists largely of correspondence between historian Nell Irvin Painter and her parents (1969-2003), documenting various stages of their lives, travels, and Painter's scholarly career. Also includes writings by or about Nell Painter, including reviews of her work; copies and reviews of Dona Irvin's writings; documents related to Frank and Dona's education and careers; Frank irvin's diary (2000-2003); legal papers; and other items.

Photographs also form an important part of the collection. Along with papers and records, Frank and Dona Irvin kept early photos and tintypes (circa 1890s-1910s) of African Americans in Victoria, Texas; together, these materials speak to their early life near Houston, and document aspects of African American history in that area. There are also family photographs from later decades (1930s-1980s).

For preservation purposes, original audiovisual media are closed to use; copies may be available on request.

Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection

The Garrett Orr Papers document the artistic output and personal files of advertising executive Garrett Orr. Although the collection spans the years circa 1873 to 1994, the bulk of the materials fall within two main periods: the 1890s to 1914, comprising a photographic collection of old poster images; and 1930 to 1965, which approximates the span of Orr's professional life. The collection includes the original drawings, water colors and paintings produced by Orr as designs for the outdoor advertising campaigns of a wide variety of products such as Gillette razors, Ipana toothpaste (Bristol-Myers), Lucky Strikes and Viceroy cigarettes (Brown & Williamson), Mazola corn oil (Corn Products Refining Company), Seagram beverages, Verney fabrics, and White Rose tea. Also included are folders of photographs, slides and negatives of Orr's advertising work for approximately 550 companies (with index). In addition, a collection of almost 200 large-format negatives and photographs document images of 19th- and early 20th-century posters for plays, musicals, minstrel shows, circuses, and hotels. A large set of clippings files contain published examples of the work of over 100 graphic artists and illustrators contemporary with Orr, including Floyd Davis, Ronald McLeod, George Petty, Howard Scott, Ben Stahl, Jon Whitcomb, and J. Walter Wilkinson. The collection is organized into five series--the General Files Series; the Artists and Illustrators Series; the Product Files Series; the Other Photographic Materials Series; and the Sketches Series. Large-format items from the Artists and Illustrators Series and Sketches Series have been relocated to Oversize Materials.

Closely related collections held by the Rubenstein Library include: the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives; the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Poster Designs; the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Slide Library; the Duplex Advertising Company Billboard Images and Records; the Strobridge Lithographing Company Advertisements; the R.C. Maxwell Co. Records; the Howard Scott Papers; and the John Paver Papers.

Collection
Correspondence, legal and financial papers, printed materials, and photographs document the personal relationships and professional activities of Rosser, a successful single African American businesswoman. Correspondence, 1920s-1940s, pertains to Rosser's business ventures in regard to the management of her rental property in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Durham, North Carolina; personal loans made to family and friends during the Depression; and her investments in government stocks and bonds. Later correspondence centers around her relationships with her foster daughter, Mattie Burton Meyers, and Rosser's niece, June. A folder of printed materials includes news clippings on both family events and local politics, church programs, and obituaries, and a 2012 publication about Fannie Rosser's foster daughter, Mattie Burton Meyers, active in the NAACP in Fresno, California. Family photographs date back to about the 1860s and include an early ambrotype, cabinet cards, and snapshots of Rosser and her friends in the 1920s and her daughter's family in Fresno, Calif., in the 1960s.

The papers of Fannie B. Rosser document the personal and professional life of a black businesswoman within a fiscally sound African American community in Durham, N.C. Correspondence, legal and financial papers, printed materials, and photographs reflect both her business activities and her relationships with close friends and family members from the turn of the century to the 1970s.

The bulk of the correspondence until the 1950s pertains to Rosser's business ventures, including maintenance of her property, personal loans made to family and friends, and her investments in government stocks and bonds. Letters from her lifelong friend and business partner, Virginia Randolf of Lynchburg, Va., document the process of maintaining Rosser's rental property over the course of thirty years. They highlight, among other things, the apparent ghettoization of the neighborhood in which her houses were situated, and Randolf's personal and financial response to that process.

Friends and family members often deferred financial matters to Rosser, a careful and respected business woman, and were often dependent on her for monetary support. The correspondence illustrates Rosser's financial acumen and demonstrates the extent to which her personal relationships and business activities overlapped. Of particular interest is an exchange with the Wilhoite's, a couple to whom she loaned $1000, during the Depression. Their correspondence illustrates the personal nature of her business dealings and the difficulties Rosser had in balancing finances and friendships.

Later correspondence centers around Rosser's relationships with her foster daughter Mattie Burton Meyers and niece June. There are scattered references to the political climate of the 1960s, and correspondence from Mattie mentions her work with the NAACP. Also, in the printed materials there is a 2012 published biography of Mattie written by her granddaughter Sharon Revis-Green.

The printed materials consist of materials such as news clippings on both family events and local politics, church programs, and obituaries. A large series of financial and legal papers, 1895-1969, provide extensive detail on Rosser's investments, insurance policies, and legal activities. Many of these documents are associated with firms such as the North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, where Rosser was employed.

The photographs in the collection date back to the early 1860s and are mostly individual portraits and group photographs of African American family members and friends. An unidentified ambrotype of an African American woman dated prior to the Civil War indicates that the family might have been free.

Collection

Lisa Unger Baskin Collection of Photographs, circa 1860-1960s, bulk 1860-1910 3.5 Linear Feet — 6 boxes — 486 items — Dimensions of the photographic items range from standard carte-de-visite and cabinet card sizes, which are in the great majority, and larger prints from later decades that range from 4x6 to 8x10 inches.

Lisa Unger Baskin, who assembled this collection of photographs centered on women's history and culture, is a bibliophile, collector, and activist. Collection consists of 486 photographs in a variety of formats typical for the time, chiefly albumen. Image data includes titles, dates, biography of the photographer, studio addresses, and other notes. Roughly three-quarters were produced by commercial women photographers in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. The great majority of the images are studio portraits of white men, women, children, and families; there are also many photographs of well-known women artists, intellectuals, and activists of the time, as well as women and men in work settings, at play, and posed in group portraits. Roughly 35 images are portraits of African Americans and other people of color. Acquired as part of the Lisa Unger Baskin Collection at Duke University.

Collection consists of 486 photographic items, almost all single prints, in a variety of formats typical for the 19th and early 20th centuries, largely albumen, with some gelatin silver prints, a few tintypes, daguerreotypes, glass plates, and one cyanotype. There are also some mechanical prints such as Woodburytypes and half-tone prints. Roughly three-quarters of the images were taken by women photographers operating or managing studios in all regions of the United States, with a smaller number in England, Sweden, Canada, and a few other countries; some were well-known but the majority were small business operators in smaller cities and towns. Whenever possible, a brief photographer's biography is included with the image entry.

The majority of the images are studio portraits of North American men, women, children, and families. Roughly 25 images are portraits of African American or mixed-race individuals young and old, with a few groups of people of color. There are several ethnographic images of northern African women and a few scenes from Southeast Asia. In addition to portraiture, the collection offers images of women artists, authors, nurses, teachers, and students, particularly graduating classes and early sports teams; and women and girls in boarding house and hotel rooms, at work (factories, offices, mines), and at play. Also present are many portraits of female actors, celebrities, entertainers, and wealthy individuals. Of interest are several photographic images distributed by abolitionist movements of light-skinned slave children. There are also groups of commercially produced postcards, collectible cards (including a set of Newsboy cards), and stereographs.

Original titles have been transcribed when present; in the absence of a title, which was frequently the case, library staff devised descriptive titles. When present, dates have been transcribed; the great majority are approximate and are based on the format, biographies and geneaological information, and clothing styles.

Collection
Howard Atwood Kelly was a surgeon, gynecologist, professor, author, collector of medical memorabilia, and founder of the Kensington Hospital in Philadelphia; he served as the first professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine. Among his interests was the life of Florence Nightingale and her memorialization through images. The Howard Kelly Collection of Florence Nightingale Prints and Photographs represents the collecting efforts of Howard Atwood Kelly, a surgeon, professor, author, and collector of medical memorabilia. The collection comprises 60 images and other memorializations associated with Florence Nightingale, 19th century nurse and healthcare reformer. Image formats include engravings, photographs (some of which are albumens), lithographs, mezzo tints, prints, and postcards; in addition, there are photographic and slide reproductions of drawings, lithographs, engravings, crayon drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Almost all the images are mounted on cardstock boards. Portrayals of Nightingale span her adult lifetime; there are images of her during her early career as a nurse in Britain, and providing nursing care for wounded soldiers in Turkey during the Crimean War. There are also images of her birth and death places. Also included are one piece of popular sheet music (1857) and typed explanatory notes. Reproductions also accompany many of the images. Arranged in rough chronological order by date of publication or creation. Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.

The Howard Kelly Collection of Florence Nightingale Prints and Photographs represents the collecting efforts of Howard Atwood Kelly, a surgeon, gynecologist, professor, author, collector of medical memorabilia, and founder of the Kensington Hospital in Philadelphia. He served as the first professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Johns Hopkins Hospital and School of Medicine. The collection is composed of images and memorials associated with Florence Nightingale, 19th century nurse, author, and sanitation and healthcare reformer. Image formats include engravings, photographs, lithographs, mezzo tints, prints, postcards, and photographic and slide reproductions of drawings, lithographs, engravings, crayon drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Unless otherwise noted, all images are in black and white. Almost all are mounted on cardstock boards. The images depict Florence Nightingale throughout her adult life; some also portray monuments to Nightingale, and geographical locations associated with her birth, death, and nursing career, including her activities in Scutari (Istanbul) tending to wounded soldiers, the peak of her popularization in the media of the time. Also included are one piece of sheet music (1857) and typed explanatory notes. Reproductions in slide and photograph format accompany many of the images. Arranged chiefly in chronological order by date of publication or creation. Acquired as part of the History of Medicine Collections at Duke University.