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African American Museum in Philadelphia small collections


Held at: African American Museum in Philadelphia [Contact Us]701 Arch St., Philadelphia, PA, 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the African American Museum in Philadelphia. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

"Founded in 1976 in celebration of the nation's Bicentennial, the African American Museum in Philadelphia (AAMP) is the first institution funded and built by a major municipality to preserve, interpret and exhibit the heritage of African Americans. Throughout its evolution, the museum has objectively interpreted and presented the achievements and aspirations of African Americans from pre-colonial times to the current day.

"The museum is committed to telling the story of African Americans in all its permutations: family life, the Civil Rights movement, arts and entertainment, sports, medicine, architecture, politics, religion, law and technology."


The African American museum in Philadelphia. "Museum History." Accessed February 18, 2014.

This collection consists of various small accumulations (less than one linear foot) of archival materials acquired from a variety of sources at various times. It touches on all aspects of African American life and culture, from business and politics, to arts and sports, to family life and personal experiences. The focus is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, although not all the materials are limited to this region. The collection features a great variety of document types, such as correspondence, minute books, ephemera, photographs, clippings, scrapbooks, film reels, and much more. Most of the collection is organized into sub-collections by donor or creator name. There is also a segment of "Small Collections Arranged by Subject," and loose and special format materials.

The named sub-collections, listed here in alphabetical order by donor or creator, are as follows: Aeltesten Trustees (in German), 1897-1915 [Ancient Order of Foresters of America] A.O.F. of A. minute book, 1889-1891 [Ancient Order of Foresters of America] Foresters of America minute book, 1949-1950 Anderson, Bert memorabilia of Charles Dawson Anderson, Gwendolyn, papers Barkely, Lillian, collection Barnes, Harry W., Jr., photo from a program of National Medical Association Batteaste, Irene, photographs and newspaper clippings Baylor, Owen, collection of Philadelphia Orchestra programs and press releases Bowers, Carnella, film reels of John Heinz Brewer, Delores, documents and photographs of Mercy Douglas Hospital and Frederick Douglass Hospital Carmen, Charles, Ghanian stamp collection Churn, Charlotte, collection on classical music and theater Clyde Pelzer Funeral Home ephemera and financial records Collection on MOVE Collections of Citizens / Greater Philadelphia Enterprises Development Corporation (GPEDC) Colvard, Alberta, collection Contino, Francis, collection on politics and civil rights Daniels, Arthur and Edith, papers Dixie Hummingbirds photographs and clippings Ferguson, May, papers Gray, Brooks E., papers, booklets, and programs on African Americans in the military, including World War II Haines, Walter Sr., photos and patents for necktie designs Harris, Lillian, photograph collection of performing artists Hightower, Dorothy, scrapbooks and documents of Roland Johnson Holder, Oscar Elliott and Cora Elizabeth, scrapbooks Hopkins, Dr. Frederick M., clippings and photographs scrapbooks (includes Niagara Falls vacation), circa 1915-1950 Hughes, Madelyn, photos, diplomas, programs, and scrapbook Hull, Alma, collection (including correspondence with Marian Anderson, James and Ethel DePreist) Jackson, Judge Ricardo, family photographs Jefferson, Bernice A., papers Jenkins, Leroy, programs, newspapers, and bulletins Johnson, Judy, memorabilia Junior Service League plaques, awards, and programs Kennard, Mary, materials on Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church Lindsey, Grace collection Lloyd, Theophilus J. "Sonny," materials on basketball history Logan, Floyd, papers, photos, and awards (educator's roundtable) Marks, D. H., collection McCabe, J. Grant, III, records of St. John's Settlement House McCalla, John Moore, scrapbook of trip to Liberia, 1860 McKnight, Lucille, collection Mills, Maude Frisby, collection Mitchell, Janice and Louis D., collection Nix, Robert N. C., papers Randleman, Irene, photo album and diploma Reeder, Samuel and Bessie, film reel, programs, and documents Smith, Arthur C., photographs Smith, Kathryn B., Claflin College year book and family photos Smith, Marie Steward, papers Stemons, Arizona Cleaver, papers Trent, Raymond F., collection Twyford sheet music collection Unidentified membership ledger, 1878-1880 Upshur, William A., Jr., binder, scrapbook, and photographs Vance, Gertrude, collection on Charles McCabe Walton, George Everett, collection on Philadelphia Concert Orchestra Wesley, Dr. Charles, papers, correspondence, reports Wood, A.R. Maynor, papers Zamsky ephemera collection

The segment "Small Collections Arranged by Subjects" is described in an item-level inventory, available on-site. It consists mostly of printed ephemera such as programs, booklets, postcards, and similar materials. There are also some photographs, correspondence, certificates, and various other original documents. This segment is organized into the following subjects: African and Caribbean Arts Black historiography Education Family Business, fraternal, and charitable organizations Media Medical Military Museum-related Music Politics and civil rights, pre 1960 Politics and civil rights, post 1960 Religion Sports Small artifacts (postcards, cased photographs, buttons, and medallions)

Lastly, the collection consists of various loose materials and special format documents (most of which are stored together by format) assembled by the African American Museum in Philadelphia. These include accumulated photographs, postage stamps, stereographic cards, postcards, posters, large-format designs and plans, and other materials.

Materials collected at various times from various sources by the African American Museum in Philadelphia.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact African American Museum in Philadelphia directly for more information.

African American Museum in Philadelphia
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Faith Charlton through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
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Collection Inventory

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