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John W. Mosley photographs


Held at: Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center [Contact Us]1210 Polett Walk, Philadelphia, PA, 19122

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center. 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

John W. Mosley (1907-1969) was an African-American photographer. Mosley was born in Lumberton, North Carolina. His father was a Baptist minister and also worked as a barber. Mosley attended Johnson C. Smith College in Charlotte, North Carolina. His interest in photography began in the 1920s, and when he moved to Philadelphia in 1934, he was hired at the Barksdale Photography Studio. Soon after relocating to Philadelphia, Mosley's photographs began appearing in African-American newspapers throughout the eastern United States. He was witness and chronicler of many changes in politics, culture, sports, and fashion from the late 1930s to the late 1960s. Many of his photographs were taken in Philadelphia and Atlantic City, New Jersey, but Mosley also worked in New York, Baltimore, and Washington D.C. He photographed many of the prominent figures in the African-American community, including Marian Anderson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Paul Robeson, Cab Calloway, W.E.B. DuBois, and Langston Hughes.

This is a collection of photographs, negatives, and contact prints by John W. Mosley. Major subjects include social events and ceremonies, churches, sports, performing arts, clubs and organizations, political events, and accidents and fires. There are many photographs of individuals and groups. The collection also includes event programs, a few of which include names of persons photographed at the events; a wedding photo album; a small number of cabinet cards, dating back to 1886; and several copies of Charles L. Blockson's book The Journey of John W. Mosley.

Temple University Libraries Special Collections Research Center
Finding Aid Date
This collection-level EAD record is a product of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries (PACSCL) Consortial Survey Initiative, which was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

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