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Carl Van Vechten photograph portrait of William Demby


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. 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

Critic, novelist, and photographer Carl Van Vechten, born June 17, 1880, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, was active in the cultural scenes of New York City and Paris during the early half of the twentieth century. After 1932, Van Vechten worked predominantly as a photographer, producing classic images of many literary and cultural figures. Van Vechten was also Gertrude Stein's literary executor and following her death in 1946 edited much of her collected writing. Carl Van Vechten died on December 21, 1964.

"Carl Van Vechten." Contemporary Authors Online. Gale Biography in Context. (accessed December 2011).

Novelist, film translator, and educator William Demby (1922-2013) is regarded as one of the most important African-American authors of the 20th century. Demby studied at the University of West Virginia with poet/novelist Margaret Walker while also giving serious consideration to a career as a jazz musician. After serving in Italy and North Africa in World War II, Demby returned to Rome to study art and art history as a Masters student. He found steady work as a translator of Italian films for high-profile directors including Federico Fellini and Roberto Rossellini. His major writings were created during his expatriate years and included experimental novels that explored racial justice and national identity.

"William Demby." Contemporary Black Biography. Gale Biography in Context. (accessed October 13, 2017).

Black-and-white photograph portrait of novelist and film translator William Demby (1922-2013) taken by photographer Carl Van Vechten in New York on March 13, 1956.

F0038: Shelved in SPEC GRA 0099

Purchase, 2017

Processed and encoded by Dustin Frohlich, October 2017.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
October 2017
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce is required from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Carl Van Vechten photograph portrait of William Demby, 1956 March 13.
Folder F0038

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