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Researching African American Photographers

Selected sources of information aiding research on African American photographers.

Amistad Research Center at Tulane University

The Amistad Research Center has over 600 manuscript collections and 20,000 books dedicated to African American history. The center is located in Tulane University, New Orleans, LA.

Connecticut Historical Society

The Society holds a valuable collection of Augustus Washington daguerreotypes.

Historic New Orleans Collections

The Historic New Orleans Collection contains a large Jazz collection and many African American photographs.

Library of Congress

The LOC has thousands of photographs by African American photographers. Specific collections include 4,700 NAACP photographs from 1933-1955.

Moorland Spingarn Research Center at Howard University

The Moorland Spingarn Research Center is devoted to African American culture and history and contains thousands of photographs.

The National Archives and Records Administration

NARA holds many photographs including the U.S. Signal Corps collection.

National Museum of African American History

The National Museum of African American History (opening in 2015) has many collections related to African American photography such as the Ernest C. Withers collection. Ernest Withers (1922-2007) was an African American photographer who worked in Memphis, TN.


Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The Schomburg Center is a major research facility holding African American photographs, manuscripts, and culture collections. Many photographs are by African American artists. The Schomburg Center is located in New York, NY and is affiliated with the New York Public Library.

The Archives Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History

The Archives Center holds many photographs by and of African Americans, especially the archive of Addison Scurlock.

Studio Museum in Harlem

The Studio Musem holds the archive of James VanDerZee, an African American photographer known for his images of black New Yorkers during the Harlem Renaissance.

Yale University

The University library holds the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of Negro Arts and Letters which includes many photographs.