African Americans

Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings

Found in 12 Collections and/or Records:

André LeRoy Davis Hip Hop Collection

Identifier: MSS.1071

The André LeRoy Davis Hip Hop Collection features eight fine art prints featuring illustrations from the artist. Six of the illustrations were published in the Source between 1994 and 2003 in Davis’ editorial column “The Last Word.” The illustrations address issues of politics, culture, and justice through the lens of hip hop and show why Davis is considered the father of hip hop comics.

Dates: 1994 - 2016

Carl Van Vechten Photographic Portrait Collection

Identifier: MSS.1061
Abstract The Carl Van Vechten Photographic Portrait Collection (1933-1955) consists of 33 black and white photographs of notable African American musicians and performers of the day. The subjects of the portraits cut across genres of opera, musical theatre, jazz, folk, and popular song. The collection includes Marian Anderson (sontralto), (Pearl Bailey (jazz and popular singer), Harry Belafonte (popular singer and actor), Margaret Bonds (classical composer), Carol Brice (contralto), Cab Calloway...
Dates: 1933 - 1963

Charles Stewart Jazz Portraits Collection

Identifier: MSS.1073

The Charles Stewart Jazz Portraits Collection consists of five photographs of jazz musicians taken in the 1960s by the African-American photographer Charles “Chuck” Stewart (1927-2017) in New York, including photographs of Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton, and Roy Eldridge.

Dates: circa 1960s

Isaac Coale, Jr. Manuscripts

Identifier: MSS.0928

This collection contains an 1898 copy of The Sambo Book, a collection of racist dialect manuscripts by Isaac Coale, Jr.

Dates: 1898

Dom Flemons American Songster Collection

Identifier: MSS.1062
Scope and Contents The Dom Flemons American Songster Collection (110 linear feet) consists of audio recordings, materials related to the creation of the album Black Cowboys, reference materials, drafts and liner notes, correspondence, ephemera and tour materials, press and promotional materials, photographs, folk art and fan art, garments, artifacts, framed items, posters, books, digital files (not yet available) and musical instruments. The collection is arranged in thirteen series. It covers the years of...
Dates: circa 1920 - 2022

Janet Jackson Memorabilia Collection

Identifier: MSS.1023

This collection contains two black coats made for Janet Jackson's 1990 Rhythm Nation Tour. One coat was worn by Jackson during the opening sequence of the tour while performing "Control" and "Nasty." The other coat is a similar, second version of the first coat.

Dates: 1990; 2021

John B. Lomax Collection

 Collection — Box 1: [Barcode: 30081045847906]
Identifier: MSS.0964

This collection contains 54 photographs documenting the African-American soldiers of the 3067 Quartermaster Salvage Collecting Company in training in Wyoming during WWII, with almost all of the photographs annotated with humorous remarks and identifications of the images. There is also a photostatic copy of discharge papers.

Dates: circa 1944 - 1950

Rissi Palmer Collection

Identifier: MSS.1026

This collection contains songwriting notebooks, photographs, CDs, and outfits from African-American country music artist Rissi Palmer. The notebooks in particular document the majority of Palmer's songwriting career.

Dates: 1995 - 2019

Photographs of Jazz Musicians

Identifier: MSS.1072
Abstract The Photographs of Jazz Musicians collection represents 80 photographs primarily from the 1930s and 1940s. These photographs showcase jazz musicians, bands, and vocalists, including Sarah Vaughan, Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, Sidney Bechet, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Christian, Max Roach, Nat King Cole, Lionel Hampton and others. Through these images, ranging from promotional stills to candid live performance shots and behind-the-scenes captures, we can trace the evolution of jazz music...
Dates: circa 1930s-1940s

Otha Turner Collection

Identifier: MSS.1051
Abstract The Otha Turner collection includes audiovisual recordings, musical instruments, and other materials documenting the life and artistry of Othar (Otha) Turner (1907-2003). A master of the fife and drum tradition from northern Mississippi, Turner was a farmer in Gravel Springs, Mississippi. He performed fife and drum music at goat barbeques, held annually around Labor Day, for family and community members. A few of these performances were recorded and are included in the collection. Later in...
Dates: 1970 - 2007

U.S. Colored Troops Civil War Muster Roll

Identifier: MSS.0960

This collection contains a muster roll of a company of black soldiers in the American Civil War. The company was present at General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House.

Dates: 1865 February 28-April 30

Melvin Watson Papers

Identifier: MSS.0492

This collection contains the papers of Rev. Dr. Melvin H. Watson (1908-2006), religious leader, educator, longtime friend of the King family, and important figure in the Civil Rights Movement. Many of the papers relate to his 30+ years of service as pastor of Liberty Baptist Church in Atlanta (1958-1990).

Dates: 1915-1990; Majority of material found within 1960s-1980s


About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.