Helen Armstead-Johnson photograph collection

Collection History

This digital compilation was developed in support of the NYPL website, "The African American Migration Experience," a sweeping 500-year historical narrative from the transatlantic slave trade to the Western migration, the colonization movement, the Great Migration, and the contemporary immigration of Caribbeans, Haitians, and sub-Saharan Africans.

Related Resources

NYPL. "In Motion: The African-American Migration Experience."(2005) <http://www.inmotionaame.org>

Collection Data

Description
The Helen Armstead-Johnson Photograph Collection consists of over 15,000 photographs, prints, postcards and transparencies, which document the contributions of African-Americans to the performing arts, both in the United States and abroad. The collection which dates from the nineteenth century to the 1990s documents the work of actors, dancers, musicians, singers and comedians as well as playwrights, composers, songwriters, producers, directors and choreographers. There are also a handful of images of African-American circus performers that may be found mainly in the Ulysses S. "Kid" Thompson collection and also in the files of a few of the other entertainers. The collection consists of studio and publicity portraits of individual entertainers; motion picture, television stills and theater scenes of performances by African-Americans; personal collections of individual entertainers which were donated to the Armstead-Johnson Foundation for Black Theater Research; and a collection of over 1,000 postcards, which includes a rare group of pre-1915 postcard portraits of African-American performers, produced in Europe.
Names
Johnson, Helen A. (Collector)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1890 - 1999 (Questionable)
Library locations
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division
Shelf locator: Sc Photo Helen Armstead-Johnson Theater Collection (Main Record)
Topics
African American actors
Entertainers
Performing arts
Theatrical productions
African American actresses
Genres
Photographs
Postcards
Notes
Bibliographic history: The Helen Armstead-Johnson photograph collection was assembled by English professor Helen Armstead-Johnson, beginning in the 1960s, during the course of her research into the contributions of African-Americans to the American stage. The collection consists of photographs, prints, postcards and transparencies that document African-American entertainers in various areas of the performing arts. In 1974 Johnson established the Armstead-Johnson Foundation for Theater Research for the purpose of further collecting as well as preserving, documenting and interpreting the contributions of African-Americans to the performing arts. The entire collection, consisting of several thousand photographs, posters, letters, scrapbooks, costumes and costume designs, recordings and other memorabilia, was donated to the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in December 1996.
Type of Resource
Still image
Identifiers
RLIN/OCLC: NYPG00-F335
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b14907059
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 93b16510-c634-012f-3fb3-58d385a7bc34
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