Ceremonies and celebrations

Collection Data

Ceremonies and celebrations documents African American weddings, funerals, wedding anniversaries, parties, award and other presentations, and philanthropic donations from the 1940s to the 1980s with the bulk of the collection dating from the late 1940s to the early 1960s.Other images of ceremonies and celebrations can be found in Children, Education, Organizations, and the Portrait Collection.Weddings comprise two-thirds of the collection and date mainly from the late 1940s to the early 1960s. While most of the weddings took place in New York City, Virginia and a few other states are also represented. Most images are candid shots of brides and grooms and bridal parties at churches, reception halls and in private homes. A few images are studio portraits of brides and grooms. Included are images of Muslim, Jewish, Native American, and military weddings. Most of the wedding photographs were published in the society columns of various African American newspapers and therefore bear cropping and/or airbrush marks.Images of funerals show open and closed caskets; mourners viewing the remains; church and grave site services; pallbearers carrying caskets out of churches and funeral homes; and street scenes showing mourners gathered in small groups, waiting on line to pay last respects, and funeral corteges. Included are the funerals of clergy, a doctor, a fraternal organization member, as well as a series of photos of the funeral of an unidentified New York City policeman (n.d.) and a little girl (1946). Other photos document the funeral of immigration inspector Sol Johnson (1949). Also included are views of Charlie Parker's widow, mourners at the funeral of Lorraine Hansberry, and pallbearers carrying Billy Holiday's casket.Wedding anniversary celebrations depict couples, some with family and friends, celebrating first, twenty-fifth and fiftieth wedding anniversaries. Images of parties show mainly adult birthday celebrations, including that of a 107-year-old man from the New York City area. Many birthday celebrants, some with family and friends, are depicted with birthday cakes.Award presentations show recipients receiving plaques or certificates in recognition of scholarships, community service, professional achievement, and years of service. Images of contest winners show sweepstakes and other winners; most of these photos have appeared in the press and bear cropping and/or airbrush marks. Images of philanthropic donations include African American organizations presenting checks to a hospital, a children's group and to various unidentified causes.
Campbell, James C (Photographer)
Dummett (Photographer)
Nichols, -1991 (Photographer)
Keno-Foto Service (Yonkers, N.Y.)
Layne's Studio (New York, N.Y.)
M. Associates (New York, N.Y.)
Roberts Photo Studio (Yonkers, N.Y.)
Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1940 - 1989
Library locations
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division
Shelf locator: Sc Photo Ceremonies and celebrations
African Americans -- Rites and ceremonies
Rites and ceremonies
African Americans -- Clothing.
African Americans -- Marriage customs and rites
Marriage service
Wedding photography
Wedding attendants
Wedding cakes
African Americans -- Funeral rites and ceremonies
Funeral rites and ceremonies
Funeral decorations
Award presentations
Wedding costume
Charity organization
Endowment of research
Social service
Muslims -- Marriage customs and rites
Military weddings
Title devised by cataloger.
Most photographs bear descriptive information on verso. Many items bear photographer's or photography studio's handstamp on verso. Some items bear cropping and/or airbrush marks. A few items are duplicates.
Collection contains work by Roberts Photo Studio, James C. Campbell, Dummett, and Nichols, among others.
Physical Description
Extent: 471 items (1.1 cubic ft., 4 boxes)
Extent: 417 photographic prints :gelatin silver, b&w ;26 x 21 cm. and smaller.
Extent: 48 photographic prints :gelatin silver, b&w ;18 x 16 cm. and smaller.
Extent: 5 photographic prints :dye coupler ;26 x 21 cm.
Gelatin silver prints
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b16315056
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 6295c190-81cf-0135-1c8f-6938dcda1eec
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