Collection depicts mainly African-American government officials and employees, at the national and local levels, from the 1930s to the mid-1980s. The collection consists of individual and group portraits and candid shots of state legislators, some members of Congress, federal department officials and employees, White House appointees, and some civic and judicial leaders. Candid shots include views of press conferences, ceremonies and presentations, banquets, and meetings. Views of political campaigns, hearings and legislative sessions are limited. Of note are group portraits and candid shots of members of the Congressional Black Caucus (1974-1979), and a group portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's "Black Cabinet" (1938). Among the individuals depicted include United States House Representatives Shirley Chisholm and Julian Dixon, and Georgia state legislator Leroy R. Johnson. Manhattan Borough President Edward R. Dudley is depicted in a group portrait.
Content: Some photographs bear photographer's or photo agency's handstamp on verso. Many items bear handwritten notations on verso; some items bear typewritten or printed captions attached to verso; some items bear printed captions on recto; some items have caption or address labels on verso. Some items are duplicates.
Statement of responsibility: Collection contains work by King Photographers, the Office of War Information, Rapid News Photo, United Press International and Wide World Photos, among others.