Howard Orphanage and Industrial School 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) <>

Collection Data

Photographs depicting the interior and the grounds of the Howard Orphanage and Industrial School. Photographs show children in classes, learning trades and skills and engaged in outdoor and indoor activities.
Dates / Origin
Date Issued: 1898 - 1955 (Approximate)
Library locations
Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division
Howard Orphanage and Industrial School (Long Island, N.Y.)
Biographical/historical: Originally called the Brooklyn Howard Colored Orphan Asylum, the Howard Orphanage and Industrial School was founded (1868) and operated by African Americans, unlike other orphanages that cared for destitute black children. In 1911 the Howard Orphanage purchased a farm on Long Island, closed the Brooklyn facility, and moved 250 boys and girls there. The children were taught practical skills, and were "placed out" with individual families when they reached the age of sixteen. The Orphanage was forced to close in January 1918 due to the severe winter that caused the water pipes to freeze, resulting in two children having to have their feet amputated. Following the foreclosure on the mortgage, the trustees of the orphanage used the financial contributions, which individuals continued to send, for the education of needy black students in Brooklyn high schools. The organization was renamed the Howard Memorial Fund in 1956.
Type of Resource
Still image
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 94f31b10-c6b7-012f-e433-58d385a7bc34
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