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Memphis World Photographs

Identifier: MS-3181

  • Staff Only

This collection consists of 59 black and white photographs from the 1950s and 1960s. 22 photographs are dated. On the back of the photographs one finds the location (usually Memphis), sometimes the date, and editing information including a statement assigning the photograph to the Memphis World and indicating the number of columns used for the accompanying article. The size of the photographs ranges from small portrait pictures to larger group photographs.

This collection includes a fair number of pictures of Christian ministers, namely Rev. W. L. Varnado, Rev. H. C. Bunton, Rev. Roy Love, Rev. C. Tindall, Rev. L. S. Biles, Rev. H. Clark Nabrit, and Rev. R. W. Norsworthy. It also includes two pictures of African-American men in military uniforms, namely Pvt. James H. Kewell and James B. Nance. Another picture with an attached letter shows a Memorial Day Services held on May 30, 1959.

This collection also contains pictures of various important educators. One photograph depicts an awards ceremony honoring a Professor Branch. Another photograph shows Horace Mann Bond and describes him as a commencement speaker. Furthermore, the collection contains a picture of the Hampton Institute Faculty and a photograph of Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe as the Founder's Day speaker of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.

Another photograph shows a group of four men and is titled a NAACP Pow-Wow. Another large picture shows a group of students assembled around a sign that reads Principal's List for the Semester. The remark on the back of the photographs reads made straight A's at BTW ( Booker T. Washington High School, Memphis).


  • 1952-1964

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite and must be requested in advance. See for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.

Conditions Governing Use

The UT Libraries claims only physical ownership of most material in the collections. Persons wishing to broadcast or publish this material must assume all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants on for detailed information. Collections must be requested through a registered Special Collections research account.


0.2 Linear Feet (2 folders)


This collection consists of 59 black and white photographs from the 1950s and 1960s. 22 photographs are dated. Almost all of the photographs were taken in Memphis, but one is from Virginia. The photographs were probably collected by the Memphis World. A significant number of the photographs show university professors, men in uniform, and religious leaders. The photographs include images of Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge, Horace Mann Bond, Fred Valentine, Reverend Varnado of Memphis inspecting damage to his Church, and a picture of a Memorial Day military celebration.

Biographical/Historical Note

Willie L. Varnado, of whom there are two photographs in the collection, preached from 1949 to 1962 at the Jackson Avenue Baptist Church in Memphis. Due to urban renewal projects he had to resettle his community at Cummings Street and founded the Cummings Street Baptist Church.

Fred Valentine was born in 1935 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Valentine played baseball for the Baltimore Orioles and the Washington Senators as one of the first African-American players in the major leagues. Valentine also played football, and became an All-American quarterback at Tennessee State.

Dr. Deborah Cannon Partridge Wolfe spent her life promoting education and in the process accomplished many firsts. She was the first African-American woman ordained by the American Baptist Church, the first African-American citizen to serve on both the New Jersey State Board of Education and the New Jersey State Board of Higher Education, the first faculty member at Tuskegee Institute with an earned doctorate, the first African-American faculty member of the Universities of Illinois and Michigan, and the first African-American full professor at Queens College of the City University of New York.

Horace Mann Bond was born on November 8, 1904 in Nashville, Tennessee. He was the son of James and Jane Alice Browne Bond, the fifth of their six children. His mother was a graduate of Oberlin College, and his father, a minister, held degrees from Berea College and Oberlin Seminary. James Bond's career included such positions as financial agent for Lincoln Institute in Kentucky, college pastor at Talladega College in Alabama, minister of an Atlanta church, and director of the Kentucky Commission on Interracial Cooperation. Jane Bond was a teacher for many years and pursued graduate work in sociology at Oberlin College.


Collection consists of two folders.

Acquisition Note

The University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections purchased this collection on August 28, 2007.

Repository Details

Part of the Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives, University of Tennessee, Knoxville Repository

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA