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Special Collections Online at The University of Tennessee

M. McKay Bonner Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS-1642
This collection houses correspondence, theater programs, circulars, scripts, musical compositions, reviews, minutes of club meetings, newspaper clippings, and personal photographs documenting the life and work of Malcolm McKay Bonner, an African-American man living in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1920s. Of particular interest are those materials showing Bonner's involvement with the Hotel Men's Improvement Club and with the artistic community in Memphis.

Dates

  • 1922 December 17-1970 April

Conditions Governing Access

Collections are stored offsite, and a minimum of 2 business days are needed to retrieve these items for use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the collections are advised to contact Special Collections.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in this collection remain with the creator. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library.

Extent

1 Linear Feet

Abstract

This collection houses correspondence, theater programs, circulars, scripts, musical compositions, reviews, minutes of club meetings, newspaper clippings, and personal photographs documenting the life and work of Malcolm McKay Bonner, an African-American man living in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1920s.

Biographical/Historical Note

Malcolm McKay Bonner was born on 2 February 1897 in Memphis, Tennessee. Bonner worked primarily as a bellman at the Claridge and Chisco Hotels and never received a formal education. He was passionate about art, and was heavily involved with the musical and artistic community in Memphis. He was associated with the Palace and Venus theaters on Beale Street, where he was a promoter for regular amateur night programs, and also tried his hand as a playwright, composer, performer, and critic. Bonner married Rebecca Griffin, and their daughter Verdelle was born in about 1916. The family moved to Kentucky in the late 1920s, and Bonner died in Louisville on 22 May 1971.

Arrangement

Collection consists of one box.

Acquisition Note

The University of Tennessee Libraries, Knoxville, Special Collections purchased this collection in 1989.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Knoxville TN 37996 USA
865-974-4480