Amsterdam News Photograph Archive,1920-2012.

Collection Number: 8084

Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections
Cornell University Library


DESCRIPTIVE SUMMARY

Title:
Amsterdam News photograph archive, 1920-2012.
Collection Number:
8084
Creator:
New York Amsterdam News.
Quantity:
189 cubic feet.
Forms of Material:
Correspondence, Photographs, Publications
Repository:
Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library
Abstract:
Collection includes photographs and related materials covering a broad range of topics, with a particular focus on day-to-day life in New York's African-American community during the 20th century.
Language:
Collection material in English


ORGANIZATIONAL HISTORY

Founded in 1909 by James H. Anderson, the New York Amsterdam News is one of the oldest African-American owned and run newspapers in the country. Initially focused on local news in New York in general and Harlem in particular, the Amsterdam News broadened its scope to include national news under the guidance of editor Dr. C.B. Powell in the 1930s. By the 1960s, the newspaper had become a major voice in the national African-American community, offering extensive coverage of the civil rights movement. Beginning in 1982, the newspaper was edited by Wilbert A. Tatum, under whose guidance the newspaper remained a voice in local and national affairs. In 1996, Tatum turned control of the newspaper over to his daughter, Elinor Tatum, who remained the publisher and editor-in-chief through the 2000s.

COLLECTION DESCRIPTION

Collection includes photographs and related materials covering a broad range of topics, with a particular focus on day-to-day life in New York's African-American community during the 20th century. Subjects include civil rights marches and protests, church events, high school graduations, local politics, and fashion. Some photographs were taken by staff photographers, while others originated with wire services or as submissions from individuals or agencies. Formats in the collection include silver gelatin prints, negatives (including many unpublished images), contact sheets, Polaroids, wire photos, and halftone prints. As the working photo archive of a continuously-published newspaper, many of the images have retouching, attached captions, press releases, cover letters, and printer's instructions. In addition to photographs, the collection includes ephemera and manuscript material, including newspaper article drafts, typescript and mimeographed speeches, correspondence, event programs, magazine and newspaper clippings, employment applications, press releases, and newspaper production materials.
The bulk of the materials in the archive range from the mid-1940s through the mid-1990s. The materials are divided into series, reflecting the organization of the materials in the AM News offices. A major sub-series of the collection is the archive of Mel Tapley, who began working for the Amsterdam News in 1942 and served as entertainment editor until his retirement in 1997. The Mel Tapley archive includes a wide variety of material, including correspondence, manuscript and typescript articles and notes, artwork, press kits, publicity photos, and printing plates for comic strips drawn by Tapley.
Photographers represented in the collection include Bert Andrews, Kwame Brathwaite, Al Burley, James C. Campbell, Curt Clemons, Juanita M. Cole, Karl Crutchfield, L. St. Clair Dummett, Monroe S. Frederick II, James Gilbert, Dave Greene, Austin Hansen, Tex Harris, Bob Head, Cecil Layne, David McAdams, Bill Moore, Allen Morgan, Vondel Nichols, Lem Peterkin, George M. West, and Lloyd Yearwood. Photo agencies and services represented include Pictorial Enterprise, Wide World Photo, Harris Photo, News Voice International, Rapid News Photo, United Press International, Negro Press Photo Service, Wagner International Photos, and Ace Creative Photos.
SUBJECTS

Names:
New York Amsterdam News.

Titles:
New York Amsterdam news.

Subjects:
African American newspapers.
African Americans -- New York (State) -- New York.

Places:
New York (N.Y.)
Harlem (New York, N.Y.)

Form and Genre Terms:
Photographs.


INFORMATION FOR USERS

Cite As:
Amsterdam News photograph archive, #8084. Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.
SERIES LIST

Because of the size of this collection, the guide is broken up into several different pages. Each page is then further separated into different series. The majority of the sereis titles come from titles given by the Amsterdam News.
Main Guide Content Listing
Series A. Main photo sequence
The main alphabetic sequence of prints containing material from 1920-2012 with the bulk being 1944-1996.
Series A. Main photo sequence
Subject files B
Subject files C
Subject files D
Subject files E
Subject files F
Subject files G
Subject files H
Subject files I
Subject files J
Subject files K
Subject files L
Subject files M
Subject files N
Subject files O
Subject files P
Subject files Q
Subject files R
Subject files S
Subject files T
Subject files U
Subject files V
Subject files W
Subject files X
Subject files Y
Subject files Z
Series B. Inactive File
File of inactive, defunct, or deceased individuals and organizations. Bulk material dates from before 1980.
Series C. Presorted Photos
A roughly sorted series of photos.
Series D. Semi Alphabetized Photos
A second roughly sorted series of photos. Most date from 1980-1999.
Series E. Dated Folders
Photos from the 1990s sorted by date.
Series F. Sports Photos
Mostly promotional photos from sports teams.
Series G. Contemporary File
An alphabetic sequence of photos primarily from 1988-2000, but with some older material.
Series H. Transfer File
An alphabetic sequence of topical files with bulk material dates from the 1960s-1970s.
Series I. Dead Photo File
Photos from the 2000s organized by date of their publication in the Amsterdam News.
Series J. Loose Unsorted Items
Unsorted items found in various locations around the Amsterdam News office.
Series MT. Mel Tapley Collection
The personal archive of Mel Tapley, who began working at the Amsterdam News in 1942 and served as the entertainment editor until 1997. Includes a wide variety of ephemera, artwork, manuscript and typescript material, and correspondence.
Miscellaneous Mailings and Press Files
Mel Tapley Artwork
Unsorted Photos
Press Mailings
Books and Booklets
Press Kits
Press Releases
Oversize and Fax Press Releases
Periodicals, Newspapers, Magazines
Audio and Visual Media

SEPARATED MATERIAL

Books that have been removed and cataloged individually in the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections