Washington Conservatory of Music, Washington, D.C.

Records, 1887-1966

26 linear ft.

Founded in 1903 by Harriet Gibbs Marshall (1869-1941) and Black musicians, the Conservatory closed in 1960. Included in the collection are Conservatory records, such as correspondence, school proceedings, teacher reports, student records, notebooks, scrapbooks, artifacts, programs, photographs. Also included are sheet music, periodicals, programs, clippings, scrapbooks, photos, biographical information on Black musicians, and papers of persons associated with the Conservatory. Of particular interest are the extensive correspondence with prominent Black musicians, intellectuals, and public figures in the early years of the school; the records of the National Negro Music Centre founded by Harriet Gibbs Marshall in 1937; and the records of the National Association of Negro Musicians.


Whipper, Leigh R., 1877-1975

Papers, 1852-1965

3.5 linear ft.

Afro-American actor, playwright, and founder of the Negro Actors Guild. The collection includes personal and family papers, correspondence, printed material, biographical information, photographs, and programs relating chiefly to Afro-American entertainers, and material about the Negro Actors Guild of America and the Screen Actors Guild.


Photograph Collections

Harry Bowman Collection of Vaudeville and Gospel Acts

Collection, 1915-1960.

1.5 linear ft.

Includes 200+ vintage photographs of entertainers, actors, musicians, acrobats, and other Black performers. The images were collected by Harry Bowman, a music store owner in St. Louis, Missouri.


Rose McClendon Collection of Photographs of Celebrated Negroes by Carl Van Vechten

Collection, 19201 - 1950s.

5.5 linear ft.

Carl Van Vechten was a philanthropist, author, photographer, art critic, bibliophile and patron of the Harlem Renaissance artists. As a photographer, he made portraits of many of the noted personalities of the period, including Langston Hughes, Josephine Baker, Pearl Bailey, Cab Calloway, W.C. Handy, Mary McLeod Bethune, Pearl Primus, and Jacob Lawrence.


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February 2001