Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Alexander Gumby collection of Negroiana, [ca. 1800]-1981. 

Gumby, L. S. Alexander, 1885-1961, compiler.
Phys. Desc: 
88 inear ft. ( 17 boxes 1 oversize folder)
Call Number: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Scope and Contents

A collection concerned with the various phases of black life in America, containing clippings, pamphlets, photographs, pictures, extracts from periodicals, and a representative group of approximately 350 letters, signatures, manuscripts, and documents. Among the letters are several each from Countee Cullen, Frederick Douglass, Alexander Dumas, fils, William Lloyd Garrison, Claude McKay, Abraham Lincoln, Henry Mencken, William Pickens, Albert A. Smith, and Booker T. Washington. Also, eighteen slavery documents. Most of the material is mounted in 161 scrapbooks or groups of folio leaves. The clippings are from both general and specialized newspapers and magazines ranging in date from 1850 to 1960, however the majority of the material falls between 1910 and 1950. Whole volumes are devoted to major figures such as Joe Louis, Booker T. Washington, Paul Robeson, and Josephine Baker. Four scrapbooks contain signatures, signed photographs, and letters from a great variety of individuals. Among the unnumbered volumes of personal scrapbooks there are six volumes labeled "Gumby's Autobiography" containing personal letters, calling cards, photographs, post cards, and other printed material relating to Gumby's life.