The Loewentheil Collection of African American Photographs: Cornel University.


Cornell University in Ithaca, New York house an online collection titled the Loewentheil Collection of African American Photographs, donated to the university by Stephan and Beth Loewentheil in 2012. The collection includes 645 images, spanning the years from 1860 to the 1960s. Included are photographs of some famous African Americans including Dr. Martin Luther Jr. and Muhammad Ali. But most of the photographs are images of everyday life in the African American community. The collection can be searched by date, geographic location, photographer, and subject matter. Among the earliest images in the collection is the photograph below showing a group of young enslaved African Americans on a plantation in Louisiana.

Hundreds of seldom-seen photographs documenting the journey of African-Americans from the slavery era to the 20th century are now digitized and freely accessible to students and scholars around the world. Hence, the collection presents unnamed poignant photographs of proud women and men who worked hard to support their families during slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Movement. The photographs also include tintypes of the formerly enslaved and personal family photo albums, dating from the 1850s to the mid-20th century. They encompass daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, carte-de-visite photographs, albumen prints, Polaroids and more.

The majority of images in the Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs (RMM08043) are believed to be in the public domain in the United States by virtue of their creation date (pre-1923). The copyright status and copyright owners of the remaining images in the Loewentheil Collection of African-American Photographs (RMM08043) are unknown. This collection was digitized by Cornell...

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