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Paul Henderson Photograph Collection Overview
PAUL HENDERSON PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION
Baltimore City Life Museum Collection
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Paul Henderson photographs in Collections Online (click and scroll down)
See also: Paul Henderson Manuscript and Ephemera Collection, MS 3089
See also: Paul Henderson Photographs Blog (contains information about the exhibition, videos, and slideshows of unidentified photos)
Scope and content note
Part I: Henderson Negatives (inventory lists)
Part II: Cornish-Henderson Prints and Copy Photographs (inventory list)
Abstract: The Paul Henderson Photograph Collection is a collection of over 6,950 photographs bequeathed originally to the Baltimore City Life Museums by Paul Henderson after he passed away in 1988. After the closing of the Baltimore City Life Museums, the collection was acquired by the Maryland Historical Society in 1997-1998. Henderson’s work spans ca. 1935-1965 and is primarily portraiture of the African American community of Maryland. Henderson’s collection is particularly strong within the area of Baltimore’s church community, education system, and other unidentified groups.
Access: The original acetate negatives are restricted from public use. Reference photographs of all negatives may be viewed during library hours without an appointment. Appointments are preferred for viewing of the photographic prints. Contact email@example.com.
Biographical note: Paul Samuel Henderson was born on October 10, 1899 in Springfield, Tennessee and was the youngest of four children born to Ike A. and Annie L. Henderson. At age 18 he registered for the World War I draft on September 12, 1918 while working as a bricklayer for a steel company in Gary, Indiana. At some point during his residence in Gary, he attended the School for Professional Photography.
Henderson moved to Baltimore in 1929 and became what the Afro-American newspaper called their “first photographer.” In 1930 he married schoolteacher and “prominent society girl” Elizabeth Johnson. In addition to his job at the Baltimore Afro-American, Henderson worked as a freelance photographer and landlord. Henderson died on Tuesday, May 24, 1988 at Union Memorial Hospital after a reported battle with a long-term illness. Services were held at St. James Episcopal Church at Lafayette and Arlington Avenues, Baltimore. He had outlived his wife Elizabeth, who passed away in 1982. His obituary stated that he was survived by his brother, Willard Henderson, who lived in Tampa, Florida. More information about Paul Henderson can be found on the Paul Henderson Photographs Blog.
Scope and content note: The collection consists of over 6, 400 four by five-inch acetate negatives (Part I) and over 500 photographic prints (Part II) known as the Cornish-Henderson gift (1991.44). Both parts of the collection strongly represent the black community of Maryland, with particular focus on Baltimore, ca. 1935-1965, and include some Jewish leaders of the time. Henderson photographed Pennsylvania Avenue businesses and pedestrians, educational institutions such as Morgan State College (now University), sports including Baltimore’s Elite Giants Negro Leagues baseball team, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) meetings and protests, politicians, church functions, and much more.
The photographic prints (Part II) consist of copy photographs from the acetate negatives and the Cornish-Henderson gift (1991.44), which consists of original photographic prints of the Henderson or Johnson Family members, and photographs by other photographers.
Arrangement of Negatives (Part I)
There are four inch by five-inch negatives as well as eight by ten-inch negatives within Part I. The four-inch by five-inch negatives are arranged in eight large cartons (file size boxes), which hold roughly 20 four-inch by five-inch archival boxes. The eight by ten-inch negatives are filed within 12 archival ledger boxes. The arrangement of the negatives reflects the arrangement by the Baltimore City Life Museum (the original repository for the collection).
Arrangement of Prints (Part II)
The Cornish-Henderson gift (1991.44) consists of Henderson-Johnson Family portraits, ephemera, and vintage prints produce by Henderson and other photographers. The copy photographs within this part of the collection are modern prints made from Henderson’s negatives (Part I). They are for reference only.
Note: The Henderson Collection inventory lists are undergoing reworking in order to provide the most current, verified information to visitors. Please check back for updated lists. Click on the links to each invidual group of boxes. These links will either lead to the box page or directly to the container list (PDF).
BOX A1 - BOX A2 (ca. 1946, 1948-1956, 1958-1959, and undated)
Clubs, bars, and restaurants, musicians and entertainers, Arrow Beer advertisement photographs, Negro League Baseball team Elite Giants, classes and schoolgroups, factory workers, businesses, Baltimore City street scenes, parks, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) meetings and events, Civil Rights demonstrations, Planned Parenthood, politicians, weddings, Pennsylvania Avenue, birthdays, Harlem Globetrotters, etc. Two boxes total.
BOX B1 - BOX B2 (1947-1954, 1956-1957, 1959, 1962)
Pennsylvania Avenue, movie theaters, National Association for the Advancment of Colored People (NAACP) events, politicians, barber shop, clothing stores, grocery stores, businesses, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie (now Bowie State University), graduates, classes, Druid Hill Park, etc. Two boxes total.
Crate 1 - Boxes HEN.01.01 - HEN.01.14 (1948-1949): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes churches and priests, Druid Hill Park, funerals, graduations, weddings, Fitzgerald Apartments, sports, classes, social groups, birthday celebrations, etc. Fourteen boxes total.
Crate 2 - Boxes HEN.02.01 - HEN.02.18 (1949-1951): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes weddings, women-organized church gatherings, classrooms, Morgan State College (now University) sports and teams, gatherings, graduations, churches, library, banquets, funerals, etc. Eighteen boxes total.
Crate 3 - Boxes HEN.03.01 - HEN.03.16 (1951-1952): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes Morgan State College events and faculty portraits, and also weddings, church activities, etc. Sixteen boxes total.
Crate 4 - Boxes HEN.04.01 - HEN.04.10 (1948, 1953-1953, and not dated): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes Arbutus Memorial Park, graduation, social gatherings, adults and children, funerals, Alpha Kappa Alpha Convention, Morgan State College (now University), Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie (now Bowie State University), church activities, etc. Ten boxes total.
Crate 5 - Boxes HEN.05.01 - HEN.05.17 (1953-1954): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes weddings, graduations, social gatherings, classrooms, birthdays, graduations, church demonstration, street scenes, churches, library, Maryland Normal and Industrial School at Bowie (now Bowie State University), etc. Seventeen boxes total.
Crate 6 - Boxes HEN.06.01 - HEN.06.16 (1954-1959, and not dated): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes Arbutus Memorial Cemetery, hospital and nurses, Morgan State College sports, classroom, banquet, birthday celebration, funeral, military portraits, church choir, Chick Webb Memorial Recreation Center, etc. Sixteen boxes total.
Crate 7 - Boxes HEN.07.01 - HEN.07.15 (1959, 1962, and not dated): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes church gathering, Morgan State College (now University), possibly photographs of the Baltimore neigborhood Cherry Hill, graduates, funeral, etc. Fifteen boxes total.
Crate 8 - Boxes HEN.08.01 - HEN.08.13 (1947, 1953, and not dated): Mostly unidentified portraits. Also includes church activities, wedding, school art exhibit, funeral, St. James Episcoal Church, Bethel A.M.E. Church, etc. Thirteen boxes total.
Crate 9 - Boxes HEN.09.01 - HEN.09.12 (ca. 1934-1949 and not dated): Mostly unidentified group portraits. Also includes Morgan State College (now University), church gatherings, Cortez Peters School, Duke Ellington, N.A.A.C.P, Afro-American newspaper. Twelve boxes total. Please note that most of the photographs in this crate are not available for scanning.
Download the Cornish-Henderson Print Inventory (1991.44)
The Cornish-Henderson gift consists of Henderson family portraits, ephemera, and vintage prints produced by Henderson.
The Copy Photographs portion of this collection are modern prints made from Henderson's negatives found in Part I. They are for reference only.
To learn more about the subjects Henderson photographed, visit the Paul Henderson More Information page.
See also: Paul Henderson Manuscript and Ephemera Collection, MS 3089