Robert Langmuir African American photograph collection, circa 1840-2000

Emory University

Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322


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Descriptive Summary

Creator: Langmuir, Robert, collector.
Title: Robert Langmuir African American photograph collection, circa 1840-2000
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1218
Extent:37.75 linear ft. (84 boxes), 203 oversized papers (OP), 62 extra oversized papers (XOP), 13 bound volumes (BV), and 3 oversized bound volumes (OBV)
Abstract:Collection of photographs depicting African American life and culture collected by Robert Langmuir.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: For preservation reasons, researchers are encouraged to use the digital collection rather than the original images.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Additional Physical Form

Portions of this collection are available digitally to researchers in the MARBL reading room. For users with an Emory University network id, these images are available to logged in users in the Emory Luna Digital Image Gallery.


Purchase, 2012


[after identification of item(s)], Robert Langmuir African American photograph collection, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.


Arrangement and Description Unit, August 2013.

OP145 was a duplicate image of OP59 (William Saunders Crowdy) and has been removed from the collection.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Robert Langmuir is a rare book dealer from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Langmuir is a private collector whose interest in black life and culture began with his African-American childhood caretaker. Langmuir began collecting the manuscripts and art of black writers and artists twenty years ago. He assembled the collection through antique book shows, auctions, and networking.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists mainly of photographs depicting African American life and culture from the late 1880s to the 1970s. Photographs are in a variety of formats including tintypes, daguerreotypes, cabinet cards, stereo views, panoramas, photographic postcards. In addition, the collection includes several photograph albums. A number of photographs in the collection were taken by African American photographers.

The collection also includes materials relating directly to specific Langmuir photographs or materials that Langmuir collected in the course of acquiring photographs for the Langmuir collection. These materials include printed material, documents, biographical sketches, and some audiovisual material.

Arrangement Note

Organized into three series: (1) Photographs, (2) Related and collected material, and (3) Photograph albums/Scrapbooks.

Description of Series