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BELL, MALCOLM, 1913-
Drums and Shadows photograph collection

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/8z01b


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Bell, Malcolm, 1913-
Title: Drums and Shadows photograph collection
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 761
Extent: .25 linear feet (1 box) and 1 oversized papers box (OP)
Abstract:Reprints of Malcolm and Muriel Bell's photographs of African Americans living on the coast of Georgia.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Special restrictions apply: Requests for duplication should be referred to the Library of Congress, owner of the original negatives. Call number: LOT 13351.

Source

Gift, 1994.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], Drums and Shadows photograph collection, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Processing

Processed by Barbara J. Mann, 1994.


Collection Description

Biographical Note

Malcolm Bell Jr., photographer, historian, and bank president, was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1913. His parents were Malcolm and Laura Palmer Bell. Bell’s grandfather, Frank, was the publisher of the Savannah Morning News and his father was part of the administrative staff.

Bell attended the University of North Carolina, but was unable to graduate due to an auto accident. In 1939, at the age of twenty-six, Bell and his wife, Muriel Barrow Bell, became involved with the Savannah Unit of the Georgia Writers’ Project, a Works Progress Administration program, to interview and photograph coastal Georgia blacks who were of African descent. Under the leadership of Mary Granger, the Savannah Unit interviewed ca. one hundred thirty-four people in twenty locations. Malcolm and Muriel Bell served as the photographers. The results of this project were published in 1940 and entitled Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies Among the Coastal Georgia Negroes (Athens: University of Georgia Press). It was reprinted in 1986.

Bell served as president and chairman of the Savannah Bank and Trust Company. He also authored three books, Savannah Ahoy (Savannah: Pigeonhole Press, 1959), Savannah (Savannah: Historic Savannah Foundation, 1977), and Major Butler’s Legacy: Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987). Bell has also published articles in The Georgia Review and The Georgia Historical Quarterly. Sources used to compile this note include GHS Footnotes (Fall 1992), 6 December 1987 article from Savannah News Press, and Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies Among the Georgia Coastal Negroes (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1940).

Malcolm Bell Jr., photographer, historian, and bank president, was born in Savannah, Georgia, in 1913. His parents were Malcolm and Laura Palmer Bell. Bell’s grandfather, Frank, was the publisher of the Savannah Morning News and his father was part of the administrative staff.

Bell attended the University of North Carolina, but was unable to graduate due to an auto accident. In 1939, at the age of twenty-six, Bell and his wife, Muriel Barrow Bell, became involved with the Savannah Unit of the Georgia Writers’ Project, a Works Progress Administration program, to interview and photograph coastal Georgia blacks who were of African descent. Under the leadership of Mary Granger, the Savannah Unit interviewed ca. one hundred thirty-four people in twenty locations. Malcolm and Muriel Bell served as the photographers. The results of this project were published in 1940 and entitled Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies Among the Coastal Georgia Negroes (Athens: University of Georgia Press). It was reprinted in 1986.

Bell served as president and chairman of the Savannah Bank and Trust Company. He also authored three books, Savannah Ahoy (Savannah: Pigeonhole Press, 1959), Savannah (Savannah: Historic Savannah Foundation, 1977), and Major Butler’s Legacy: Five Generations of a Slaveholding Family (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987). Bell has also published articles in The Georgia Review and The Georgia Historical Quarterly. Sources used to compile this note include GHS Footnotes (Fall 1992), 6 December 1987 article from Savannah News Press, and Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies Among the Georgia Coastal Negroes (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1940).

Scope and Content Note

The Drums and Shadows photograph collection consists of reprints of Malcolm and Muriel Bell's photographs of African Americans living on the coast of Georgia including Possum Point and Pin Point, Chatham County; Sapelo Island, McIntosh County; St. Mary's, Camden County; St. Simons Island, Glynn County; and Sunbury, Liberty County, Georgia. The photographs were used in an exhibit mounted by the Schatten Gallery, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University, February 1 - March 20, 1994. They are arranged in the Checklist of the Exhibition order. The number designation after each photograph’s title corresponds to this list. Commentary on the exhibit as a whole, along with commentary for each portion of the exhibit, were written by Muriel Barrow Bell.


Selected Search Terms

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Container List

Exhibit text
Box Folder Content
1 1 Exhibit catalog
1 2 Comments on the exhibit by Muriel Barrow Bell
Artifacts
1 3 Comments
OP1 1 Carved Masks and Wooden Chains; Carved Wooden Figures (#1)
OP1 2 Carved Wooden Spoon; Carved Wooden Stick with Figure (#2)
OP1 3 Coil Basket and Carved Wooden Objects; Carved Stone Fig (#3)
OP1 4 Carved Sticks and Handmade Banjo; Carved Sticks (#4)
OP1 5 Carved Stick with a Man's Head (#5)
OP1 6 Carved Wooden Frog (#6)
OP1 7 Painted Wooden Figure (#7)
OP1 8 Goatskin-covered Log Drum made by James Collier (#8)
OP1 9 James Collier at Brownville (#9)
OP1 10 Julian Linder at Brownville (#10)
OP1 11 Tony Delegal at Ogeecheetown (#11)
Pin Point
1 4 Comments
OP1 12 Woman and Baby at Pin Point (#12)
OP1 13 Little Girl at Pin Point Printed from the Original Negative by Photographer Alice Boyle (#13)
OP1 14 Boy at Pin Point (#14)
OP1 15 Boy at Pin Point, Smiling (#15)
OP1 16 Lewis McIver, Fisherman at Pin Point (#16)
Sunbury
OP1 17 Wooden Gravemarkers at Sunbury (#17)
Possum Point
1 5 Comments
OP1 18 Alec Anderson at Possum Point (#18)
OP1 19 Rachel Anderson at Possum Point (#19)
OP1 20 The Anderson's Granddaughter at Possum Point (#20)
OP1 21 Woodworker at Possum Point (#21)
Sapelo
1 6 Comments
OP1 22 Julius Bailey and Ox Cart at Sapelo (#22)
OP1 23 Julius Bailey Looking Over Ox Cart (#23)
OP1 24 Ox Cart in Distance (#24)
OP1 25 Katie Brown with Flint (#25)
OP1 26 Katie Brown (#26)
OP1 27 Katie Brown with Pestle and Mortar (#27)
OP1 28 Julia Grovernor, Called Juno, at Sapelo (#28)
OP1 293 Cuffy Wilson with His Granddaughter (#29)
OP1 30 Nero Jones at Sapelo (#30)
OP1 31 Little Boy with a Hoop at Sapelo (2 copies) (#31)
OP1 32 Little Girl at Sapelo (#32)
OP2 7 Shad Hall at Hog Hammock (#33)
OP2 8 John Bryan at Raccoon Bluff, Sapelo (#34)
OP1 33 Praise House at Sapelo (#35)
St. Simons Island
1 7 Comments
OP1 34 Ryna Johnson, Her Daughter and Son-in-Law at Harrington, St. Simons Island (#36)
OP1 35 Ryna Johnson (#37)
OP1 36 Ben Sullivan at St. Simons Island (#38)
St. Mary's
1 8 Comments
OP1 37 Henry Williams at St. Mary's (#39)
OP1 38 Henry Williams (#40)
OP1 39 House of Henry Williams at St. Mary's (#41)
OP1 40 Enoch and Artie Jones at St. Mary's (2 copies) (#42)
OP1 41 Artie Jones (#44)
OP1 42 Robert Lucas at St. Mary's (#44)
OP1 43 Jim Myers at Mush Bluff Island (#45)
OP1 44 Jim Myers (#46)
OP1 45 Jim Myers (#47)
OP1 46 Jim Myers (#48)
Additional photographs
1 9 Comments
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