Category Archives: Digital Archive

New Collection: The Grocery Stores of Clarence Saunders

size

Most Memphians, whether it be through Piggly Wiggly or the Pink Palace, are at least somewhat familiar with Clarence Saunders.  Famous in his own time for inventing the self-service grocery store in 1916, Saunders quite literally revolutionized grocery shopping.  Though he lost much of his fortune and was forced to sell the partially completed Pink Palace due to stock market woes, Saunders wasn’t done innovating by a long shot.

A large part of this new digital collection focus on Saunders’ second grocery store model: Keedoozle.  Perhaps the best way to describe Keedoozle is as a giant vending machine for all your grocery shopping needs.  Insufficient technology of the day prevented Saunders’ aotumation vision from achieving its true potential and the concept never took hold.

This collection was digitzed by Rhodes Alumnus and occasional Histroy Department volunteer Matthew Moore.

View the collection, including materials from both grocery store chains here.

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Filed under Collections, Digital Archive, Memphis History

Aerial Photographs of Memphis

Joe Lowry has donated a small collection of 70 photographs that feature some incredible aerial shots of Memphis.  A label on the box suggested that these photos were shot by the Secret Service in preparation for a visit from President Nixon in 1968.  Actually, the photos date to about 10 years later, and it is very likely that they were shot in preparation for President Carter’s visit to Memphis in December of 1978 for the Democratic Midterm Convention. Included in the images are numerous shots of the interior and exterior of Cook Convention Center, where the convention was held, and photos of the Holiday Inn Rivermont, where the President and First Lady spent the night.

Take a look at the photos and you’ll be able to see some pretty great views of Memphis as it was growing and changing.

There are a couple of very striking images of downtown that show the immediate aftereffects of urban renewalAerial view of downtown from Union to Huling.

Or, check out Poplar and Park near St. Francis Hospital:

Very little development around St. Francis Hospital

Several photos cover the Medical District. Here is Baptist Hospital with its very visible helipad:

Baptist Hospital and the Medical Center

There are even a few color photos to round out the collection. Downtown skyline with Mississippi River

Enjoy!  And thank you, Joe!

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New Digital Collection: Civil Rights Collection

This week we launch a new Civil Rights Collection, combining materials from various manuscript collections, including the Frank Holloman Collection, the George W. Lee Collection, the A.W. Willis, Jr. Collection, the Arthur L. Webb Collection, and the Catholic Human Relations Council Papers.

Eldon Holliday began curating this collection as an intern, but in the process of working on it we hired him to work full-time in the History Department. (And we started calling him “Chip.” He’s okay with that, but not “Chipper.” Just an FYI.) It is all a well-developed plan to make sure that he keeps doing great work like this and that he continues to add to this particular collection along the way.

This digital collection also contains a slide show, entitled The Unfulfilled Dream: A History of Race Relations and Civil Rights in Memphis since the Civil Warand images from an earlier version of the Civil Rights Digital Collection.

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Filed under Black History, Civil Rights, Collections, Dig Memphis, Digital Archive, Memphis History

New Digital Collection: Memphis Chamber of Commerce Files

 

Logo Collage

 

2013 marked the 175th anniversary of the Memphis Chamber, and to celebrate the Chamber donated this digital collection to the Memphis Room.  Our many thanks to the Chamber’s Director of Operations, Eric Elam, for scanning all of these files for us.

Included are annual minutes and publications, photographs, resolutions, news clippings, marketing materials, and more from across the years. (Additional photographs and newspaper clippings will be added in the coming months.)

We’re really not supposed to play favorites, as everything in this collection is pretty awesome, but… The film footage from this collection is just incredible!

 

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Bolton, Dickens & Co. Record of Slaves, 1856 – 1858

Cover of Document

This document, created by Shirley Neely, is an oft-requested resource in the Memphis Room.  Featuring a transcription and compilation of the records of one of the largest slave dealers in Memphis during the middle part of the 1800s, this manuscript is now available in its entirety in the archive. Pages 1-38 are a day-to-day accounting by Isaac Bolton for the months of March and April 1865. Pages 39-79 list the names of slaves, purchase prices, etc. Pages 80-91 include entries for sale of slaves. Pages 92-99 are transcriptions of correspondence and the last section includes newspaper articles and advertisements.

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Filed under Black History, Books, Civil War, Digital Archive, Genealogy, Memphis History, Resources, Volunteers

Did you know…

…that after World War II, Memphis “adopted” a Dutch town known for its cotton manufacturing?  School children around Memphis filled cigar boxes with household items to ship to the families in Enschede, Netherlands, while clothes and books were collected to help replace that which was lost in the war.  Read all about it here:

Cover of manuscript

For more information, the Memphis – Enschede Ties collection is available in the Memphis Room. Come take a look!

 

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Report: Becky Muska and the Pink Palace Collection

Pink Palace Collection
Inception: March 2011
Completion: September 2012
Size: 1473 images
Project Manager: Volunteer Becky Muska
Condition: PERFECT.

Comments: Becky has gone above and beyond the call of duty while digitizing this collection. Not only has she made the collection publicly accessible for the first time, but she has done the research to give context to the treasures found within.

Citation: Medal of Honor

Future plans: Anything she wants to do. We’ll announce specifics to the public soon.

Sample images from this collection:

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Filed under Collections, Dig Memphis, Digital Archive, Photographs, Volunteers