Category Archives: Photographs

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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Filed under Digital Archive, Memphis History, Photographs

New Digital Collection: Robert Lanier Collection

Paths Through Court Square

 

Judge Robert Lanier has always been a generous friend of the Memphis Room.

Once again, he has given us a gift — this time, a collection of 295 photographs documenting the evolution of some of Memphis’ buildings and public spaces.   Spanning from the 1950s to the present, the Robert Lanier Collection includes images of Beale Street, Court Square, Overton Park, the Tennessee Club, Main Street, Overton Square, the Exchange Building, and so much more.

Our sincere thanks also go out to volunteer Victoria Grey, who not only processed the collection and created a finding aid, but digitized the entire collection as well.

Enjoy!

 Dyer's BurgersMemphis SkylineBeale Street 1955 Mid-America MallOverton Square

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Filed under Collections, Dig Memphis, Memphis History, Photographs, Volunteers

Join us for a Spotlight on Bob Williams

Flyer for Bob Williams event on Saturday, May 10, 2014

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by | May 2, 2014 · 10:13 am

In Memoriam: Roy Cajero

Roy Cajero and Libby Carroll at Arts in the Park in Audubon Park

I met his work before I met him, and I was drawn to his vision instantly. His photographs were unlike anything else in the Memphis Room. They display an intimacy all while maintaining a wider, more objective perspective. He captured the mundane, but managed to elevate it to the extraordinary.

When I encountered the first two notebooks of his photographs, I had no idea who Roy Cajero was — the name was completely unfamiliar to me. I was very surprised to learn that we had worked at the library at the same time and that although he had retired, he was still a frequent visitor. One day, someone who knew of my growing obsession with him told me that he was in the building. I stalked him like prey.

I was very nervous to introduce myself to him, but there was no need. To meet Roy Cajero was to meet humility and kindness embodied. He was a soft-spoken, thoughtful man who was somewhat bewildered by my interest in him. I wanted desperately to interview him and to get some background on the person behind the beautiful photographs; I wanted to add his story to the digital archive along with the images I loved. But he wanted nothing of the sort. An intensely private man, he preferred that I write nothing about him.

Despite his hesitancy to be in the spotlight, he willingly agreed to share his work with the Memphis Room, and he has spent the past few years preparing hundreds of photographs for addition to the digital archive. His gifts will be forever in the hands of the community, and I greatly appreciate his willingness to share himself in that way.

I am also thankful for the gift of knowing him. Just as his photographs led me to examine Memphis from a different point of view, he could always help me look at life with a slightly new perspective. With a sly joke or a twinkle of the eye, this quiet man exuded warmth and put the people around him at ease, all while challenging us to think and grow.

Thank you, Roy. For your many gifts to the library and the Memphis Room, but most importantly for the gifts to your loved ones, friends, and admirers — the latter of which I am a proud member.

Oh, and sorry for breaking our deal.  I know you never wanted attention, but you deserve it nonetheless.

 

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Filed under Collections, In Memoriam, Libraries, Photographs, Portraits, Volunteers

New Digital Collection: Hallelujah!

Hallelujah!, the first movie musical to feature an all-black cast, was released in 1929 by MGM Studios.  Filmed in part on location in the Memphis area, several Memphians were featured in the cast, including Georgia Woodruff.  Woodruff’s daughter, Ruby Woodruff Carter, donated this collection to the Memphis and Shelby County Room.  The collection includes personal photos, publicity photos, newspaper clippings and correspondence about the film and the life of Ms. Woodruff.

In 1986, the library received special permission from MGM for a one-time screening of the film, and several programs and discussions were held in conjunction with that showing.  Two events were videotaped and are available here as well:

Hallelujah!: A DiscussionHistorically Speaking: The “Hallelujah!” Collection at the Memphis Room (Visit our Vimeo Channel by clicking here.)

Our thanks to Katy Tait and Candice Joyner for their hard work to digitize this collection!  Click here to view it now.

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Filed under Black History, Collections, Dig Memphis, Photographs, Portraits, Video, Volunteers

ID requested. Can you help?

Last week, Sandra Lee Drewry kindly donated digital copies of some of her family photographs.  Most are class photos from local schools (view them in The Schoolyard), but this particular image appears to be a company picture.  Can anyone help us identify it?Unknown Photo

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Filed under Gifts, ID, Photographs, Portraits

June 29th – Overton Park Stories

The Overton Park Conservancy and the Memphis Room are joining together to collect your stories and memories of Overton Park.  Whether it is a funny anecdote, a list of things you love about the park, or your favorite picture from the zoo, you can bring your photographs and stories and we will scan or record them for you.

For more information on the project, please visit www.overtonpark.org/stories.

 

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Filed under Dig Memphis, Events, History Department, Memphis History, Photographs