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Guide to the African American soldier's Korean War photograph album, circa 1950-1953

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Summary

Album contains 106 black-and-white and color photographs mounted in a black-leaf photograph album, bound in Japanese-style lacquered covers. The photographer may be an African American soldier named Tommy, who served in the U.S. Army's 511th Operation and Maintenance Service (OM SVC) Company during the Korean War. It is unclear whether the photographs are from Japan or from Korea. The images depict soldiers at work and enjoying recreational time. Many photographs depict both white and African American soldiers together. Other subjects include local women and children; women with servicemen; the countryside and Japanese-style buildings; and family members and others back home. Collection includes an early 20th century 10 1/2 x 14 inch portrait of four African American children. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11430
Title
African American soldier's Korean War photograph album
Date
circa 1950-1953
Creator
John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture
Extent
.5 Linear Feet, 1 box
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Content Description

Album contains 106 black-and-white and color photographs carefully arranged and mounted in a black-leaf photograph album, bound in Japanese-style lacquered covers inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Photographer may be an African American soldier named Tommy, who served in the U.S. Army's 511th Operation and Maintenance Service (OM SVC) Company during the Korean War. It is unclear whether the photographs are from Japan or Korea, as the latter was strongly influenced by Japanese culture until the end of World War II.

The images depict soldiers in and out of uniform and often engaged in recreational pursuits. Many photographs depict both white and African American soldiers together. Other subjects include local women and children; women with servicemen; the countryside and Japanese-style buildings; and family members and others back home. Included with the album is an early 20th century 10 1/2 x 14 inch portrait of four African American children.

Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture at Duke University.

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warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

More copyright and citation information

How to Cite

[Identification of item], African American soldier's Korean War photograph album, circa 1950-1953, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Related Material

The Rubenstein Library at Duke University holds a number of photograph albums created by African American soldiers. To find their collection guides, search the Rubenstein collection guides site using the string "African American soldiers."


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The African American soldier's Korean War photograph album, circa 1950-1953 was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as purchase in 2001.

Processing Information

Processed by Rubenstein staff, 2001.

Accession represented in this collection guide: 2001-0187.

Other Notes

Lacquer covers are fragile and require careful handling.