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Guide to the African American soldier's Vietnam War photograph album, circa 1965-1973

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Summary

Collection comprises a large photograph album likely created by an African American soldier serving in Vietnam. There are 268 uncaptioned black-and-white and several color photographs ranging in size from 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 to 3 1/2 x 5 inches, along with 15 souvenir postcards. Images primarily feature informal shots of African American and white servicemen in camp and off base, though few show the races mingling. There is also a series of well-executed portraits of individual soldiers, white and black. The photographer took many images of U.S. Army camps and air bases, army personnel and vehicles, street scenes from Saigon and smaller villages, and took numerous snapshots of local citizens, chiefly women and children. There are a handful of shots showing bombing raids and cleared or destroyed jungle areas. Overall, the images offer a wealth of details about the Vietnam War from a variety of viewpoints. Acquired as part of the John Hope Franklin Research Center for African and African American History and Culture.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.11491
Title
African American soldier's Vietnam War photograph album
Date
circa 1965-1973
Extent
1.5 Linear Feet, 1 box; 1 album
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Content Description

Collection comprises a photograph album likely created by an unidentified African American soldier serving in Vietnam. There are 268 uncaptioned black-and-white and several color photographs ranging in size from 2 3/4 x 3 1/2 to 3 1/2 x 5 inches, along with 15 souvenir postcards, all carefully arranged and mounted in a large decorative travel scrapbook.

Images primarily feature off-duty African American and white servicemen in camp and off base, although few show white and black soldiers mingling. There is also a series of well-executed portraits of individual soldiers, white and black. Scenes from the streets of Saigon and perhaps other large cities abound, showing the diversity of vehicles and pedestrians; there are also some taken in smaller, unidentified towns and villages, presumably in Vietnam. The photographer took many images of markets, bars, pharmacies, and other buildings, almost always from the exteriors, as well as numerous snapshots of local citizens, chiefly women and children, often in groups, and some who appear to be frequently associated with the U.S. military base or camp.

Military locations and scenes include an air base, helicopters in flight, a crashed helicopter, military bases and personnel, Army vehicles along the roads, military police (including one African American), and what appear to be checkpoints. There are a handful of shots showing bombing raids and cleared or destroyed jungle areas.

Overall, the images in this photograph album offer a wealth of details about the Vietnam War from a variety of viewpoints.

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

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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 Vietnam War photograph album, circa 1965-1973, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Photograph album, circa 1965-1973

The album cover is detached and the album itself is heavy and pages are fragile. Please use supports and handle with care.

Box 1
 


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Provenance

The African American soldier's Vietnam War photograph album, circa 1965-1973, was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2009.

Processing Information

Processed by Alice Poffinberger, 2012. Encoded by Paula Jeannet, June 2017.

Accession represented in this collection guide: 2009-0285.