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Guide to the T. Burns Collection of Racial Stereotypes, 1880s-1983

Summary

Collection includes advertisements, games, sheet music, serial illustrations, and other caricatures of African Americans predominately dating from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s.

Collection Details

Collection Number
RL.10191
Title
T. Burns collection of racial stereotypes
Date
1880s-1983
Creator
Burns, T. "Thomas" (collector)
Extent
7 Linear Feet
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Language
Materials in English

Collection Overview

Collection includes advertisements, games, sheet music, serial illustrations, and other caricatures of African Americans predominately dating from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. A significant portion of the illustrations were excerpted from news or literature magazines such as Harper's Weekly, Frank Leslie's Popular Magazine, and Puck magazine. The collection also includes advertisements from companies, including Aunt Jemima and Cream of Wheat, which appeared in women's magazines such as Modern Priscilla and Needlecraft. Many items depict African Americans in rural or Southern settings. Of note in the collection are a set of shackles, which have no known provenance or date, but which appear to have been intended for slaves (or could be a reproduction from a later time period).

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

More Biographical / Historical Info

Using These Materials

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 2 full business days in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access to the Collection

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. The library may require up to 48-hours to retrieve these materials for research use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

How to Cite

[Identification of item], T. Burns Collection of Racial Stereotypes, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Contents of the Collection

Boarding House Blues poster, undated
Box 1
Aunt Jemima advertisements, 1917-1953
Box 1
Aunt Jemima's packaging materials, undated
Box 1
Aunt Jemina's promotional materials, undated
Box 1
Barker's advertisements, 1890
Box 1
Cream of Wheat promotional materials, undated
Box 2
Cream of Wheat advertisements in Needlecraft magazine, 1916-1925
(2 folders)
Box 2
Cream of Wheat advertisements in The Housewife magazine, 1914-1916
Box 2
Cream of Wheat advertisements in The Modern Priscilla magazine, 1913
Box 2
Cream of Wheat advertisements, loose
Box 2
Box 7
Gold Dust advertisements, 1895-1905
Box 2
Sheet music, 1897-1944
(3 folders)
Box 1
Illustrations from serial publications, titles unknown, 1862-1933
Box 1
Illustrations from Puck, 1890
Box 1
Illustrations from Harper's Weekly, 1869-1922
Box 1
Illustrations from Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly, 1862-1885
Box 1
Photomechanical prints, loose, 1873 and 1904
Box 2
Miscellaneous advertisements and artwork, 1908-1938

Includes print ads for Winchester rifles, F.B. & C Kid, and Bemis cotton bags. Also includes a decorative placemat.

Box 3
Box 4
Topsy advertisement, mounted on glass, undated
Box 7
Old Virginny brand charcoal bag, undated
Box 3
Leahey's Heatless Trouser Press, 1914
Box 3
Southern Cook Book: 322 Old Dixie Recipes, 1939
Box 4
John Henry: Steel-Drivin' Man, 1966
Box 4
The All About Story Book, 1929
Box 4
Little Brown Koko, 1940
Box 4
The Children's Own Readers: Book Two, 1936
Box 4
Little Black Sambo, 1950
Box 4
Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids: Getting It Together, 1975
Box 4
Make-Me-Jig Puzzle: Beautiful Venice, undated
Box 4
Make-Me-Jig Puzzle: Shooting the Rapids, undated
Box 4
Snake Eyes boxed game, undated
Box 4
Weekly Picture Puzzle: The Ole Kentucky Home, 1936
Box 4
Various playing card decks, undated
Box 4
Super Paint Book, undated
Box 4
Funeral programs, 1940, 1983
Box 4
Conference proceedings, 1934, 1940
Box 4
Zulu Lulu drink swizzle sticks, undated
Box 5
Piccaninny menus (2), undated
Box 5
Darkie Toothpaste puppet, undated
Box 5
Shackles, undated

A set of iron shackles, with some rust, with no accompanying documentation or provenance. They appear to have been intended for slaves (or could be a reproduction from a later time period).

Box 6
 

Historical Note

T. Burns was an African American collector who began acquiring this material in the late 1980s.


Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.

Provenance

The T. Burns Collection of Racial Stereotypes was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in December 2014.

Processing Information

Processed by: Zoe Willingham and Meghan Lyon, Jan. 2015.

Accessions described in this finding aid: 2014-0199