The Great Migration is a unique, ongoing digitization service program that partners the National Museum of African American History and Culture with individuals across the United States to preserve their important analog audiovisual media.
While major motion picture film and television historically lacked diverse representation, black history was instinctively being preserved in everyday home movies. Today, these personal narratives serve as an invaluable tool for understanding and re-framing black moving image history, and provide a much needed visualization of African American history and culture.
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains 825 digitized audiovisual media objects. However, as an ongoing project the scope of the collection will continue to increase over time. The scope will be updated as is appropriate.
The content of the collection consists predominantly of amateur recordings created by families to document their lives. This includes major life events, such as birthdays, as well as family vacations and holidays. Additionally, the collection includes footage produced by professionals for broadcast on television. This particular footage entered the collection through partnerships with other memory institutions.
The collection is arranged into series,file, and item-level records. Each series corresponds to the year of digitization. Each file corresponds to a family that has participated in the Great Migration program. Each item within a file corresponds to a single piece of audiovisual media, such as a film or videotape, digitized by NMAAHC staff.
NMAAHC creates and retains digital copies, 2016-[ongoing]. Original analog materials are not retained by the museum.
Collection is available online for open research.
The Great Migration Home Movie Study Collection, is a product of and owned by the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.
Copyright for all works are retained by the creators of the original analog materials. Permissions for any use of the material may be requested from National Museum of African American History and Culture Right and Reproductions 202-633-3846.
The subseries consists of black and white silver gelatin negatives.
Color separation negatives
Matrices, color separation
Dye transfer process
Washington (D.C.) -- African Americans
Washington (D.C.) -- Small business -- 20th century
Shaw (Washington, D.C.)
The Scurlock photographic studio was a fixture in the Shaw area of Washington, D.C. from 1911 to 1994, and encompassed two generations of photographers, Addison N. Scurlock (1883-1964) and his sons George H. (1920- 2005) and Robert S. (1916-1994). Subseries 4.6 consists of black and white silver gelatin negatives. An overview to the entire Scurlock collection is available here: Scurlock Studio Records
Scope and Contents note:
The negatives document the orders of the clients of the Scurlock Studio. The majority of the negatives are of portrait sittings but there are also negatives depicting children, couples, and groups.
The arrangement of the negatives is unclear; the arrangement will be in alphabetical order before it will start completely over again.
The Scurlock photographic studio was a fixture in the Shaw area of Washington, D.C. from 1911 to 1994, and encompassed two generations of photographers, Addison N. Scurlock (1883-1964) and his sons George H. (1920- 2005) and Robert S. (1916-1994). More...
Forms Part Of:
Subseries 4.6 forms part of Series 4, within the Scurlock Studio Records group.
Scurlock Studio Records
Series 1: Black and White Photographs
Series 2: Color Photographs
Series 3: Framed Prints
Series 4: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives
Series 5: Color Negatives
Series 6: Color Transparencies, Slides, and Other Formats
Series 7: Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives and Matrices
Series 8: Scurlock Studio Business Records
Series 9: Custom Craft Business Records
Series 10: Capitol School of Photography
Series 11: Washington Stock
Series 12: Background Materials and Publications
Collection is open for research.
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
The collection was acquired with assistance from the Eugene Meyer Foundation. Elihu and Susan Rose and the Save America's Treasures program, provided funds to stabilize, organize, store, and create digital surrogates of some of the negatives. Processing and encoding funded by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.
The collection, which dates from 1895 to 1972 and measures 23.97 linear feet, documents the career and travels of Professor Lorenzo Dow Turner. The collection is comprised of correspondence, academic papers, research materials, books, newspaper and journal articles, sound recordings, and photographs.
The collection is arranged by series: (1) Biographical, (2) Academic Career, (3) Writings, (4) Research, (5) Photographs, (6) Sound Recordings, and (7) Printed Materials.
Lorenzo Dow Turner was born in Elizabeth City, N.C. in 1895. He earned his B.A. in 1914 from Howard University; in 1917, he received an M.A. in English from Harvard University. He received his doctorate in English from the University of Chicago in 1926 while simultaneously serving as chairman and professor of the Department of English at Howard from 1917 to 1928. He held the same positions at Fisk University in Nashville from 1929 to 1946. In 1946 he accepted a professorship in the English department at Roosevelt University in Chicago, where he remained as professor of English and lecturer in African Cultures until his retirement in 1970. Turner was professor emeritus at Roosevelt until his death at age 77 in 1972. Turner's professional and academic interests encompassed both English and linguistics. A noted scholar of African languages and linguistics, he learned numerous West African languages, mastering five of them. He was a noted authority on Gullah, a Creole language spoken in the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Georgia.
Related Archival Materials note:
Lorenzo Dow Turner Papers at Northwestern University Library
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.