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Exhibit features student research on African American photo collection

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Elaine Justice

This 1910s photo postcard depicting Major Taylor (1878-1932), African American world champion cyclist, is one of the images chosen by a student for research that appears in the exhibit. Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Student research using the Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection in the Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Books Library (MARBL) at Emory University is now on display at the Robert W. Woodruff Library.

"In Focus: Evidence of a World Unseen" is an exhibit highlighting 15 historical photographs analyzed by students in the Introduction to African American Studies class. The fall 2014 course was taught by Pellom McDaniels III, MARBL faculty curator of the African American collections and assistant professor of African American Studies at Emory, who co-curated the exhibit with his students.

McDaniels said that through the exhibit, he hopes to showcase the variety of research students can pursue in African American Studies as well as the usefulness of MARBL materials as primary evidence.

"I wanted to demonstrate some of the creative ways in which MARBL materials can be used for undergraduate research – in particular, how photographs represent an untapped source of primary evidence for scholarship related to African American history and life," McDaniels says. "Also, I wanted to celebrate the good work of Emory students."

A portion of the students’ research will appear with corresponding photos in the exhibit, which will run until October 4, 2015.

The Robert Langmuir African American Photograph collection contains more than 12,000 photographs depicting African American life from the 1840s to the 1970s. The images, many taken by African American photographers, include family photos, studio portraits, military and class photographs, fashion shoots, and pictures of nursing school graduates, musicians, religious leaders, artists – people from all walks of life. The collection was acquired by MARBL in 2012 from photograph collector Robert Langmuir of Philadelphia.

The exhibit is located on Level 2 of Emory’s Woodruff Library, 540 Asbury Circle in Atlanta, 30322. Parking is available in the Fishburne deck.

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