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African American Manuscript and Records

Experience Black life through digitized and curated unpublished papers, documents, letters, and business records chronicling all aspects of life in Houston and Texas. Manuscript and Records collections shines light on families, businesses, churches and organizations from the 1800s to the present. This is not an exhaustive list of the images held within the manuscript and photograph archives of the African American History Research Center.

Baltrip Family - MSS 0055

Maude Ester Baltrip was a longtime volunteer in the Houston Independent School District and the local community.

Ben T. Desoto - MSS 0118

Ben Tecumseh DeSoto is a local photographer and photojournalist whose collection focuses on Houston's historic Black communities.

Beulah Shepard - MSS 0069

Beulah Shepard is a prominent black woman who participated in late twentieth century women's political activities.

Elbert D. Howze - MSS 0171

Elbert D. Howze was a local African American photographer whose collection focuses on Houston's Fourth Ward.

Elbert Terry Family - MSS 0140

The collection is comprised of black and white photographs of the Terry family, along with relatives and friends and community areas in Sunnyside.

Ernestine Mitchell - MSS 0052

Ernestine Mitchell was a teacher and principal in the Houston Independent School District during the mid to late twentieth century.

Harrison Family - MSS 0130

This collection documents the Harrison Family of Houston, Texas from 1880 to 1980, and features Edwin Harrison, a civic and community leader.

Helen G. Perry - MSS 0145

Helen G. Perry collection contains photographs of the Perry family active in civic activities, sports and dancing.

Jeff Collins Family - MSS 0131

This collection is composed of photographs of African-Americans dating from 1885 to 1979, which feature members of the Collins, Gay, Ligons, Johnson, and Williams families

John Chase - MSS 0113

John Saunders Chase was the first African American licensed to practice architecture in Texas and the only Black architect in the state for nearly a decade.

Moses Leroy - MSS 0127

The Moses Leroy Collection contains images of local and national politics and the civil rights movement

Sandra Wilson - MSS 0050

Sandra Ann Wilson is a teacher, longtime Fourth Ward, Houston resident and a former Gregory Elementary School student.

Slave Narratives - MSS 0154

The Slave Narratives collection contains photographs of former slaves who were interviewed by the Works Progressive Administration (WPA) during the 1930s.

Sneed Family Collection - MSS 0149

This collection features black women as professional educators and club women who were active in LINKS, the Smart Set Club, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, and the Married Ladies Social, Art, and Charity Club.

Thompson Family - MSS 0132

The Thompson Family collection consists of 118 photographs offering a visual portrait of several generations of a family of black Houstonians from the late nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century.

Willie Lee Gay - MSS 0006

Willie Lee Gay a historian and educator, her collection documents her advocacy for documenting and preserving the history of African American communities in Houston and Texas during the twentieth century.