Material Culture

1111 Chapel Street | Gallery Home | Hours

The Yale University Art Gallery holds numerous bronze and copper tokens related to slavery and abolition, including this one, which was manufactured in the United States and issued by the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1838.

RAAI aspires to reproduce all the illustrations of figurative African objects published between 1800 and 1920 in books, periodicals, catalogues, newspapers, and other publications. It does not include postcards or pamphlets of very limited distribution. More than 95% of the material is contained in the James J. Ross library, the remainder has been recorded from copies in other libraries. Many of the items pertain in some way to slavery or its legacies.

128 Wall Street | Archives Home | Hours

Correspondence, diaries, writings, photographs, scrapbooks, research materials, and miscellanea documenting the personal life and literary career of Katherine Mayo, an author of several historical and investigative articles, essays, and books from 1896 to 1940. Prior to Mayo’s success as a literary figure she was employed by Oswald Garrison Villard to conduct extensive field research for his biography of John Brown. The collection includes a piece of the rope allegedly used to hang Brown.

121 Wall Street | Library Home | Hours

A small porcelain jar decorated with two scenes from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Both scenes are variations on illustrations by Hammatt Billings that appeared in the illustrated edition of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, published in Boston by John P. Jewett and Company in 1853. Other artifacts relating to the novel include aporcelain statuette and Staffordshire child’s plate.

The collection documents black life and American racial attitudes from the 1850’s to the 1940’s, and includes about 2500 items, chiefly historical photographs, accompanied by slave manifests, military medals, and civic trophies. The collection includes albumen photographs of Marcus Garvey, W.E.B. DuBois, and Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Photographic formats include daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, and cabinet card photographs.

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