Skip to Main Content

African American Family History Research: Images

Searching for Images

Search for images and artifacts at MNHS using our Collections Online system.  Then filter the results using the options in the system's left-hand column.

You may want to try specific terms like an individual's name, a family name, or the name of a specific building or location.

You may also want to try more general terms, like; 

Photograph Collections

John Banks Photograph Collection, ca. 1927-1965
Views of John Banks and his wife Corabelle, an African-American family living in St. Paul. Most views were photographed by John Banks and document social and recreational activities with friends, including the Credjafawn Social Club. Views include dances, parties, picnics, fishing, hunting, boating, swimming, golf, tennis, skiing, and the Credjafawn’s Co-op Store.
MNHS call number:  Sound and Visual Collection I.202 (125 photoprints)

William J. Gardner Photograph Collection, ca. 1910-1956 
Views of William and Ida Gardner, their family and friends. The Gardners, an African-American family, resided at 369 Jay Street, St. Paul. Views include boys shoveling snow, resort cook Jessie Oden at Annandale, first communion and confirmation photos, WWII soldiers at home, women in St. Paul Winter Carnival uniforms ca.1935, Gardner children posed in front of Christmas tree, graduation dance at Lowry Hotel, mailman Bill Gardner, young people swimming and ice skating, St. Peter Claver’s Glee Club and Credjafawn Social Club, 1927.
MNHS call number:  Sound and Visual Collection I.108 (39 photoprints)

Twin Cities African American Community, ca. 1975-1988, photographed by Charles Chamblis.
Chamblis, a professional photographer working in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, photographed events in the Black community, families, the nightclub scene, musicians, fashion models, weddings, and landscape views, mainly in Minneapolis.
MNHS call number:  Sound and Visual Collection I.368 (2,129 photoprints)

Rondo Neighborhood Photograph Collection, ca. 1900-1969
Collection of photographs compiled by Marvin Anderson, lawyer, community activist, and founding member of Rondo Days in St. Paul. The collection consists of personal snapshots belonging to Nathaniel Evans and Rose Davis, prominent members of the Rondo neighborhood, as well as individual and group portraits of people within the community taken by photographer Earl McGee. The Evans and Davis images span from approximately 1900 to the 1960s and document family activities and friends, as well as a dismantled photograph album belonging to the Tea Society. The McGee photographs date from the 1940s-1960s and document social clubs, youth sports, families, and other activities and events in the Rondo neighborhood.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid (440 photographs)

Minneapolis Star Tribune Portrait Collection
Contains portraits of individuals and some groups that appeared in the Minneapolis papers. These include individuals from Minnesota, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. Most of the portraits have been indexed, but some names may have been skipped.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer Press Portraits
Contains portraits of individuals and some groups that appeared in the St. Paul papers. These include individuals from Minnesota, the United States, and elsewhere in the world. Portraits are arranged alphabetically in two sets: small portraits and large portraits.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Edina Newspapers Photograph Collection
Contains photographs from the primary St. Paul and Minneapolis newspapers in their various incarnations and the Edina Sun newspaper. Includes images that were taken by staff photographers as well as images supplied by others. The images provide views of people, places, and events from various locations around Minnesota, the United States, and elsewhere.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

Search MNHS Resources

MNHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves


Gale Family Library
Minnesota Historical Society Library

Located on the Second Floor of the Minnesota History Center
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Library Hours:
Thursday to Saturday: 10am to 4pm
Sunday to Wednesday: Closed

More Information on Visiting the Library


Contact Us:


Email Us

Visit our Main Website

Gale Family Library • Minnesota Historical Society • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300
Hours and More InformationEmail us