Paul Henderson photograph collection
Paul Henderson (1899-1988) was a photojournalist for the Afro-American newspapers and as a freelance photographer. The Paul Henderson Photograph Collection (1933-1962) contains photographic negatives and some photographic prints that document the Civil Rights Era in Maryland, with particular focus on activities, people, and groups in the city of Baltimore. Subjects consist mostly of unidentified people, but also include sports, education, Civil Rights activities, politicians, entertainers, civic and church groups, and much more.
- Henderson, Paul, 1899-1988 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Original acetate negatives are restricted from public use. Reference photographs of all negatives are available during library hours and do not require an appointment to view.
Conditions Governing Use
The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.
Paul Henderson (1899-1988) was born on October 19, 1899 in Springfield, Tennessee and was the youngest of four children born to Ike A. and Annie L. Henderson. At age 18 he registered for the World War I draft on September 12, 1918 while working as a bricklayer for a steel company in Gary, Indiana. At some point during his residence in Gary, he attended the School for Professional Photography.
Henderson moved to Baltimore in 1929 and became what the Afro-American newspaper called their “first photographer.” In addition to his job at the Afro-American, Henderson worked as a freelance photographer. Henderson had become well-known for taking pictures of large groups and distant objects atop a ladder he carried. Henderson was also an active member of his community. He was a vestryman at St. James Episcopal Church, charter member of the Druid Hill Avenue Neighborhood Club, assistant treasurer of a local Frontiers International club, member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and supported the Salvation Army. All of his community interests are reflected in his photographs.
Henderson died on Tuesday, May 24, 1988 at Union Memorial Hospital after a reported battle with a long-term illness.
More information about Paul Henderson can be found on the Paul Henderson Photographs blog.
15 Linear Feet (9 cartons; 4 ledger boxes (approximately 6,950 items))
Language of Materials
The Paul Henderson Photograph Collection maintains original order as provided by the Baltimore City Life Museums. Chronological order seems to be represented, although some photographs of a particular subject could be found in multiple boxes.
The Paul Henderson Photograph Collection was transferred to the Maryland Historical Society from the Baltimore City Life Museums after it closed (1997-1998). The collection was originally bequeathed to the Baltimore City Life Museums by Paul Henderson. Baltimore City Life Museums received the collection in 1989 after Henderson’s death (1988).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Transfer from the Baltimore City Life Museums, 1997-1998. Bequeathed to Baltimore City Life Museums by the estate of Paul Henderson in 1991; Acc# 1991.44
Unless otherwise noted, descriptions were taken from text that was written on the negative sleeves prior to the collection's transfer to the Maryland Historical Society. These descriptions may have been written while the collection was housed at the Baltimore City Life Museums. Please note: Identifications made by library visitors have not been verified.
Scope and Contents
The Paul Henderson Photograph Collection (1933-1962) contains photographic negatives and some photographic prints that document the Civil Rights Era in Maryland, with particular focus on activities, people, and groups in the city of Baltimore. Subjects consist mostly of unidentified people, but also include sports, education, Civil Rights activities, politicians, entertainers, civic and church groups, and much more.
Both the negatives and prints strongly represent the black community of Maryland, with particular focus on the city of Baltimore. Pennsylvania Avenue businesses and pedestrians; educational institutions such as Morgan State College (now University); sports, including Baltimore’s Elite Giants Negro League baseball team; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) meetings and protests; politicians; church functions; and much more. Subjects consist mostly of unidentified individuals, groups, and events.
The photographic prints also contain members of the Henderson or Johnson Family and photographs by other photographers.
- Guide to the Paul Henderson photograph collection
- Under Revision
- Finding aid created by Towson University’s Historic Preservation class (Spring 2010), with special assistance from Rachel Alexander, Heather Bohle, Larry Gibson, and Margaret Miller under the supervision of Jennifer A. Ferretti.
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- 2020-02-13: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Emily Somach.