Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hugh Mangum Photographs, (ca. 1890-1922)



I am completely mesmerized by this photographic database at the Duke University Libraries Digital Collection. The video below gives you a wonderful flavor of what can be found here. The Hugh Mangum Photographs Collection consists of approximately 688 negatives made from the early 1890s through 1922.


Image 1

Hugh Mangum was an itinerant photographer from a prominent Durham, North Carolina, family who traveled a rail circuit through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.


Image 2

Along this route he took portraits of a remarkable variety of people, rendering a rich and diverse pictorial history of the region at the turn of the 20th century.

Image 3

At the beginning of his photographic career in the early 1890s, Mangum maintained a darkroom in a tobacco pack house on the Mangum farm at West Point on the Eno River in Durham. Over the years, he moved to Virginia and partnered with colleagues to operate photography studios in Roanoke, Pulaski, and East Radford, Virginia.


Image 4

Here is the important part for all family historians - Mangum kept a handwritten ledger on the inside lid of his traveling trunk noting the names of the towns he visited and the dates that he was there. This rough ledger revealed his routes through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia with a solitary excursion to Texas from 1899-1912.

While the towns listed on the trunk lid identify Mangum’s field trips, only a handful of the 688 pictures in the collection have specific subject or geographic identification.

If you have ancestors and relatives who were living in North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, and West Virginia ca. 1890-1922, please browse this collection. Can you identify any of these photographs? The ledger could at least help by identifying a town and time period for a specific photograph. This could narrow your search. If you think you have a connection, contact the library through their website.

If you have no connection, but love old photographs, please browse this collection. These are ordinary people living ordinary lives with grace and very often good humor. I found something of interest in every photograph. Trust me!

This website performs a great service!

Sources:

Video.
Hugh Mangum Photographs, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

Image 1 N260. Hugh Mangum. ca. 1890-1922. Hugh Mangum Photographs, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

Image 2 N397. Hugh Mangum. ca. 1890-1922. Hugh Mangum Photographs, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

Image 3 N399. Hugh Mangum. ca. 1890-1922. Hugh Mangum Photographs, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

Image 4 N677. Hugh Mangum. ca. 1890-1922. Hugh Mangum Photographs, Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library, Duke University.

3 Comments:

Blogger Lidian said...

This looks absolutely brilliant! Thanks for the link and info, I will be sure to check this out!

September 11, 2008 at 6:15 AM  
Blogger George Geder said...

Wow!

Hugh Mangum was one very creative photographer!
Thanks for sharing this!

Peace,
"Guided by the Ancestors"

September 11, 2008 at 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Sasha Mitchell said...

Thank you so much for sharing! I heart your blog! I didn't find any relatives - they were in Wytheville, VA, but I loved looking at all those faces anyway!

September 16, 2008 at 6:06 PM  

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