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New Additions to the San Antonio Black History Collection

February 11, 2019

The San Antonio Black History Collection is rich in materials that reflect African-American Life in the 20th century. Many materials come from San Antonio funeral homes, schools, and churches. The collection has been arranged into the following series: businesses, churches, clubs and organizations, education, history, military, newspapers and magazines, and photographs.

Highlights of the collection include paper fans (or church fans), several African-American church records, and an incomplete run of SNAP magazine. The paper fans are undated, but reflect advertising for several San Antonio, Texas, mortuaries and funeral homes. Church materials include programs for Sunday services, yearbooks, and newsletters. Of note is a ledger for Ephesus Church of Seventh-Day Adventists (1873-1928) that lists church members names and addresses, and in some cases, the dates of death (bulk dates for the records are 1923-1928). The ledger also contains brief synopses of meetings among the reverend, church staff, and elders for the years spanning 1923-1928. A large but incomplete run of SNAP magazine covers the years 1955-1966. SNAP was a weekly local publication that covered San Antonio politics, social events, and current events in Civil Rights-era San Antonio from an African-American perspective.

Photographs, an invitation and program from local social groups, invitations for commencement ceremonies at Douglass and Harlandale High Schools, an annual bulletin for St. Philip’s Junior College (1946), and fans advertising Hicks Beauty School round out the collection.

These photos are some of the most recent additions to this small but compelling collection.

Portrait of unidentified man, Delfraisse Studio, undated

Unidentified group photograph, 1926

Lewis Funeral Home under construction, circa 1960s

Carrie L. Elmore portrait, Scalp Specialist, Elmore Beauty Parlor, circa 1940s

Unidentified woman, circa 1940s


Jesse Alexander – San Antonio Country Club maitre d’ retirement portrait, 1990

All items in the San Antonio Black History Collection have been digitized and can be accessed online. The physical items can be accessed via the John Peace Library Special Collections reading room after completing a “schedule your visit” form.



One Comment leave one →
  1. February 15, 2019 3:34 pm

    Reblogged this on stillness of heart and commented:
    What an incredible collection.

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