Artist, Civil Rights Activist’s Papers at Woodruff Library


The family papers of artist and civil rights activist Edwin Harleston are fully processed and open to researchers and the public at Emory University’s Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (MARBL), located in the Robert W. Woodruff Library.

The Harleston papers join the rapidly expanding collections at MARBL from artists, art historians and art collectors such as Amalia Amaki, Benny Andrews, John Biggers, Camille Billops, Cedric Dover, Paul Jones, Samella Lewis and James A. Porter.

The Harleston collection consists of the papers of Edwin (1882-1931), an African-American portrait painter and sketch artist, and his wife, Elise (1891-1970), one of the first female African-American photographers. Among the correspondence are letters between Edwin and
W.E.B. Du Bois, his mentor and professor during his time at Atlanta University, and personal letters between Edwin and Elise.

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