Emory University Collections

The Robert Langmuir African American Photograph Collection provides a composite view of African American history and life from the 1840s to 1980s. With almost 10,000 images ranging in subject matter from road workers and school teachers to professional athletes and artists, the collection accounts for the extraordinary possibilities, as well as the vexing complexities faced by African Americans from the nineteenth century and well into the twentieth century. Most importantly, the collection of photographs presents people of African descent as autonomous subjects, many of whom have left an indelible impact on American history. Through the visual narratives found in the Robert Langmuir Collection, we can clearly see a record of a people coming into being. Over his 35 years as a rare-book seller in Philadelphia, Robert Langmuir collected photographs and family albums through antique book shows or ephemera fairs, auctions and through networking.