Hugh Mangum Photographs

Hundreds of portraits made by an itinerant photographer who rode the trains to the small towns of North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.More »

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About the Digital Collection »

Hugh Mangum, an itinerant photographer from a prominent Durham, North Carolina, family, traveled a rail circuit through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. 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. 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. The Friends of West Point and other organizations, individuals, and Mangum family members worked together to restore Hugh Mangum's darkroom and to open the "Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography" at West Point Park on the Eno River in 1986. That same year, the Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley gave Hugh Mangum's glass plate negatives to the Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library at Duke University.

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Archival boxSource Collection

This digital collection comprises selected materials from the following archival collection at David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library:

Hugh Mangum photographs circa 1890-1922

Collection #RL.00841 | 10 Linear Feet; 38 boxes; 2 oversize folders

ABSTRACT
Hugh Mangum was a commercial portrait photographer from Durham, North Carolina. Collection contains 937 glass plate negatives and printed black-and-white photographs taken by Mangum from about 1890 to 1922 as he traveled a rail circuit through North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia and in photography studios he and partners established in Roanoke, Pulaski, and East Radford, Virginia. The images are chiefly individual and group portraits of residents in those areas - women, children, and men, either in a studio setting or outdoors. The majority are white men and women, but there are also many African Americans. Some people have been identified; Mangum and his wife are present in several images. There are several street scenes from Radford, as well as Warrenton (probably N.C.), and Christiansburg, Virginia. Of the photographic prints, there are 55 prints made from selected negatives, and 50 inkjet digital prints from a 2012 exhibit. Acquired as part of the Archive of Documentary Arts at Duke University.

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The preservation of the Duke University Libraries Digital Collections and the Duke Digital Repository programs are supported in part by the Lowell and Eileen Aptman Digital Preservation Fund