The Dr. Mayme A. Clayton Collection of African American History & Culture is one of the largest and most academically substantial independently held assemblage of its kind in the world. It is second in size and scholarly scope to the renowned Schomburg Collection in the New York City Public Library.
The Mayme Agnew Clayton Collection of African American History and Culture forms the core of MCLM’s collections. MCLM’s collections are organized into five categories: the Manuscripts and Archives Collection, the Rare Books Collection, the Film and Recorded Sound Archives, the Photographs and Prints Collection, and the Art and Artifacts Collection.
The Manuscripts and Archives Collection is comprised of 29,000 books, the personal papers, records of organizations and institutions, literary and scholarly typescripts and manuscripts, broadsides, programs, playbills, and other ephemera. Featured items include the personal correspondence of noted 20th century African Americans. Periodicals in the collection include an array of magazines and journals. Other documents in the collection include pre-Civil War travel passes for slaves, slave bills of sale, and plantation inventories.
MCLM’s Rare Books Collection contains more than 1,000 rare and out-of-print books written by or about African Americans. The collection contains over 300 signed first-edition books, including a rare autographed first-edition copy of Phillis Wheatley's Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral (1773), the first book of poetry published by an African American female author. The Film and Recorded Sound Archives houses a broad array of rare moving images, films, and recorded sound documenting the history and culture of Africans in America. The film archive contains over 1,700 film titles from 1916 to the present in 16mm, 35mm, VHS, and DVD formats. Rare sheet music dating back to the mid-1800s and sound recordings of jazz, early Negro Spirituals, gospel, ragtime, bebop, classical, and rhythm & blues dating back to the turn of the 20th century are preserved within the Recorded Sound Archives.
The Photographs and Prints Collection contains photographic images and works on paper chronicling the history and culture of Africans in America. Fine art prints, reproduction posters, lithographs, engravings, and drawings make up the collection. Images of slavery, the Civil War, the modern Civil Rights Movement, African Americans in the performing and visual arts, organizations (fraternal, social, and political), religion, military, urban street scenes, churches, housing, and businesses are represented within the collection. The collection also features the works of noted African-American photographers including, James Van Der Zee and Jack Davis.
MCLM’s Art and Artifacts Collection houses art and material culture artifacts. The collection includes fine and applied art, with an emphasis on modern and contemporary works by African Americans and artists of the African Diaspora. The collection is comprised of paintings, works on paper, sculpture, textiles, and assemblage. Material culture artifacts within the collection include a wide range of two and three-dimensional items such as dolls, stamps, commemorative coins, and buttons depicting civil rights themes, political campaigns, and much more.
Tel: (310) 202-1647
Fax: (310) 202-5464
4130 Overland Ave,
Culver City, CA
Museum Opening 2010