The Roland Charles
Collection is an extensive photographic collection that largely consists of people
photography, art gallery and exhibit documentation, images of street scenes in Los Angeles,
and documentation of a long-term project on Bobtown, a small town in Louisiana. Roland
Charles was a Black professional photographer and gallery director who was born in Louisiana
and lived in Los Angeles for most of his life. His work has appeared in publications, album
covers, exhibits, and permanent collections since the 1960s. In 1984, he co-founded and
directed the Black Gallery and the Black Photographers of California. A majority of the
collection's materials were created from the 1970s to the late 1990s. The collection
primarily consists of negatives, prints, slides, paper records, and audiovisual
Roland Charles was born in 1938 in New Orleans and grew up in Louisiana. After serving in
the U.S. Air Force, he moved to California. He received his bachelors in Communications from
Windsor University, and also received formal training in television production and
photography at Otis College of Art and Design, L.A. Trade-Tech College, and USC.
Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of
this collection has been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright
status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected
by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the
written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be
commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any
use rests exclusively with the user.
The collection is open for research use.