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Peoples Temple Publications Department Records
MS 3791  
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Collection Overview
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Records mainly consist of photographs created or collected by Peoples Temple members in order to support the Temple's public relations efforts, including the publication of the Peoples Forum newspaper. The collection includes approximately 53,500 black-and-white 35mm negative images; 3,500 color slides; 30,000 individual contact prints; and hundreds of photographic prints, representing over 56,000 unique images of Peoples Temple. Images extensively document Peoples Temple's activism, particularly during the critical years of 1976 to 1978. The collection contains a wealth of imagery depicting the demonstrations, rallies, and events organized by Peoples Temple in support of prominent public officials, activists, and organizations in California, as well as images of Jonestown, Guyana. In addition to photographs, the collections includes 43 film and video recordings of Peoples Temple in California and Guyana; 49 audio recordings of sermons and interviews given by Jim Jones; and publications, ephemera, and manuscript material, including the "Conspiracy Book," compiled by the Publications Department to document alleged media and government conspiracies against Peoples Temple, and mailers illustrating Peoples Temple's religious outreach to the African American community.
The Peoples Temple Publications Department was responsible for publicizing the Temple's activities, publishing the Peoples Forum newspaper (which was distributed by members on the street), releasing newsletters and calls for donations, keeping up contact with members and visitors, and maintaining a large photographic library.
28.25 linear feet (29 o-ring preservation box albums, 9 legal document boxes, four albums with slipcases, 2 record storage cartons, 1 oversize flat print box Q, 1 shallow lid cabinet card box, 1 flip top cabinet card box, 1 oversize print box B, 1 oversize legal document box, 1 large capacity CD box)
The California Historical Society (CHS) is the lawful owner of Peoples Temple documents and photographs, by orders of the California Superior Court and of the Guyana High Court. CHS is unaware of any other copyrights or other rights associated with this material. Reproduction or publication of materials in this collection beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of CHS. Please contact rights@calhist.org.
Some materials in this collection are restricted to protect the privacy of living people. Medically sensitive materials have been restricted for 75 years after their last possible date of creation; others have been restricted for the lifetimes of their subjects.