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James de T. Abajian collection of Black (African-American) ephemera, 1876-1981 (bulk 1960-1980).
BANC MSS 82/77 c carton 1; BANC MSS 82/77 c carton 2; BANC MSS 82/77 c
Collection Overview


James de T. Abajian collection of Black (African-American) ephemera, 1876-1981 (bulk 1960-1980)
Collection of Black (African-American) ephemera


Abajian, James de T., creator, collector.


Comprises James de Tarr Abajian's collection of printed ephemera, much of it related to the San Francisco Bay Area African-American community, as well as photocopies, notes, and original documents pertaining to Abajian's research interests. Organizations represented include the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History, the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society, the Black Panther Party, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, the First Unitarian Church (San Francisco), and the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Company. Abajian's research files include additional ephemera and research materials, as organized by him into envelopes. In addition to ephemera, the collection also contains a small amount of Abajian's research notes and primary sources, including his investigations into the history of African-American printers, and several first-hand accounts of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. A very small amount of correspondence is also present.


1960 (issued)


African Americans -- California -- San Francisco Bay Area
African Americans -- Social life and customs
San Francisco Earthquake and Fire, Calif., 1906 -- Personal narratives


COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for use.
Collection processed at folder level in 2010.
James de T. Abajian collection of Black (African-American) ephemera, BANC MSS 82/77 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
In English.
Related collection: James de T. Abajian papers (BANC MSS 86/213 c).
Related collection: Afro-American bibliography correspondence (BANC MSS 85/137 c).
Related collection: James de T. Abajian index files and scrapbooks (BANC MSS 86/206 c).
Related collection: African Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area (BANC PIC 1985.079--AX).
Related collection: Afro-American posters, greeting cards, and portraits (BANC PIC 1982.034-.036--PIC).
Related collection: Portraits of African Americans (BANC PIC 1982.035--PIC).
James de Tarr Abajian (1914-1986), bibliographer and historian of African American history, was the chief librarian of the California Historical Society from 1949-1968. He was also director of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Special Collection at San Francisco Public Library from 1969-1971. Abajian's writings include The Black Presence in San Francisco (1974), Blacks and Their Contributions to the American West; A Bibliography and Union List of Holdings through 1970 (1974), and Blacks in Selected Newspapers, Censuses and Other Sources: An Index to Names and Subjects (1977). Abajian presented much of his significant documentary material on African Americans in California and the West, collected throughout his career, to The Bancroft Library in the 1980s. This material includes books, printed ephemera, manuscripts, sheet music, periodicals and photographs. His personal papers were donated to the library after his death in 1986.



Physical Description:

2 cartons (2.5 linear feet)




BANC MSS 82/77 c carton 1
BANC MSS 82/77 c carton 2
BANC MSS 82/77 c



Copyright Note:

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE: Advance notice required for use.