Inventory of the Coards Studio Photographs and Records, circa 1930s - 1990s

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Descriptive Summary

Abstract: The Coards Studio was a photography studio owned and operated by Joseph and Rachel Coards in Charleston, South Carolina. Coards photographed African American families and individuals in the studio and various events and groups outside of the studio, such as graduations, weddings, and other ceremonies. The studio, located at 78 Line Street, closed in the late 20th century.
The collection contains business records, photographs, and personal material, including customer contacts, correspondence, individual, family, group, and event portraits and snapshots, and Coards family photograph albums. The bulk of the collection is composed of photographs of African Americans, which include family, group, and individual portraits; events; architecture; snapshots; reprints; and negatives. Aside from general individual and group portraits, there are photographs depicting various occupations, fraternal organizations, and school functions. Events include dances, weddings, funerals, school events, and other community events. Represented in organizations are local church and religious groups, fraternal orders, and musical performers. A small portion of the photographs are scenes of various architecture and roadways in Charleston. The reprints and negatives span the range of subjects contained in the photographs.
Title: Coards Studio Photographs and Records, circa 1930s - 1990s
Creator: Coards Studio.
Repository: Avery Research Center at the College of Charleston
Call Number: AMN 1086
Language of Material: Material in English
Extent: 8.25 linear feet
(17 archival boxes)

Historical Note

The Coards Studio was a photography studio owned and operated by Joseph and Rachel Coards until the late 20th century. The studio was located at 78 Line Street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina. Coards photographed African American families and individuals in the studio and various events and groups outside of the studio, such as graduations, weddings, and other ceremonies. The studio also produced hand-colored restorations and reprints of many families' photographs from Charleston and surrounding areas.


Collection Overview

The collection consists of business records, correspondence, photographs, negatives, and personal material. Business records include handwritten contacts and notes pertaining to customers' requests, licenses, correspondence, receipts, and supplies.

The bulk of the collection is composed of photographs of African Americans, which include family, group, and individual portraits; events; architecture; snapshots; reprints; and negatives. Aside from general individual and group portraits, there are photographs depicting various occupations, fraternal organizations, and school functions. Events include dances, weddings, funerals, school events, and other community events. Represented in organizations are local church and religious groups, fraternal orders, and musical performers. A small portion of the photographs are scenes of various architecture and roadways in Charleston. The reprints and negatives span the range of subjects contained in the photographs.

In addition to business records and photographs, a portion of the collection contains personal material, notably photograph albums of the Coards family.

Collection Arrangement

1. Business-Related Materials, 1957-1990

2. Portraits and Snapshots, circa 1930s-1990s

2.1. Portraits and Snapshots, circa 1930s-1990s

2.2. Events, circa 1950s-1980s

2.3. Organizations, circa 1950s-1980s

2.4. Architectural and Scenic Photographs, circa 1950s-1980s

2.5. Reprints and Other Materials

2.6. Negatives

3. Personal, circa 1930s-1980s



Subject Headings

  • African American clergy -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • African American clergy -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American entertainers -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • African American entertainers -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American fraternal organizations -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • African American fraternal organizations -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American freemasons -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • African American freemasons -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American musicians -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • African American musicians -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American Muslims -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • African American Muslims -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • African American photographers -- South Carolina -- Charleston
  • African Americans -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Portraits.
  • Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America -- Photographs.
  • Charleston (S.C.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century.
  • Church buildings -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Photographs.
  • Church musicians -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • Church musicians -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Clothing and dress -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- 20th century.
  • Coards, Joseph.
  • Coards, Rachel.
  • Coards Studio.
  • Debutantes -- Photographs -- 20th century.
  • Debutantes -- South Carolina -- Charleston
  • Families -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Social life and customs.
  • Funeral rites and ceremonies -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • High schools -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Mourning customs -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Photography -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Portrait photography -- South Carolina -- Charleston.
  • Weddings -- South Carolina -- Charleston -- Photographs.


Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Business-Related Materials, 1957-1990.

(0.25 linear feet)
Box 1
Business License, 1966-1990
Box 1
Correspondence, 1957-1983 and undated
Box 1
Notes, Contacts, and Financial Records
Box 1
Supplies

2. Photographs and Negatives, circa 1930s-1990s.

(7.5 linear feet)

2.1. Portraits and Snapshots, circa 1930s-1990s.

Box 2-4
Family and Group Portraits: General
Includes family, group, and baby pictures.
Box 4
Family and Group Portraits: Pets
Box 4
Family and Group Portraits: School - Class Photographs
Includes pictures of both students and faculty.
Box 4
Family and Group Portraits: School - Graduation
Box 4
Family and Group Portraits: School - Sports
Box 5
Family and Group Snapshots
Box 5-8
Individual Portraits: General, circa 1930s-1990s
Box 8
Individual Portraits: Law Enforcement
Box 9
Individual Portraits: Military
Box 9
Individual Portraits: Nursing
Box 9
Individual Portraits: Other Occupations
Box 9
Individual Portraits: School - Band
Box 9-10
Individual Portraits: School - Graduation, circa 1950s-1990s
Box 10
Individual Portraits: Other
Box 10
Individual Snapshots
   Folder 
Oversized Portraits and Snapshots
Includes individual and family portraits and snapshots, including military photographs, fraternal orders, and reprints.

2.2. Events, circa 1950s-1980s.

Box 10
Dances and Cotillions
Box 10
Funerals
Box 10
Parades
Box 10
School
Box 10-12
Weddings
Box 12
Weddings: Snapshots
Box 12
Dances and Cotillions
Box 12
Other Formal Events

2.3. Organizations, circa 1950s-1980s.

Box 12
Churches and Religious Groups: Buildings
Box 12
Churches and Religious Groups: Elders and Leaders
Box 12
Churches and Religious Groups: Events
Box 12
Churches and Religious Groups: Group Portraits
Box 12
Churches and Religious Groups: Musical Groups
Box 12
Churches and Religious Groups: Snapshots
Box 12
Fraternal Orders: Group Portraits
Includes group photographs of members of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine #139 and #128, George Washington Carver Consistory #162, Fruit of Islam, and some unidentified fraternal organizations. Some photographs contain women, probably representing auxiliaries of the Shriners.
Box 12
Fraternal Orders: Individual Portraits
Box 13
Musical Groups and Performers
Box 13
Other Organizations

2.4. Architectural and Scenic Photographs, circa 1950s-1980s.

Box 13
Exterior
Box 13
Interior
Box 13
Gardens and Nature
Box 13
Mechanical
Box 13
Roadways

2.5. Reprints and Other Materials

Box 13
Reprints: Church-related - Weddings
Box 13
Reprints: Family and Group Portraits
Box 13
Reprints: Identification Card - Lorinda Gibbs
Box 14
Reprints: Individual Portraits
Box 15
Reprints: Individual Portraits - Military
Box 15
Reprints: School - Graduation
Box 15
Reprints: Snapshots
Box 15
Reprints: Other
Box 15
Publicity Photographs
Includes Yvonne and Yvette McCarther, Ernest Frazier, Martin Luther King, Jr. with Ernestine Felder, and a John F. Kennedy campaign photograph.

2.6. Negatives

Box 16
Negatives

3. Personal, circa 1930s-1980s.

(0.5 linear feet)
Box 17
Arabian Temple No. 139 Spring Festival Program, 1988
Box 17
English Workbook, 1965
Box 17
Family Photograph Albums, 1959 and undated
Box 17
Personal Materials: General


Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Avery Research Center's archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Avery Research Center claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Coards Studio Photographs and Records, Avery Research Center, College of Charleston, Charleston, SC, USA.

Processing Information

Processed by Jessica Farrell and Amanda Ross, June 2010

Encoded by Jessica Farrell, June 2010

Edited by Amanda Ross, August 2010

Funding from the Council on Library and Information Resources supported the collection processing and encoding of this finding aid.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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