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Genealogical Collection:
A Research Guide

The F.S. McKnight Photographic Collection

The Evans Manuscript Collection

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The Frank Summerfield McKnight Photographic Collection

The F. S. McKnight Photographic Collection consists of the photographer's camera, studio equipment and customer registers along with over 14,000 dry glass plate negatives and an equal number of photographs. The images, made in Aberdeen, Mississippi between 1894 and 1930 include street scenes as well as studio and group portraits from all races and classes.

As McKnight photographed Aberdeen's children, families, officials, socialites, farmers, homemakers and industrial workers, he carefully etched a number onto the upper right hand corner of each glass negative. The numbers on the negatives correspond to numbers found in McKnight's eleven studio registers in which he scrupulously listed the customer’s name, address, race, as well as the number and format of the photographs ordered. McKnight also listed whether or not the bill was paid, (noting as "deadbeat" those who failed to pay) prices paid, and purchase order specifics. Because of the survival of this meticulous documentation, the F.S. McKnight Collection is a valuable resource for historians, genealogists and others.

The collection has survived for 64 years since McKnight's death at 86 and was given to the Evans Memorial Library in 1971 by John Velhart.

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