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Camille Billops and James V. Hatch archives at Emory University

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 927

Scope and Content Note

The Camille Billops and James Hatch Archives at Emory University consists of materials relating to African American culture and art. The collection includes a large selection of published and unpublished play scripts written mostly by African American playwrights. Of particular interest are the oral history interviews conducted by Billops and Hatch for inclusion in Artist and Influence. The printed ephemera contain posters and artwork, postcards, and calendars. There are also materials relating to African American theater and printed material relating to dance. The photograph series contains images of African Americans in movies and plays; as well as individual publicity shots of African American actors and images of African American musicians and bands. The born digital materials series contains an archived copy of the Hatch-Billops Collection website, along with born digital materials from a Mac G4 and external hard drive.


  • 1879-2012

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on Access

Special Restrictions: Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance for access to this material.

Access to processed born digital materials is only available in the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library (the Rose Library). Use of the original digital media is restricted.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction. Please note that some of the items in this collection are copies of materials held in other archival repositories. The Library will not provide researchers with copies of those items. Researchers wishing to obtain copies of these materials should contact the repository that owns the originals.

Biographical Note

Camille Billops (1933- ) filmmaker and artist, has had an extensive exhibition, teaching, and academic career. She has been a faculty member at Rutgers University, City University of New York, and for the United States Information Service in India. Since 1968, Billops has been the art editor of Indiana State University's Black American Literature Forum. James V. Hatch (1928- ), theatre historian, has held numerous academic positions, most notably as Professor of English and Theatre, City College and City University of New York (1965-1993), and as Fulbright Lecturer, Cinema Institute, Cairo, Egypt (1962-1965). Hatch has published widely on the subject of African American theatre. Billops and Hatch currently live in New York City.

The Hatch/Billops Collection in New York (which continues to operate separately there) originated in 1968 while Billops and Hatch were teaching art and literature at the City College of New York. With the rise of the civil rights movement and a concomitant increase in racial consciousness, a demand rose for courses in black American art, drama and literature. Billops and Hatch found that very little had been published on the history of the African American cultural arts, and much that had been published was out of print. They began collecting primary materials for their students. Artists and writers also began to send material to them for safekeeping. With a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Billops and Hatch conducted oral histories with black artists in all disciplines. Billops began to photograph the works of black artists in exhibitions and private collections. Hatch began to collect published and unpublished plays, set designs, theater programs, and historical and biographical works. They also assembled a library of books, periodicals and clippings related to black cultural arts. Since 1981 Billops and Hatch have published Artist and Influence: The Journal of Black American Cultural History that features transcripts of interviews they regularly conduct in New York, as well as panel discussions and forums with minority artists. The journal sheds new light on movements such as the Harlem Renaissance, the role of black musicians, and the careers of filmmakers, actors, sculptors, photographers, animators, choreographers, vocalists, and painters. A complete set of the journal, Artist and Influence, is a part of the Emory collection.


47.25 linear feet (95 boxes); 12 oversized papers boxes and 16 oversized papers folders (OP); 6 extra oversized papers (XOP); AV Masters: 9.25 linear feet (9 boxes and LP1-4); 10 GB born digital material (231 files)


The Camille Billops and James Hatch Archives at Emory University consists of a variety of materials relating to African American culture and art.

Arrangement Note

Organized into eight series: (1) Play scripts, (2) Theater, (3) Dance, (4) Photographs, (5) Printed ephemera, (6) Oral history interviews, (7) Born digital materials, and (8) Audiovisual materials.


Gift of James Hatch and Camille Billops, 2002, with subsequent additions from 2011-2018.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of African American Collections, Randall Burkett, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in African American culture and history.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

Related Materials in This Repository

The personal papers of James V. Hatch and Camille Billops and records of their work relating to the curation of the Hatch-Billops Collection and the publication of Artist and Influence can be found in manuscript collection number 1226, the James V. Hatch and Camille Billops papers.

Books and periodicals in Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Archives have been cataloged individually. These materials may be located in the Emory University online catalog by searching for: Billops, Camille, former owner and Hatch, James Vernon, 1928-, former owner.

Several volumes of the journal Artist and Influence have been catalogued separately. These materials may be located in the Emory University online catalog by searching for: Artist and Influence.


File name: billopshatch927.doc


Elizabeth Roke and Will Love, November 2012.

File name: billopshatch927.doc

Born digital materials arranged and described by Brenna Edwards, 2019-2020. Born digital materials include files taken from two hard drives. For information as to how these materials were processed, see the processing note in the description of series 7, Born digital materials.

This finding aid may include language that is offensive or harmful. Please refer to the Rose Library's harmful language statement for more information about why such language may appear and ongoing efforts to remediate racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, euphemistic and other oppressive language. If you are concerned about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at

Camille Billops and James V. Hatch Archives at Emory University
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
February 5, 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • July 29, 2015: Finding aid revised to include enhanced metadata tagging.

Repository Details

Part of the Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library Repository

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States