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James E. Hinton photographs and papers

Identifier: Manuscript Collection No. 1330

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the photographs and papers of James E. Hinton from 1954-2006 and primarily contains photograph prints, negatives, contact sheets, and slides. Images document the turbulent 1960s and 1970s and are predominantly of Civil Rights Movement events and activists; the Black Power Movement; the Anti-War Movement; African American artists, performers and athletes; and the films on which Hinton worked, including Greased Lightning and Don't Play Us Cheap. Hinton captured images of activists and civil rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., H. Rap Brown (Jamil Al-Amin), Stokely Carmichael, and Amiri Baraka, as well as athletes and musicians, including Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Trevor Berbick, Muhammad Ali, Miles Davis, Alice Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie, Isaac Hayes, and Andrew Hill. Hinton also documented programs such as The Children's Art Carnival, a nonprofit organization founded to create art programs for young people, and HARYOU (Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited), a social activist organization that worked to provide educational and employment opportunities for Harlem Youth. A small amount of personal papers document Hinton's exhibitions, work in the film industry, and military service.


  • 1954-2006

Language of Materials

Materials entirely in English.

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Series 2: Per donor request, negatives, proof sheets, and slides are closed to researchers.

Series 3: Per donor request, most digital and physical photographs of James E. Hinton are closed to researchers until 2051 (one photo of Hinton in folder 36/32 and two photos of Hinton in OBV3 are still available). Select additional photographs are restricted until 2071.

Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual 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

Special restrictions apply: Use of personal cameras is prohibited.

Biographical Note

James E. Hinton (1936-2006) was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. He attended college at Howard University (Washington, D.C.) in the 1950s and served in the United States Army from 1960-1962. He studied photography with Roy De Carava at the Kamoinge Photography Workshop for African Americans in 1963. Hinton worked as a freelance photographer throughout the 1960s, capturing images of the Civil Rights Movement in cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Chicago, Illinois; and Harlem, New York, and photographing unknown activists and foot soldiers in the movement as well as leaders such as Martin Luther King, Jr.; Stokely Carmichael; H. Rap Brown; and Huey Newton. He also photographed artists and athletes including singer Mahalia Jackson and boxer Muhammed Ali. In the 1970s, Hinton began working in film and television as a cinematographer and director. He was the first African American to join a cameraman's union, Local 600 in New York City, and won an Emmy for his direction of WNEW's program "Black News."


20 linear feet (42 boxes) (10 oversized papers boxes and 18 oversized papers folders (OP); 5 extra-oversized papers (XOP); 4 oversized bound volumes (OBV); AV Masters: .25 linear feet (1 box); 47.3 MB born digital material (15 files))


Papers and photographs of African American photographer James E. Hinton consisting primarily of prints, negatives, and slides with a small amount of personal material.

Arrangement Note

Organized into three series: (1) Professional papers, (2) Slides, contact sheets, and negatives, and (3) Prints.

Custodial History

Donor MS Hinton is the daughter of the creator James E. Hinton. MS Hinton took custody of this collection following the death James E. Hinton. She packed and shipped the materials to the Rose Library for acquisition.


Gift of MS Hinton, 2015

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of African American Collections Pellom McDaniels, III, as part of the Rose Library's holdings in photography and African American culture and history.

Related Materials in Other Repositories

James E. Hinton collection, Harvard Film Archive, Fine Arts Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University


Arranged and described at the box level by Sarah Quigley, June 2015.

Arranged and described at the file and item levels by Charmaine Bonne, 2018.

Born digital materials processed, arranged, and described by Brenna Edwards, 2020. Born digital materials include files taken from two optical discs. For information as to how these materials were processed, see the processing note in the description of series 3, Prints.

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

James E. Hinton photographs and papers, 1954-2006
Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University
June 23, 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Revision Statements

  • October 31, 2018: Finding aid revised following processing.

Repository Details

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

540 Asbury Circle
Atlanta Georgia 30322 United States