Muriel Barrow Bell and Malcolm Bell, Jr. collection
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Muriel Barrow Bell and Malcolm Bell, Jr. collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Bell, Malcolm, 1913-2001.
Creator: Bell, Muriel Barrow.
Title: Muriel Barrow Bell and Malcolm Bell, Jr. collection
Dates: 1910-1980s
Extent: 2.6 cubic feet (3 boxes, 3 oversize folders, 7 volumes)
Identification: MS 1283

Biographical/Historical Note

Malcolm Bell, Jr. was born to a prominent Savannah, Georgia family in 1913. He graduated from Savannah High School and attended the University of North Carolina and the Stonier School of Banking. He served as a Coast Guard officer during World War II. In 1964, Bell was elected president of Savannah Bank and Trust Company where he later served as chairman. Bell has been active in many Savannah organizations including the Oglethorpe Club, the Union Society, Industrial Committee of the Savannah District Authority, the Park and Tree Commission, Christ Church and the Episcopal Diocese of Georgia. He is a past president of the Savannah Chamber of Commerce, former chairman of the Savannah Port Authority, and served as the President of the Georgia Historical Society from 1974-1978. In 1982, Bell was honored by the Savannah chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People with a Freedom Fund award for his leadership of a citizens' committee focusing on Savannah's racial problems. Bell received a Governor's Awards in the Humanities in 1991.

Bell married Muriel Barrow on 23 July 1936. Together, they collaborated on an assignment by the Works Progress Administration in 1939 documenting African Americans in coastal Georgia through photographs. The results appear in the book Drums and Shadows, published in 1940. Bell also authored numerous articles and several other books, including Savannah, Ahoy! and Major Butler's Legacy.


Scope and Content Note

This collection contains photographs taken primarily by Malcolm Bell, Jr. and scrapbooks created by him, as well as wedding invitation and calling cards from the wedding of Malcolm Bell's parents. The photographic materials are arranged in four distinct groups: the Savannah Album; the Ship Scrapbook; the Drums and Shadow Album; and Miscellaneous Images. Some material from the Savannah Album and the Ship Scrapbook and all of Drums and Shadows are oversized items. The Savannah Album contains black and white photographs of Savannah's Historic District just prior to the restoration movement, approximately the 1950s-1960s. Several of the buildings photographed have since been demolished. The photographs were removed from a portfolio; however, their original order was retained. In this original order not all photos of a particular building are located within the same section. Therefore, photographs of the Davenport House (for example) may be found in several different folders. The Ship Scrapbook is dedicated to ships, especially ships named "Savannah" (namely the steamship and the nuclear ship). This scrapbook contains memorabilia as well as black and white photographs taken by Bell. The originals were removed from the scrapbook and replaced with photocopies. It is possible to view either the originals or the scrapbook itself. The photographs that constitute the third group are from the book Drums and Shadows. These black and white photographs were removed from a portfolio; however, the order was retained. All of these photographs are oversized. Drums and Shadows may be consulted for additional information regarding the photographs. Miscellaneous images comprise the forth distinct group. The images found in this section include loose images from the Savannah, Ahoy! scrapbook as well as other loose photographs and material. Images range from black and white snapshots to a print of Fanny Kemble. The fifth section contains six scrapbooks. Five of these scrapbooks contain color photographs taken by Malcolm Bell. These scrapbooks focus primarily on the Historic District of Savannah, the waterfront, and its people. The sixth scrapbook pertains to the printing of the Savannah, Ahoy! book. The folders and boxes containing the visual materials are noted as "VM" in the collection inventory.


Index Terms

African Americans--History.
Bell, Malcolm, 1913-2001.
Bell, Muriel Barrow.
Georgia Writers' Project. Savannah Unit.
Invitations.
Photographs.
Savannah (Ga.)--History.
Savannah Historic District (Savannah, Ga.)
Scrapbooks.
Ships.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Material was acquired from creator and collector.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Muriel Barrow Bell and Malcolm Bell, Jr. collection, MS 1283, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Malcolm Bell, Jr., 1978.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research. Scans and photo reproductions prohibited.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher. Permission to publish must be obtained from Malcolm Bell III, directly. Georgia Historical Society staff can assist with contact information.


Publication Note

Malcolm Bell, Savannah (Savannah, Ga.: Historic Savannah Foundation, circa 1977).Georgia Writer's Project. Savannah Unit, Drums and Shadows (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1972).


Sponsorship

Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

 

Fldr

1License, invitation to the wedding and a clipping reporting the marriage of Malcolm Bell and Laura Knapp Palmer, 1910 ( 5.0 items. )
An envelope attached to the invitation contains some rice thrown at the reception. Also included is a business card of Malcolm Bell.
 

Fldr

2Calling cards of visitors and cards attached to gifts and flowers ( 200.0 items. )
 

vm_box

1 Savannah Album

Images 001-010

Images 011-020

Images 021-030

Images 031-040

Images 041-050

Images 051-060

Images 061-070

Images 071-080

Images 081-090 are oversized

Images 091-095

Ship Scrapbook

Images 133-141

Images 142-156

Images 158-165

Images 171-179

Images 180-189

Images 190-202

Images 203-211

Images 212-222

Images 223-231

Images 232-239

Images 255-257

Duplicate images and 3 USS Savannah photos not in scrapbook

Loose items and end of Ship Scrapbook (some are duplicates)
 

vm_box

Fldr

21Loose photos from Savannah, Ahoy! Scrapbook
 

vm_box

Fldr

22Miscellaneous images
 

vm_box

Fldr

23Images 271-280
 

vm_box

Fldr

24Images 281-290
Includes Ford Plantation.
 

vm_box

Fldr

25Images 291-300
Includes Ford Plantation.
 

vm_box

Fldr

26Images 301-310
 

vm_box

Fldr

27Images 311-320
 

vm_box

Fldr

28Images 321-330
Includes Wormsloe.
 

vm_box

Fldr

29Images 331-340
Includes Wormsloe.
 

vm_box

Fldr

210Images 341-350
 

vm_box

Fldr

211Images 351-360
 

vm_box

Fldr

212Images 361-370
Includes ship and river photographs.
 

vm_box

Fldr

213Images 371-375
Includes ship and river photographs.
 

vm_box

3Oversized Images

Savannah Album

Images 23, 64, 75,76, 80-90

Drums and Shadows

Images 096-109

Images 110-120

Images 121-132

Ship Scrapbook

Images 134, 146-148

Images 150, 152, 157, 160, 194

Duplicate images (loose at the end of the scrapbook)
 
VM OVERSIZED FOLDER: Ship Scrapbook

Fldr

1Images 166-170, 240, 243
 
SCRAPBOOKS

scrapbook

1Mostly Savannah, 1975-1979
Color photos of ships and the river, some photos near the end of the scrapbook are from out-of-state.

scrapbook

2Morning Pictures, 1978-approx. 1987
Color photos of River Street through Forsyth Park, includes buildings, street scenes, street people, litter, etc.

scrapbook

3Savannah, 1980s
Color photos of buildings, Historic District through Forsyth Park (only half full).

scrapbook

4Mostly Savannah, 1980s
Color photos of Savannah, also Fort Pulaski.

scrapbook

5Untitled. Color photos of ships and the river

scrapbook

6 Savannah, Ahoy! Scrapbook documenting the printing of Savannah, Ahoy!
 
SHIP SCRAPBOOK
Ship Scrapbook reconstructed with photocopies