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Documenting Our Past:
The Teenie Harris Archive Project
July 5-November 16, 2003

Public documentation of the Charles “Teenie” Harris photographic collection underway

Press Contact:
Lane Maggio Cigna

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
412-578-2458 or 412-480-4007
Tey Stiteler
Carnegie Museum of Art

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…Charles “Teenie” Harris photographed the events and daily life in Pittsburgh’s African American community between 1936 and 1975 for the Pittsburgh Courier, one of the nations’ most influential Black newspapers. In 2001, Carnegie Museum of Art acquired Harris’ archive of nearly 80,000 photographic negatives, few of which are titled and dated. The archive, a richly detailed record of public personalities and events, and the daily lives of average people, is considered one of the most important documentations of 20th-century African American life. The museum is now seeking help from members of the community, familiar with the history of the era, to identify the people, places, and activities taking place in approximately 3700 images, many of which have never before been on display.

Approximately 200 work prints and 3500 photocopied images will be on view in the museum’s Forum Gallery from July 5 through November 16, 2003. To maximize community involvement with the project, Carnegie Museum of Art and Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will collaborate on an extension of the program in neighborhood library branches, where bound sets of all images will be available along with “memory sheets” to record comments and recollections.

Oral historians, from the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of History, will be scheduled at all locations to record visitors’ comments. The images will also be shown in rotation on the museum’s web site with links to an on-line memory sheet that will be forwarded to the museum. In addition, the museum’s community liaison, Deborah Starling Pollard, will give free slide-illustrated presentations about the project to community organizations during this period.

The information that is gathered from this project will be entered into the museum’s collections database and will be available on-line. The project is a collaboration among Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, and the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of History.

Schedule of Oral Historian Visits to CLP Locations

Electronic images are available for media use. Contact the communications office for the access code at 412.688.8690 or

Support: General support for programs at Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by grants from The Heinz Endowments and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

About Carnegie Museum of Art:
Located at 4400 Forbes Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh and founded by industrialist and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie in 1895, Carnegie Museum of Art is nationally and internationally recognized for its distinguished collection of American and European works from the sixteenth century to the present. The Heinz Architectural Center, part of Carnegie Museum of Art, is dedicated to the collection and exhibition of architectural representations and to the study of all aspects of the built environment. For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art, call 412.622.3131 or visit our web site at

About Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh: "Free to the People" since 1895
Through its Main Library and neighborhood locations, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh serves the dynamic and diverse information needs of people living in Western Pennsylvania. The Library is an important community anchor that provides universal access to literature, culture, art, music, history, business and technology. Major funding for Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh comes from the Allegheny Regional Asset District.

Did you know that we're planning improvements for customers of the Oakland-based Main Library? Read about the Capital Improvement Program online at

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