The Miriam Matthews Photographic Collection consists of 121 photographic prints collected by Miriam Matthews largely related
to African American history in California. Roughly half of the collection is photographs of notable African American politicians
taken by photographer Harry A. Adams in Southern California between 1955-1964. The remaining photographs are reproductions
of images held by other institutions.
Born in 1905 in Pensacola, Florida to Reuben Hearde and Fannie (Elijah) Matthews, Miriam Matthews (1905-2003) was the Los
Angeles Public Library's first professional African American librarian and an important early collector of African American
art and history. Matthews earned degrees in librarianship from the University of California at Berkeley and the University
of Chicago and served as a branch and regional library manager for the Los Angeles Public Library for 33 years between 1927-1960.
She was active in professional and civic organizations and received numerous awards for her contributions to African American
Permission to publish from the Miriam Matthews Photograph Collection must be obtained from the African American Museum and
Library at Oakland.