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Byrd-Leach Family Photographs Collection

Identifier: RH-A-4343

Scope and Contents

The collection contains thirty-six photographs from the Byrd and Leach families from Michigan and Ohio dating from 1880 to 1929.

Those pictured are sons-in-law, children and friends including Pauline Johnson; Essa Byrd’s family including Mary Katherine’s husband, Charles H. Smith, and her sons Robert Adrian Smith, Harold D. Smith and Frederick D. Smith.


  • Creation: 1880-1929

Biographical / Historical

The photographs vary between formal portraits, school classes and groups in various places including Lake Erie and Wilberforce University in Ohio. Close to everyone in these images are identified.


.25 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The images were donated by Helen and Charles Mickens from Lansing, Michigan who were given them by a person who found them in a vacant house in Lansing. Clyde and Essa Leach Byrd lived in Lansing so it is possible the images originally were owned by them.

Related Materials

Photographs are housed in the RHC Photographs Collection, Box 90.

Physical Description

The collection amounts to .25 cubic feet and consists of thirty-six photographs of relatives and friends of the Byrd and Leach families who lived in Michigan and Ohio. All of the people in these images are African American. There are postcards, cabinet cards, mounted photographs, snapshots in black and white and sepia and are in a wide variety of sizes. The largest measures 4” x 6” and the smallest 2.25” x 3.25”. Some images have spotting, scratching, water damage and fading. Overall the people pictured are clearly visible.


Byrd-Leach Family Photographs Collection finding aid
Stephanie Chapman
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490