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Davenport photograph album

Identifier: 1986.98.15


The Davenport photograph album contains 92 photographs of the Gray family. The images are primarily unidentified portraits showing the family in backyards, parks, and at the beach. Photographs are mostly undated, but appear to be from the 1920’s and 30’s.


  • 1920-1921


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use

The reproduction of materials in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine and satisfy copyright clearances or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information visit the MCHC’s Rights and Permissions page.

Biographical / Historical

The Gray family lived in Baltimore, Maryland. James Frank Gray, an African-American wallpaper hanger, and his wife Elizabeth “Lizzie” Rogers Gray, a domestic servant, moved to Baltimore in the 1910’s from Exmoor, Virginia. They first lived at 765 West Mulberry Street and later moved to 1116 Argyle Street. Lizzie Gray worked for the James Tinsley family. Over the years, James Gray collected decorative art pieces, such as ceramics, which were broken or were discarded by the families for which he worked.

They had a daughter, Nannie Woodland Gray, who taught at Baltimore’s Henry Highland Garnet School (Public School #103), specializing in handwriting, for forty years. She received her education at Colored High and Training School (now Frederick Douglass High School) and graduated in 1910. She then attended Coppin Normal School, which was affiliated with the high school at the time. Nannie Gray began fostering Barbara Davenport in 1930.


.5 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



The collection retains the original order of the album. Individual numbers have been assigned to each photograph which is either written below or above or on the back of the photograph when it could be safely removed from the album page. The numbers were assigned left to right in a clockwise manner for each page. Some of the photographs have come off their pages but are retained in the folder with its page.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Davenport Photograph Album was donated to the Baltimore City Life Museums in 1986 by Barbara Davenport (accession number 1986.98.15). In 1997, the Baltimore City Life Museums/Peale Museum closed due to lack of funding. Its collections were transferred to the Maryland Historical Society in 1998.

Scope and Contents

The Davenport Photograph Album contains 92 photographs of the Gray family. The majority of the images are unidentified portraits which show the family in backyards, parks, and at the beach. Several of the portraits were taken in front Mattie B. Taylor Dressmaker shop, perhaps modeling her dresses. The photographs are primarily undated appear to be from the 1920’s and 30’s. The album was originally owned by Lizzie Gray and passed to her foster granddaughter Barbara Davenport.


Guide to the Davenport photograph album
Under Revision
Lara Westwood
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Revision Statements

  • 2020-05-05: Manually entered into ArchivesSpace by Emily Somach.

Repository Details

Part of the H. Furlong Baldwin Library Repository

H. Furlong Baldwin Library
Maryland Center for History and Culture
610 Park Avenue
Baltimore MD 21201 United States