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J. B. Anderson papers and photographs

Call Number: RH MS 1230


This collection consists of papers and photographs from J. (Joseph) B. Anderson and his wife Pearl, long-time residents of Topeka, Kansas. J. B. Anderson was a popular photographer in that city from the 1940s through the 1970s.


  • Creation: 1926, 1944, 1946, 1948-1955, 1959-1968, 1972-1973, 1975-1980, 1982-1999, 2001-2002


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of J. B. Anderson

J. B. Anderson was born in Nacogodoches, Texas and moved to Topeka, Kansas in the early 1920s. There Anderson worked in the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe shops as a welder. He was a member of various social groups, such as the Mount Moriah Lodge No. 5 F. and M. where he was a past master, and the Calvary Baptist Church. From the 1940s through the 1970s, Anderson also was a popular photographer of the Topeka, Kansas African American community.

Pearl Bertha Gatewood was born 5 November 1909 in McCloud, Oklahoma to Reverend Robert D. and Ella Gatewood. The family moved to Topeka, Kansas in 1925, where Pearl graduated from Topeka High School and attended Washburn University. Gatewood worked as an Universal Life Insurance agent, was an active Calvary Baptist Church member, as well as a member of such groups as the Federated Women and Bertha Dandridge Literary Art Club. In 1964 the Delta Eta chapter of Alpha Phi fraternity named her Mother of the Year.

J. B. Anderson married Pearl Gatewood in 1937. The couple had one son, Joseph B. Anderson, Jr., who was born 12 February 1943. Pearl Gatewood Anderson died 10 October 1980 in Topeka.


1.25 Linear Feet (3 document cases + 2 oversize boxes, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

This collection has been arranged into two series, one for the papers and one for the photographs. Photographs have been further sub-divided into three sub-series: Events, People, and Nonhuman subjects. The People sub-series has been further subdivided.

While the photographs are organized alphabetically within each sub-componenent, the papers have been organized with those items pertaining to J. B. and Pearl Anderson coming first and the rest of the material appearing in an alphabetical arrangement. Oversize papers have been described separately in the finding aid; oversize photographs appear in place with the sub-series to which they belong.

Physical Location

RH MS 1230

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1230

Physical Location

RH MS-P 1230 (f)

Physical Location

RH MS Q337

Physical Location

RH MS R300

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts, Darlene Jackson, 2004, 2020.

Related Materials

J. B. Anderson photographs can be found in these other collections located at the Kenneth Spencer Research Library:

  1. Mildred P. Reid Mounger papers: RH MS-P 458 box 1, folders 37-38, 40-41
  2. Reverend Frank Brown family papers: RH MS-P 474 box 1, folder 6 (1 of 3 images)
  3. St. John A.M.E. Church of Topeka, Kansas records: RH MS-P 481 box 1, folders 8-9
  4. Samuel C. Jackson papers: RH MS-P 557 box 1, folders 1, 14-15
  5. Dr. Robert C. Harder papers: RH MS-P 625 box 1, folder 5
  6. Harry and Bertha Dandrige papers: RH MS-P 625 box 1, folders 1, 8, 10
  7. Clementine Martin papers: RH MS-P 632 box 1, folder 3
  8. John W. Temple family papers: RH MS-P 641 box 1, folders 9, 11b
  9. Darlene Jenkins papers: RH MS-P 677 box 1, folder 7
  10. Afro-American Clubwomen Project records: RH MS-P 705 box 1, folders 7-8, 13, 15-17
  11. John David Barker family papers: RH MS-P 775 box 1, folder 7
  12. Reverend Billy J. Johnson papers: RH MS-P 1104 folder 1
  13. Thomas A. Williams family papers: RH MS-P 1117 box 1, folder 62
Guide to the J. B. Anderson Collection
J. B. Anderson papers and photographs
Finding aid prepared by mbw, 2011. Finding aid encoded by mbw, 2011. Finding aid revised by eh, 2017; mwh, 2017, 2021; cmp, 2024
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Support for the processing of this Collection was provided by the Dana and Sue Anderson African American Collecting Program Endowment Fund.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
J. B. Anderson collection, RH MS 1230, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States