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Collection Number: 04452

Collection Title: Charles Anderson Farrell Papers, 1938-1977

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 0.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 200 items)
Abstract Charles Anderson Farrell was a native of Yadkin County, North Carolina, and in 1923 moved to Greensboro where he became the first professional photographer of the Greensboro Daily News. In the 1920s and 1930s, Farrell also operated a photography studio, camera store, and art supply house in downtown Greensboro. Farrell died at the age of 83 in the Friends Home at Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1977. The collection includes correspondence, photocopies and drafts of literary manuscripts, clippings, and other material documenting the career of Charles A. Farrell (1894-1977), a Greensboro photographer, who contributed the photographs for several University of North Carolina Press books. The majority of the material relates to Stella Gentry Sharpe's Tobe (1939), ahead of its time as a Southern book because it pictured blacks favorably as warm, intelligent human beings.
Creator Farrell, Charles Anderson, 1894-1977.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Charles Anderson Farrell Papers #4452, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Roger H. Farrell of Ithaca, N.Y., in June 1986.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Charles Anderson Farrell was a native of Yadkin County, N.C., and, in 1923, moved to Greensboro where he became the first professional photographer of the Greensboro Daily News. In the 1920s and 1930s, Farrell also operated a photography studio, camera store, and art supply house in downtown Greensboro.

Farrell was a graduate of Wake Forest College, to which he returned to teach English for a short time after serving in World War I.

Farrell married Anne McKaughan. They had three children, Charles B., Peter S., and Roger H.

Highlights of Farrell's career included taking some of the first aerial photographs of North Carolina, taking exclusive aerial photographs of Z. Smith Reynolds's estate in Winston-Salem following the fatal shooting of the heir to the Reynolds tobacco fortune, and taking the pictures for Stella Gentry Sharpe's Tobe (1939), a portrait of a young black boy and his family in the 1930s.

Farrell died at the age of 83 in the Friends Home at Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1977.

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Correspondence, photocopies and drafts of literary manuscripts, clippings, and other material, 1938-1977, concerning the various University of North Carolina Press books to which Farrell contributed photographs, and books for which he considered doing photographic work. The UNC Press books represented in the collection are E. T. H. Shaffer's Carolina Gardens, 1939 edition; Bernice Kelly Harris's Folk Plays of Eastern Carolina, circa 1940; Aubrey Lee Brook's Walter Clark: Fighting Judge, 1944; and Stella Gentry Sharpe's Tobe, 1939. Also included are papers relating to several unpublished works, a brief biography of Farrell written by his wife, and Farrell's obituary.

The majority of the materials concern Tobe, which describes the life of a young black boy and his family in the 1930s. Included is correspondence between Farrell and UNC Press editor W. T. Couch, advertising manager Porter Cowles, and Stella Sharpe concerning production and promotion of Tobe There is also information relating to royalties. Also included is correspondence relating to the law suit that was filed by Arthur Garner of Greensboro, N.C., regarding the use of pictures of himself and his family in the publication of Tobe and letters documenting public reaction from blacks and whites toward Tobe.

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Contents list

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Processing Information

Processed by: Connie Cartledge, July 1986; Revised by Suzanne Ruffing, September 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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