Johns Hopkins University Josephine Baker collection
Scope and Contents
The collection contains ephemeral books, promotional flyers and black-and-white photographs (primarily movie stills). It documents every decade of Baker's career – on stage, in film, in cabarets, in concert, in recording studios, on radio, and on television. Items in the collection come from the United States, France, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Iceland. Information regarding specific items is included at the file level.
- Creation: 1926-approximately 1970
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.
Collection is open for use.
Conditions Governing Use
Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.
Biographical / Historical
Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the "Black Pearl," "Bronze Venus" and even the "Creole Goddess". Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Josephine Baker became a citizen of France in 1937. She was fluent in both English and French. Baker was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) and to become a world-famous entertainer. Baker refused to perform for segregated audiences in the United States and is noted for her contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. She was also known for assisting the French Resistance during World War II, and received the French military honor, the Croix de Guerre and was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle. She passed away in 1975, having spent her last years performing in retrospectives that celebrated her half-century career in entertainment.
0.49 Cubic Feet (1 flat box containing 28 oversize folders)
Language of Materials
Josephine Baker (1906-1975) was an American-born French dancer, singer, and actress who came to be known in various circles as the "Black Pearl," "Bronze Venus" and even the "Creole Goddess". Baker was the first Black woman to star in a major motion picture, Zouzou (1934) and to become a world-famous entertainer. The materials span from 1926 to circa 1970 and contain photographs, promotional flyers, and ephemeral books.
The collection is organized into folders, ordered chronologically by year and grouped by the title of a work or a description of an activity associated with Baker.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was purchased from George Robert Minkoff, Inc. Rare Books in 2014. Two additional programs were purchased from McBlain in 2020, and a flyer and piece of sheet music were purchased from Max Rambod in 2023.
This collection was processed in October 2015 by Annie Tang. Two accruals were added to the collection by Jenelle Clark and Kristen Diehl in October 2023.
- Guide to the Johns Hopkins University Josephine Baker collection
- Annie Tang, Jenelle Clark, Kristen Diehl.
- October 2023
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA