The Geleve Grice Photograph Collection


The Geleve Grice Photograph Collection consists of over 70,900 images of southeast Arkansas. Through these 6,500 prints and 64,400 undeveloped negatives taken between 1942 and 2002, Grice documented the social and cultural lives of African Americans living in the Mississippi River delta of Arkansas. The African American photographer Geleve Grice (1922-2004) was born in Tamo, Arkansas, 35 miles southeast of Little Rock. He lived most of his life in nearby Pine Bluff, where he owned a photography studio, and made his living photographing school graduations, funerals, fairs, parades, etc. He was also the official photographer for the Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (Arkansas AM&N; now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff), the state’s historically black college. Many of the photos are of pre-integration events at black high schools. Particularly significant are photos of Silas Hunt, the first African American to enroll in a professional school in the South. The collection goes beyond local and state subjects, with informal photographs of such greats as Louis Armstrong, Joe Louis, and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. The collection consists of 23 boxes of unorganized photos, negatives, billing records, advertisements, AM&N yearbooks and annual reports, and 15 hours of oral history interviews with Grice. His photographs have been seen by only a few people. The collection is truly a gem in the rough and the epitome of a hidden collection.


Cataloging Hidden Collections

Amount Awarded

Year Added



  • Janet Parsch

Collection Size

23 boxes, 70900 objects

Date Range

1942 - 2002

Geographic Scope

Little Rock, Pine Bluff, other towns and venues in southeast Arkansas and the Arkansas Delta; Chicago; Seattle; Hawaii; U.S. Navy photo log