For release: March 6, 2013
For press information, contact Jennifer Schnabel, 901-678-8210
The University Libraries at the University of Memphis are displaying “Impact and Influence:
The Church Family of Memphis” in the rotunda of the Ned R. McWherter Library through
May 9. The exhibition, which features more than 30 documents and artifacts from three
generations of the Robert R. Church family, reflects the cultural, political and racial
climate of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Prominent Memphians and active in the Republican Party, members of the Church family
were influential in business, politics and public service both locally and nationally.
They were heavily involved in the early civil rights movement and gained the respect
and admiration of presidents, activists and key historical figures. In 1976, Sara
Roberta Church donated nearly 100 boxes of material from her family’s personal archives
to the University Libraries.
The exhibition includes souvenir programs from local events honoring President Theodore
Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington, along with personal correspondence from both men. One
display features an assortment of letters, pamphlets, and historical publications,
such as an original 1906 issue of W.E.B. DuBois’ The Moon, the first weekly African-American magazine and the precursor to The Crisis.
Another display highlights the achievements of women during the civil rights movement
and includes letters from Ida B. Wells-Barnett, as well as Church’s copy of her 1920
publication The Arkansas Race Riot.
“Impact and Influence: The Church Family of Memphis” is free and open to the public
during regular library hours. For more information about the exhibit, visit www.memphis/libraries.
To view digital photographs of the Church family online, visit the University Libraries Digital Repository.