The papers of Richmond Barthe, Harlem Renaissance sculptor, consist of correspondence, contact books, programs, brochures, news and magazine clippings, notes, lists, financial information, poetry, letters, passports, publications, resumes, advertisements, and photographs. The papers have been arranged in three general groups of correspondence, other materials, and photographs.
The correspondence has been arranged into nine divisions alphabetically according to topic and chronologically within each file unit. The first dates from 1951-1988, containing mostly letters, postcards, and news clippings from close associates. Letters to and from committees involve contractual agreements to erect the statues, Richard Allen, Toussaint L'Ouverture, and the equestrian monument of General Dessalines. The majority of the correspondence consists of invitations, greeting cards, and postcards dating 1974-1988. Individual items are a letter and pamphlet, Negro Giants in History, from Inge Hardison, an African American sculptor. An additional portion contains letters and photographs from a close friend, Kitty Spence. Finally a letter, photographs, and a program from the 1930 exhibition at the Women's City Club in Chicago sent from A'Lelia Walker, an African American businesswoman and patron of the arts.
Other materials contains Barthe's collected objects, resumes, passports, and awards. These items are organized alphabetically according to name, topic, or format and chronologically (if applicable) within the file units. These items include contact information (address, contact, and telephone number book NYC years circa 1929), lists (passenger list S.S. Constitution, artworks, financial supporters 1983), a profile of accomplishments, letters from other repositories 1941, cards (business cards and post cards, including Barthe at the naming of Barthe Drive 1986, handmade card by Robert Villegas 1988), Barthe's Living Will, and an audio tape interview of Barthe from 1987. Also included are Barthe's collected creative writings (personal, anonymous poems, Susan Hodge poems, Robert Schlick poems circa 1932, and manuscript of poems by John Bryan), a calendar designed and signed by Geraldine McCullough, information from the Gumby Scrapbook, Barthe's study tools (sketches, photographs, and news clippings), an unfinished canvas painting (included with oversize materials) and sheet music (The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes). Other collected materials include news and magazine clippings, pamphlets, programs, catalogs (1930 show in Chicago, Sculpture by Richmond Barthe, and Manfredi exhibition), articles (Arno Breker), newsletters (National Sculpture Society 1977), and publications. Six passports dated 1951-1974, financial information from 1947 to 1975, the notice of taking deposition of James Garner in the Barthe vs. Bill Cosby case, and resumes circa 1942 are also included with the collection, as well as a diploma from Xavier University and portfolio which is situated with the oversized materials.
The final group in the Barthe collection is photographs, in boxes 3 and 4 arranged in alphabetical order and chronologically within each separate folder. There are photographs and negatives of sculptures (Claude Ardrey, winged phallus sculpture with negative, classical sculpture, contact sheets, medieval statues, professional photographs and negatives of Barthe's sculptures), photographs of people (Mary McLeod Bethune, and the artist’s mother), places (polaroids of studio in Pasadena, Jamaica 1939-1970), events (Passion Play), and study aides (two children in low relief for Haitian coin). In box 6, photographs are separated between color and black and white and generally are organized chronologically. Loose photograph pages from a scrapbook are included with oversize materials.