Hamblin Studio Photograph Collection

C1: 162
approx. 1,360 glass-plate and film negatives 

C1:162  Hamblin Studio Photograph Collection.  Thomas Rose, October 4, 1945  (vdlp_suffolk_ng0156)

The Hamblin Studio Collection represents the collective output of four Suffolk photographers working throughout the 20th century. Their photos represents a variety of subjects, including portraiture, sporting events, fraternal organizations, medical facilities, public utilities, local unions, manufacturing plants (in particular Planters Peanuts), and schools, including black private schools and segregated and integrated public schools. As well as being a good general portrait of 20th-century Virginia, the Hamblin Studio Collection is an excellent documentary resource for African American community life in Suffolk. 

Note: The collection includes images from the city of Nansemond prior to 1974, when it merged with the independent city of Suffolk. 

Arrangement and access:
The entire collection is available through the Library’s online collections searchable by keyword and date. 

Related resources and collections:
C1: 163 Hamblin Studio Service Station Photograph Collection


  1. Clyde L. Fisher said:
    27 November 2013 at 9:09 am

    An excellent presentation of photos. Thank you for allowing me to revisit moments of events remain meaningful. Respectfully, Clyde L. Fisher, CWO-4, USMC, “Ret” and Graduate of BTW, Suffolk, class of 1959

    • Dale said:
      27 November 2013 at 9:22 am

      Thank you for the kind words ! It’s always nice to hear from individuals who have personal connections with the people and places shown in photo studio collections. It reaffirms the importance of preserving such collections.

  2. Clyde L. Fisher said:
    27 November 2013 at 11:11 am

    Mr. Dale, thanks for you response. I am trying to collect photos of BTW, Suffolk, Va. events and grad classes from 1939 through 1969. Also, photos of the Fairgrounds (East Washington Street) 1940 through1975. You assistance is most appreciated. Respectfully, Clyde Fisher

    • Dale said:
      27 November 2013 at 11:34 am

      With 1360 images, Hamblin is our strongest collection for the Suffolk area. Unfortunately, most of that studio’s work was lost decades before this group of negatives finally came to the Library of Virginia. The Hamblin images have all been scanned and are available online through the LVA catalog. There are also some Suffolk photos in our Virginia Chamber of Commerce Collection, but most of them relate to peanuts and the Peanut Festivals from the 1930s-40s.

  3. Clyde L. Fisher said:
    27 November 2013 at 11:33 am

    Forgive me. “Happy Thanksgiving” to you and family members. Clyde

    • Dale said:
      27 November 2013 at 11:35 am

      and a “HAPPY THANKSGIVING” to you too !

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