The Regina Andrews Photograph Collection documents her personal life, professional career, and civic activities. Personal photographs include family, friends, and acquaintances. The bulk of personal photographs are from Regina and Williams Andrews' later years. Family photographs document both Regina's and William's family histories (Simons, Andersons, and Andrews families). Photographs of friends and acquaintances document social engagements. Images of friends and acquaintances include portraits and snapshots of individuals active in the intellectual circles of the Harlem Renaissance, including group portraits of Andrews, Ethel Ray Nance, Langston Hughes, Helen Lanning, Pearl Fisher, Rudolph Fisher, Luella Tucker, Clarissa Scott, Esther Popel Shaw, Hubert T. Delany, Jessie Fauset, Charles S. Johnson, Marie Johnson and E. Franklin Frazier at a party for Hughes held at the 580 St. Nicholas Ave., Harlem, home of Andrews and roommate Nance in 1924. Personal photographs also contain William T. Andrews' Reveille Club Anniversary Photograph Album (1932-1982) with portraits and biographical information of Club members.
Statement of responsibility: Collection contains photographic work by James C. Campbell, A. Hansen Studio, Austin Hansen, Cecil Layne and others.
Biographical/historical: As a civic leader, Andrews served on the boards and held office in several organizations, including the National Council of Women of the United States, National Urban League, and the United States National Commission for UNESCO. Andrews died in Ossining, New York, in 1993
Andrews' writing career included a number of plays. Two of her works, "Climbing Jacobs Ladder" and "Underground," were produced by the Harlem Experimental Theatre. Andrews also served as a consultant for the landmark exhibition "Harlem on My Mind," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1968). Her work for the exhibition included gathering images, a number of which were from her personal collection, and serving as an editorial assistant for the exhibition catalog. She also completed a manuscript "The Black New Yorkers," a book that grew out of her work for the "Harlem on My Mind" exhibition
In 1948, Andrews transferred to the Washington Heights Branch (N.Y.P.L.) as Supervising Librarian, a post she held until her retirement in 1967. She was the first African American to head a branch in the N.Y.P.L. system. While at the Washington Heights Branch (N.Y.P.L.), Andrews inaugurated "Family Night at the Library," a special library community outreach program that focused on social, political, and cultural affairs throughout the world
Librarian, playwright, author, and civic leader, Regina Andrews was born in Chicago in 1901. After studying at the University of Chicago and working as an assistant librarian at Wilberforce University, she migrated to New York City in 1920. Her career in librarianship in New York City began at the 135th Street Branch of the New York Public Library (N.Y.P.L.). Andrews quickly moved up the ranks to a more senior position at the 115th Street Branch (N.Y.P.L.). Andrews' home served as a catalyst for the Harlem Renaissance, as her roomate, Ethel Ray Nance, was secretary to Charles S. Johnson, founder and publisher of "Opportunity" magazine, which triggered the Renaissance. Her career at the N.Y.P.L. also helped to put her in touch with a number of personalities involved in the Harlem Renaissance. In 1926, she married attorney and New York State Assemblyman, William T. Andrews