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Phi Delta Kappa Scrapbook

An inventory of the item at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: Michele Combs
Date: 4 May 2021

Biographical History

Lenon Hoyte (1905-1999) was a Black American art teacher and doll collector. She studied art and education at the City College of New York and at Teacher's College of Columbia University, and taught art in New York City elementary and junior high schools for forty years. She was active in the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa (NSPDK), a professional organization for educators, chairing a number of committees. When NSPDK organized an exhibition of her dolls to benefit the mental health clinic at Harlem Hospital, it generated so much interest that Hoyte greatly expand her collecting efforts; the collection eventually became Aunt Len's Doll and Toy Museum with more than 6,000 items. [Adapted from "Hoyte, Lenon," by Betty Caplan Gubert, in American National Biography.

Austin Hansen (1910-1996) was a Black American photographer based in New York City. Born in the Virgin Islands, the first photograph he took for which he earned a payment was at age 12, of a friend's new car; the friend paid him 20 cents. Hansen served in the United States Navy where he was trained as a combat/war photographer. Following his departure from the Navy he opened his own studio in Harlem. Over the course of his career he documented the life of the upper Manhattan neighborhood, including people (churchmen, writers, sports figures), buildings (churches, brownstones), and events (celebrations, street scenes, weddings). He also freelanced for local newspapers, taking photographs of Haile Selassie, Count Basie, Marcus Garvey, and Langston Hughes, among others. For the last five years of his life, Hansen was the artist in residence at the Photographic Center of Harlem. [Adapted from "Austin Hansen, Visual Chronicler of Harlem Life, Dies at 85," New York Times, 25 Jan 1996]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Phi Delta Kappa Scrapbook consists of 17 sleeved album pages (34 pages of content) containing photographs and associated printed items, handwritten items, and captions. The scrapbook was probably created by Lenon Hoyte, who was a member of the National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa (NSPDK) and very active in the sorority. Her name appears in several of the items and the scrapbook was purchased from Hoyte's estate. The photographs are mostly of NSPDK events and many have accompanying clippings, notes, letters, or captions. For example, the first photograph is of a crowd outside a theatre; the following page contains a flyer advertising a special showing of Bright Road starring Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge, sponsored by NSPDK, and "CALLING on YOU to show that we want Negro artists cast in more and BETTER ROLES" while the next page has a clipping about the event. Other NSPDK events documented include a remedial reading clinic, a Founder's Day celebration, a "Luncheon for Sorors," an Eastern Region conference, and so on.

The photographs are stamped on the back as coming from the camera of Austen Hansen, a Black American photographer who chronicled life and events in Harlem for more than sixty years.

Arrangement of the Collection

In order as received.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Hansen, Austin, 1910-1996.
Hoyte, Lenon.

Corporate Bodies

Phi Delta Kappa. -- Beta Epsilon Chapter.


African American photographers.
African Americans -- New York (State)
African Americans -- Social life and customs.
Education -- Professional associations.
Photographers -- New York (State)
Teachers -- New York (State)


New York (N.Y.)

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Programs (documents)



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Phi Delta Kappa Scrapbook,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchase, 2021. Originally from the estate of Lenon Hoyte.

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