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Elbert Howze Collection

Identifier: MSS 0171

Scope and Contents

The Elbert Howze collection contains newspaper articles, photographs, drawings, and his “Fourth Ward” photography book. The contents of the collection primarily focuses on structures, people, and life in Fourth Ward Houston during the 1980s.


  • 1975 - 1997


Conditions Governing Access

Drawings are fragile, researchers need archivist’s permission to view.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from the Elbert Howze Collection must be obtained from the African American Library at the Gregory School or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

Elbert D. Howze (1951-2015) was a Vietnam veteran and photographer most known for his photographs of Fourth Ward Houston. He was born in Detroit, Michigan on February 14, 1951. Mr. Howze joined the United States Army when he was eighteen and received two purple hearts. He came to Houston in 1973 and attended the University of Houston. While there he received a: BFA in Fine Art, a BS in Technology and Business Technology, and an MFA in Photography. Mr. Howze was a local Houston photographer who started taking photographs of Freedmen’s Town and its resident’s in 1985. In 1990, he was a Houston Center for Photography Fellowship winner. He was also associated with the Vietnam Veterans of America and was a member of the R O M E Os (Retired Old Men Eating Out).


3.6 Linear Feet (4)

Language of Materials



The collection is arranged in three series by subject and material type. The printed materials are also arranged chronologically by date.

Series 1: Printed Materials

Series 2: Photographs

Series 3: Artwork

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by: The Houston Center for Photography, 2019

Related Materials

MSS 0118 Ben DeSoto Collection

MSS 0187 Ken Breisch Collection

PH 0009 Anderson Hardy Fourth Ward Photography Collection

PH 0021 Fourth Ward Photograph Collection

Processing Information

Processed by: Emmalee Miller

MSS 0171 Elbert Howze Collection
An inventory of records at the African American Library at the Gregory School, Houston Public Library
Emmalee Miller
October 2021
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Language of description note
Finding aid written in English
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museum Grants for African American History and Culture (AAHC-FY21).

Repository Details

Part of the African American History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002