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D. Michael Cheers papers and photographs

Call Number: JWJ MSS 205

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photographic prints, slides and negatives by photojournalist D. Michael Cheers. The bulk of the photographs contain images used for articles in Ebony South Africa, of which Cheers was managing editor from 1995-2000. Other material includes Cheers' photojournalism work, including his coverage of Jesse Jackson's presidential campaigns, the Rainbow Coalition, Jackson's meetings with Nelson Mandela, and photographs of Hugh Masekela.


  • 1975 - 2004


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Box 32 (CDs): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 32 (3.5 inch disks): Restricted fragile material. Access copies of digital files may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Box 33 (audiocassettes): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The D. Michael Cheers Papers and Photographs is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from the William Reese Co. on the James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of Negro Arts & Letters Fund, 2011.


Organized into six series: I. Ebony South Africa photographs and records, circa 1980s-2003. II. Jesse Jackson photographs, 1983, 2003. III. Boston Globe photographs, circa 1975-1976. IV. Personal and professional papers, 1988-2004. V. Electronic media, 1998. VI. Audiovisual material, 1999.


26.58 Linear Feet (33 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

D. Michael Cheers

D. Michael Cheers is a photojournalist, writer, documentary filmmaker and educator. He received a B.A. and M.S. in Journalism, and an M.A. in African Studies from Boston University. He received his Ph.D. in African Studies and Research from Howard University. Cheers was a co-editor of Songs of My People, a book and touring exhibition that featured the work of fifty African American photographers. From 1995 to 2000, Cheers was the managing editor of Ebony South Africa magazine, which was developed for the citizens of post-apartheid South Africa. Since 2006, Cheers has been an Associate Professor of Photojournalism in the School of Journalism and Mass Communications at San Jose State University.

Processing Information

Collections are processed to a variety of levels, depending on the work necessary to make them usable, their perceived research value, the availability of staff, competing priorities, and whether or not further accruals are expected. The library attempts to provide a basic level of preservation and access for all collections, and does more extensive processing of higher priority collections as time and resources permit.

This collection received a basic level of processing, including rehousing and minimal organization.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

Information included in the Content Description note and Collection Contents section is drawn from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

Folder titles enclosed in quotation marks indicate transcribed writing from original enclosures.

Guide to the D. Michael Cheers Papers and Photographs
by Jessica Tai
July 2019
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.