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Herbert Jenkins photographs

Collection number: ahc.VIS43

Scope and Content

The bulk of this collection consists of photographs of Police Chief Herbert Jenkins and Atlanta Police Department personnel throughout Jenkins' career. Noteworthy images of Jenkins include photographs of him as a child, a portrait taken on his first day as a police officer, and a photograph of him being sworn in by Mayor William B. Hartsfield. Other images of note include a series of photographs of the Summerhill riot of 1966, pictures of the first African American patrolmen, and portraits of Atlanta Police Department officials in the 1890s and early 1900s. Also included are images of celebrities and politicians, some of whom are meeting with Jenkins. Among these are images of President Jimmy Carter, Vice President Spiro T. Agnew, President Richard M. Nixon, Reverend Billy Graham, comedian Bob Hope, and entertainers Amos and Andy and the Three Stooges.


  • 1890s-1975, undated


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

This material is protected by copyright law. (Title 17, U.S. Code) Permission for use must be cleared through the Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center. Licensing agreement may be required.

Administrative/Biographical History

Herbert Turner Jenkins (1907-1990) was born to Gordon (1887-1932) and Jennie Jenkins (1888-1978) in Lithonia, Georgia. The Jenkins family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, in 1924, where Jenkin's father joined the police force. Jenkins was married to Margie Mason Jenkins (1905-1987), with whom he had two sons, James Sage (1935-2012) and Herbert T. Jenkins, Jr (1931-2005). From 1924-1931, Jenkins worked at the West End Ford Shop, where he also taught new car owners how to drive. Jenkins, the son and grandson of police officers, joined the Atlanta Police Department in 1931. His early years on the police force included serving as the official driver of Mayor James L. Key and as a member of the police motorcycle squad. He rose to the rank of captain in 1945, and Mayor William B. Hartsfield appointed him chief of police on February 2, 1947. During his tenure, the Atlanta Police Department hired its first African American officers in 1948, and its first women officers in 1957.

In 1967, Jenkins was the only southerner named by President Lyndon Johnson to the National Advisory Council on Civil Disorders (known as the Kerner Commission). Jenkins also served as president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and as special advisor to the United States Justice Department on civil rights. In 1972, Jenkins retired from the Atlanta Police Department and was named police chief emeritus for life. He went on to help organize the Fulton County Police Department in 1975 and to serve as a senior research associate of the Center for Research in Social Change at Emory University from 1973 to 1983.


639 image(s) (2 document cases; 1 half document case; 1 oversize box)



Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, 1982

Related Archival Materials

Herbert Jenkins papers, MSS 546, Kenan Research Center at the Atlanta History Center.

Description Control

This collection was processed in 2013.

Herbert Jenkins Photographs
Josh Hogan
May 2013
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Kenan Research Center at Atlanta History Center Repository

130 West Paces Ferry Road
Atlanta GA 30305