The collections in the Reynolda House Museum of American Art Archives document the creation and evolution of the estate from its beginnings in 1917 as a comfortable home for an elite family and a model farm and dairy demonstrating progressive agricultural techniques for local farmers, to its reinvention as an American art museum in 1967.
Reynolds Family Papers
With material going back to the Reynolds family tobacco plantation in Virginia in the early nineteenth century, the Reynolds Family Papers, 1787-1973, document the family’s involvement in the tobacco industry and the development and early years of Reynolda as a private estate and working farm from 1912-1924. The bulk of the collection consists of Katharine Reynolds’s correspondence and records her interactions with architects, landscape architects, designers, merchants, and employees, family, and friends. Other material in the collection relates to Katharine and R.J. Reynolds’s civic and social activities and the business dealing of the Reynolds Tobacco Company.
To search R.J. and Katharine Reynolds correspondence, search Digital NC here
Historic Photograph Collection
The Reynolda House Historic Photograph Collection illustrates the estate’s creation and evolution over the past century. Created in 1993 with the establishment of the Archives, the photograph collection, numbering nearly 4500 items, documents Reynolda Estate, Farm, Garden, Village, and the Reynolds family, including Richard Joshua (R.J.) Reynolds, Katharine Smith Reynolds, Richard Joshua Reynolds, Jr. (Dick); Mary Reynolds Babcock, her husband, Charles Babcock, and their children; Nancy Susan Reynolds; and Zachary Smith Reynolds.
The Historic Architectural and Landscape Drawings Collection
The Reynolda House Historic Architectural and Landscape Drawings record the development of the estate and house and any modifications made over the years. Designs in the collection include plans created by Charles Barton Keen, the Philadelphia-based architect for the house and estate; Louis L. Miller, a principal of the New York landscape design firm Buckenham & Miller, the original landscape architects; and Thomas Sears, the landscape architect credited with the final design for the estate and gardens.
Reynolda House Museum of American Art Oral History Project
The Reynolda House Museum of American Art Oral History Project, established in 1980 and continued through the mid-1990s, was devised to collect recollections from former employees, residents, and visitors of the estate, particularly those living at Reynolda during Katharine Reynolds’s lifetime. The collection of audio recordings and accompanying transcripts bring voices to the fore that are not represented in the paper collections--particularly the African American residents of the estate. Only through the oral histories are we able to learn the story of Five Row, the African American community located across the road from Reynolda Village. With its reestablishment in 2015, the Reynolda House Museum of American Art Oral History Project connects all facets of the estate to the diversity of the Winston-Salem and North Carolina communities.
- Nancy Susan Reynolds, Daughter of Katharine and R. J. Reynolds (1, 2a, 2b, 3, 4a, 4b)
- Paul McGill, former head of Reynolda Gardens and Reynolda Village
- William Wharton, former resident of Five Row, where African-American workers of the Reynolda estate lived
- Shober Ray (Pops) Hendrix, Head Electrician & long-time resident of Reynolda Village (1a, 1b)
- Robert Conrad, Jr., raised on Reynolda Estate and son of Robert Conrad, Sr., Reynolda Landscape Supervisor
- J. Alfred Drage, Jr., Son of J. Alfred Drage, Sr., Reynolda Horticulturalist