press & News

RMSC Museum Receives New Collection of Frederick Douglass Materials

    ROCHESTER, NY, February 15, 2021 – The Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) Museum is excited to announce the acquisition of a new archival collection of Frederick Douglass materials. This new collection, titled The Anne Weaver Teabeau and Roland B. Scott Jr. Collection on Frederick Douglass, was donated to the Museum by the Estate of Roland B. Scott Jr., who was a direct descendant of Douglass. It contains photographs, pamphlets, newspaper clippings, a scrapbook, one film reel, correspondence, documents, newspaper clippings, and numerous books on African American history and books by and about Douglass.

    Roland B. Scott Jr., was a great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass. The objects were collected both by Scott and his aunt, Anne Weaver Teabeau, who served as the custodian of this Douglass memorabilia and property before her passing. Teabeau’s grandmother was Rosetta Douglass Sprague, making her a great-granddaughter of Frederick Douglass.

    “My husband, Roland B. Scott Jr., was invested in preserving and making available to the general public his library collection and Frederick Douglass memorabilia. After a family visit to the Rochester Museum & Science Center to view their display of the Underground Railroad and Frederick Douglass, he was inspired to donate his collection to the museum. It is hoped that this donation builds on a better understanding and appreciation of the role and contributions made by African Americans and Frederick Douglass to American life,” said Justine Scott, who facilitated gifting the collection to the RMSC. 

    Some unique objects included in this collection are:

    • A framed photograph of Frederick Douglass with a letter from Douglass
    • A life insurance certificate for Frederick Douglass
    • Pamphlets on Cedar Hill
    • A book of Frederick Douglass Stamps and related materials
    • A framed photograph of Rosetta Douglass Sprague, currently on display in The Changemakers: Rochester Women Who Changed the World exhibit
    • A signed copy of “My Mother As I Recall Her,” written by Rosetta Douglass Sprague
    • The death announcement for Frederick Douglass, published on February 20-21, 1895
    • A signed copy of John Blassingame’s The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South

    Accepting this donation into the collections at the RMSC Museum is significant because of the collection’s focus on the Douglass family, which provides a more holistic view of Frederick Douglass beyond his life as a public figure. The collection will give researchers insights not only into the life and work of Douglass but also that of other prominent Douglass family members, including the work of Anna Murray Douglass and Rosetta Douglass Sprague Additionally, it fills a gap in the RMSC library resources on general African American history. 

    “We are very excited to accept this historically significant gift into the collections at the RMSC. By preserving this collection and giving the general public access to the materials, we can further tell the story of Frederick Douglass and his family.” said Stephanie Ball, RMSC Archivist and Librarian. 

    The RMSC Research Library has limited hours which differ from regular Museum hours, and access to the library is by appointment only. To view The Anne Weaver Teabeau and Roland B. Scott Jr. Collection on Frederick Douglass, email us at to make an appointment.