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Peter Feresten Papers


Peter Helms Feresten (1945 - 2007) was a social documentary photographer whose studies included Fort Worth’s African-American churches and community, Juneteenth celebrations, the Stockyards, and bikers. His works were displayed at local galleries and museums, including Amon Carter Museum, which owns several of Feresten’s works. Feresten also worked as an Assistant Professor of Photography at Tarrant County College for more than 30 years.

Peter Feresten was born on June 15, 1945, in Fall River, Massachusetts. He studied comparative religion at Columbia University and photography at the Rhode Island School of Design. Feresten came to Fort Worth in 1975 to teach at the community college. In 1986, he received the first Tarrant County College Humanities Distinguished Service Award. Peter Feresten continued teaching photography and photographing Fort Worth local scenes until he died on September 16, 2007.


The collection was donated by Gayle Feresten.

Scope and Contents Note

Included in the collection are correspondence; personal papers; cultural research documents, including materials about African American churches and Masonic organizations; notes and scrapbooks from Peter Feresten’s exhibits; technical materials relating to photography and sound recording; and medical and financial papers. Dates for the collection are 1914 - 2007; bulk dates are 1971 - 2007. The collection consists of 13 boxes (6.93 linear feet) of materials.

  • Series I - Correspondence (1942 - 2007): Consists of letters to Crystal Robinson, to Wanda Helms, and to Peter Feresten, as well as recommendation letters written by Peter Feresten and letters discussing Feresten’s photography. Bulk dates are 1994 - 2007.
  • Series II - Ephemera (1914 - 2003): Contains personal keepsakes such as newsletters, flyers, directories for the Rhode Island School of Design; a birth certificate for Feresten’s mother, Wanda Helms; and certificates and awards.
  • Series III - Research & Exhibits (1954 - 2006): Consists of Peter Feresten’s contacts; flyers and clippings about local cultural events, including those about African American church services and leaders. A subseries focuses on African American Masonic organizations. In this subseries are centennial books, programs, and newsletters. Bulk dates 1977 - 2006.
  • Series IV - Technical Materials (1959 - 2005): Contains marketing materials for photography and sound recording technology, manuals, newsletters, and conference programs.
  • Series V - Medical & Financial Papers (2005 - 2007): Consists of medical, dental, and insurance documents. This series is restricted.
  • Series VI - Oversize (1974 - 2005): Contains materials that were separated from their original series due to their size, such as posters.

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Last updated: Sept. 15, 2015