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Jones Family Memorabilia Collection, 1948-2002 | Special Collections & University Archives

By Taylor de Klerk

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Collection Overview

Title: Jones Family Memorabilia Collection, 1948-2002Add to your cart.

Predominant Dates:1965-1978

Primary Creator: Jones Family

Extent: 1.26 Linear Feet. More info below.

Date Acquired: 00/00/2015

Subjects: Jones, Jim, 1931-1978, Jonestown (Guyana), Jonestown Mass Suicide, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978--Sources, Peoples Temple--History--Sources, Photograph albums

Languages: English

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Jones Family Memorabilia Collection (1948-2002) contains photographs, correspondence, and school records collected by Stephan Jones. The collection consists chiefly of photographs originally housed in photo albums and scrapbooks. There are photos of the Jones family as well as of Jim Jones and his work with Peoples Temple. Notable family items include drawings by Stephan when he was young, a letter from his mother, photos of the family, and poetry written by his grandmother. The collection also includes photographs of Jim Jones in the context of working with Peoples Temple and the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (Jonestown).

Of particular note are two intact, original photo albums of snapshots of Jones and his family and the activities of Peoples Temple - one titled / labeled "Healings" and the other titled "Father and animals, Father and children, Political People, Enemies, Other Speakers." Photos from these albums have been digitized and are available at the Library's Digital Collections site.

In 2019, Special Collections acquired approximately 500 photographs from Stephan Jones, son of the Rev. Jim Jones. These photos are particularly notable, important and rare because they afford an immediacy to and an understanding of Jim Jones, the Jones family, Peoples Temple, and Jonestown not found elsewhere in the collection. The items have been arranged physically in six separate folders in Box 3 of the collection, along with links to the digitized versions of the photos at the The Jones Family Memorabilia Digital Collection.

The photographs of Jim Jones with National, California, and particularly San Francisco politicians in Folder 6 are especially rare and important.

Biographical Note

Jim Jones was born in Lynn, Indiana in 1931 to parents James and Lynetta Jones. He was a passionate reader, interested in a wide range of religious beliefs. Jim Jones married Marceline (Marcie) Mae Baldwin in 1949 and they moved to Indianapolis the following year. A charismatic preacher, Jones founded Peoples Temple in the 1950s, a church based on principles of biblical preaching, racial equality, and apostolic socialism. In 1965, he relocated his family and Peoples Temple to Ukiah, California. Jim and Marcie had one biological child, Stephan Gandhi, and also adopted seven more: Jim Jr., Stephanie, Lew Eric, Suzanne, Agnes Pauline, John Moss, and Timothy Glen. Jim referred to his children as his “rainbow family.”

The Jones family is memorable because of Jim Jones, his creation of Peoples Temple, and the tragedy that occurred in Jonestown, Guyana, on November 18th, 1978. Construction of the community formally known as the Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, but better known as Jonestown, began in 1974. The population reached its peak in 1977. Three of Jones’ sons (Stephan, Jim Jr., and Tim) survived the tragedy at Jonestown due to participation in a basketball tournament with the Guyanese national team in Georgetown.

Subject/Index Terms

Jones, Jim, 1931-1978
Jonestown (Guyana)
Jonestown Mass Suicide, Jonestown, Guyana, 1978--Sources
Peoples Temple--History--Sources
Photograph albums

Administrative Information

Repository: Special Collections & University Archives

Alternate Extent Statement: 3 boxes

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions: The copyright interests in these materials have been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections is such that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine.  Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish. Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Acquisition Source: Stephan Jones via the Jonestown Institute

Related Materials:

Peoples Temple Collection, 1972-1990

Alternative Considerations of Jonestown and Peoples Temple, sponsored by the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University

Preferred Citation: Identification of item, folder title, box number, Jones Family Memorabilia Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Correspondence to Stephan, Drawing, Poetry by Lynetta Jones, 1967-1977Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Indiana University Transcript for Jim Jones, 1948-1960Add to your cart.
Folder 3: Loose Family Photos and General Photos, 1966-1973Add to your cart.
Folder 4: Loose Photos of Jim Jones, 1971-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 5: Loose Photos of Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (Jonestown), 1976-1978Add to your cart.
Folder 6: Photo Album: Congregations, Family, Jones Preaching, Louisiana, Unidentified Communities, 1971-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 7: Photo Album: Congregations, Family, Jones Preaching, Louisiana, Unidentified Communities, 1971-1974Add to your cart.
Folder 8: Scrapbook: Certificates, Commencement Program, Drawings, Family Photos, Progress Reports, School Portraits, Writings, 1964-1985Add to your cart.
Folder 9: Scrapbook: Family Photos, News Clipping, Vacation Photos, 1962-2002Add to your cart.
Folder 10: Stephan's Award Ribbons, 1969-1973Add to your cart.
Box 2Add to your cart.
Item 1: Photo album: "Healings"Add to your cart.
Item 2: Photo album: "Father and animals, Father and children, Political People, Enemies, Other Speakers."Add to your cart.
Box 3Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Photo Album: Untitled Album of Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (Jonestown), 1970sAdd to your cart.
Digital photos
Folder 2: Loose Photographs of Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (Jonestown), 1970sAdd to your cart.
Digital photos
Folder 3: Loose Photographs of Peoples Temple Agricultural Project (Jonestown), 1970sAdd to your cart.
Digital photos
Folder 4: Loose Photographs of People and Church ActivitiesAdd to your cart.
Digital photos
Folder 5: Loose Photographs of Peoples Temple Activities, 1972 - 1977Add to your cart.
Digital photos
Folder 6: Loose Photographs of Jim Jones with Politicians, 1972 - 1976Add to your cart.
Digital photos

Browse by Box:

[Box 1],
[Box 2],
[Box 3],

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