Hugh Warren Shankle was born July 19, 1921, in Charleston, Mississippi, to Joe and Nina Shankle, with siblings Nina Jo, Benton, Fletcher, and Drew. According to the February-March 1968 WLBT newsletter "Tower Talk," he worked for the "Government" in Little Rock and Dallas after high school graduation, before attending Mississippi College in Clinton for a degree in public-school music. Shankle was hired by WROB in West Point, Mississippi, after college, then in 1957 became a photo technician for television station WLBT in Jackson. This involved taking and developing all still photographs "except news" that were made into slides and used on the air.
Hugh Shankle was an avid musician and artist. For ten concert seasons he was timpanist of the Jackson Symphony Orchestra. He was a choir member and instrumentalist at his church. He studied art from 1957, and his watercolors and oils were featured in at least one exhibition at the Capri Theatre in Jackson in 1968. For many years Shankle was the official photographer for the Mississippi Art Association.
Hugh Shankle's sister, Nina Jo (1911-2000), married Lester Van Zant, a musician and piano tuner, and moved to Saint Joseph, Missouri. They had one son, Lester Van Zant, Jr., on September 27, 1940. He would have been around 21 when he took the three color photographs of downtown Jackson in his uncle's collection.
The Shankle, Hugh W., Collection consists of 159 black-and-white photographs, 14 color photographs, 22 transparencies, and 73 slides, or approximately 264 unique images produced by Hugh Warren Shankle and his nephew, Lester Van Zant, Jr., in the 1940s-'60s.
Captions by Hugh Shankle appear in quotation marks. Other descriptions were provided by the curator. Images may be accessed through keyword search on the Web site and by subject headings through the MDAH online catalog.
The photographs, transparencies, negatives, and slides comprising the Shankle, Hugh W., Collection were donated to MDAH in two groups by Hugh Shankle - on March 19 and June 26, 1981. The MDAH Archives and Records Services Division's Image and Sound section scanned individual photographs and slides in 2010 (duplicate prints and slides were not scanned), creating preservation-quality TIFF images. These were then converted to JPEG images by the Electronic Archives section and made available online within the MDAH Electronic Archives Graphic User Interface in 2011.