Much of the A. Schwab story is contained in the store’s archives. Few people have had the opportunity to examine this rich collection of correspondence, ledgers, photographs, and more. Building on the work others have done to bring the A. Schwab story to a larger audience, StoryBoard Memphis, A. Schwab, and the Memphis Public Library and Information Center are partnering to digitize and arrange the store’s archive to unearth the institution’s rich history. Through the archives, we will be able to tell the complete A. Schwab story and its role in Memphis history. It’s a story that includes immigration, Beale Street, and thwarting urban renewal efforts.

For a preview of the documents contained in the A. Schwab archives, you can visit the existing A. Schwab Digital Archive, organized by Brigitte Billeaudeaux, Zachary Sandberg, and Krista Oldham.

If you have an A. Schwab story to share, please add it here.

A. Schwab postcard
A. Schwab postcard.
Courtesy of Memphis Public Library & Information Center

Please consider a one-time or reoccurring donation to help StoryBoard continue to support this important project:

Original Stories:

Image of four correspondence boxes inside a cardboard box from the A. Schwab Archive

A. Schwab Archives: Box 1 Finds and Theories

“This project’s scale is daunting, but the process itself is clear. Taking it page by page, box by box, pallet by pallet, we will create a usable archive.”

By Caroline Carrico

A. Schwab Project: The Elliott Schwab Interview

If you walk through A. Schwab’s doors, take a left past the checkout counter, walk down the stairs, and sit at the soda fountain, chances are good that the man serving you will be Elliott Schwab. In this interview, Elliott gives us a sense of Beale Street in the 1960s and ’70s.

Sponsoring StoryBoard’s A. Schwab Archive & History Project coverage

If you are interested in sponsoring parts of this project, please contact us by email at


photo by Mark Fleischer