StoryBoard announces the A. Schwab Project: A Complete History

StoryBoard embarks on its most ambitious project to-date with a complete history and archive of Memphis’ most enduring and famous store

Both from original content and in anthology form, in print and online, with new interviews, stories, anecdotes, collections and its untapped archives, StoryBoard announces a multi-year effort to tackle a complete history of Memphis’ most famous store.

A. Schwab Dry Goods Store is not just any ol’ store. Its history reflects the greater narrative that is Memphis history, in the heart of the city made famous by cotton and blues, riverboats and rock ‘n’ roll. And this epic series aims to tell the complete narrative of the oldest store on Beale Street – and presumably in the Mid-South and beyond, founded in 1876 by Abraham Joseph Schwab – arriving in print, online, in books, on film and television, and everywhere else on those interwebs places, to spaces and places near you over the next three to four years.

To be sure, we at StoryBoard acknowledge that we are by no means the first to endeavor in any project to capture a part of the A. Schwab story. We must stand on the shoulders of these individuals, their efforts and passions. As such, this project will include what aims to be a thorough anthology, capturing the stories, photos, anecdotes and research over the years from our local filmmakers, photographers, historians, writers and storytellers (you know who you are!), and Memphians all over the Mid-South, the nation, the world, who have already laid some foundations.

With that said, our research to date tells us that our far-reaching objectives with this project are unprecedented in Memphis. With direct support and cooperation from store management and ownership, and with complete access to the store’s archives, we are confident that the outcomes of our project will put the A. Schwab story into its rightful context as not just one of the oldest institutions in Memphis, but also an establishment that served as a critical anchor in the preservation of Beale Street, that has embraced and promoted racial diversity throughout its history, and that has provided happy and lasting memories for countless Memphians and Memphis visitors alike.

If you can’t find it at Schwab’s . . .

Stay tuned here on your Memphis StoryBoard for updates and the latest, and for your input! (See below)

A very special and heartfelt thanks to Terry Saunders, Teri Cox and Elliott Schwab for making this project launch possible, and for all the excitement that goes with it. We. Can’t. Wait.

If you have an A. Schwab story to tell, feel free to help us start out today! Check out the form below and tell us your story.

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