The Evans-Tibbs collection form part of the family papers acquired from the Evans-Tibbs Collection museum, which closed in 1996, and centers around the life of Lillian Evans Tibbs. The museum was formerly the home of Evans, the first African American woman to sing opera with an organized European company. She was born in Washington, DC to a cultured, well-educated, middle-class family. Her mother was Annie Lillian Evans, a music teacher in the DC public school system, and her father was Wilson Bruce Evans, organizer and first principal of Armstrong Technical High School in Washington, DC. Hiram Revels, the first black U.S. senator, was her great-uncle and two other family members are credited with taking part in John Borwn's raid on Harper's Ferry. She married Howard University music professor, Roy W. Tibbs in 1918. Her stage name, Madame Evanti, is a combination of her last name and her husband's. Evans had one child, Thurlow Tibbs Sr., and two grandchildren, Diane Elizabeth and Thurlow Evans Tibbs. Thurlow Jr., operated the Evans-Tibbs Collection museum until 1996, a year before his death.