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Sid Kaplan photographs, 1953-2004

Emory University

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322



Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/trm4r

Collection Stored Off-Site

All or portions of this collection are housed off-site. Materials can still be requested but researchers should expect a delay of up to two business days for retrieval.

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Kaplan, Sid
Title: Sid Kaplan photographs, 1953-2004
Call Number:Manuscript Collection No. 1477
Extent: 24.625 linear feet (24 boxes)
Abstract:Papers of American photographer Sid Kaplan, including prints, negatives, contact sheets, and slides primarily documenting life in New York City from the mid-20th century to the present.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Collection stored off-site. Researchers must contact the Rose Library in advance to access this collection.

Use copies have not been made for audiovisual material in this collection. Researchers must contact the Rose Library at least two weeks in advance for access to these items. Collection restrictions, copyright limitations, or technical complications may hinder the Rose Library's ability to provide access to audiovisual material.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.


Purchased from Sid Kaplan, 2019

Custodial History

Curator of Modern Political and Historical Collections Randy Gue and Accessioning Archivist Meaghan O'Riordan packed the materials at Kaplan's residence and storage locker in New York City and shipped them to the Rose Library.


[after identification of item(s)], Sid Kaplan photographs, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.

Appraisal Note

Acquired by Curator of Modern Political and Historical Collections Randy Gue as part of the Rose Library's holdings in modern photography.


Arranged and described at the collection level by Meaghan O'Riordan, July 2019. Kaplan's numbered organization of the negatives was retained and dates for the negatives were discerned by matching the numbers to the inventory Kaplan supplied. Titles were transcribed from original containers.

This finding aid may include language that is offensive or harmful. Please refer to the Rose Library's harmful language statement for more information about why such language may appear and ongoing efforts to remediate racist, ableist, sexist, homophobic, euphemistic and other oppressive language. If you are concerned about language used in this finding aid, please contact us at rose.library@emory.edu.

Collection Description

Biographical Note

Laurence "Sid" Kaplan (1938-) is a New York (New York) based photographer and printer, whose photography captures the changing environments of New York City. Kaplan was born in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx. After studying photography at the vocational high school, The School of Industrial Arts (New York, New York), Kaplan worked in small studios and darkrooms. In the early 1960s he was hired by Compo, a premiere photograph processing lab in New York. In 1968 he started his own photograph printing business and became known as an exhibition-quality printer. Kaplan has exhibited at the New York Transit Museum, Deborah Bell Gallery (New York), Icebox Gallery (Minneapolis Minnesota), 25CPW Gallery (New York), and SoHo Photo Gallery (New York). In addition to creating prints of his own work, he also created prints for Cornell Capa, John Cohen, Louis Faurer, Robert Frank, Jill Freedman, Ralph Gibson, Allen Ginsberg, Philippe Halsman, Duane Michaels, Joan Roth, W. Eugene Smith, Louis Stettner, and Weegee. Kaplan was a teacher of darkroom printing at the School of Visual Arts (New York, New York) for more than 40 years. Kaplan continues to make silver-based prints in his home in New York.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of the photographs of Sid Kaplan from 1953-2004 and includes prints, negatives, contact sheets, and slides primarily documenting life in New York City from the mid-20th century to the present. His work capturing what he calls "the vanishing New York" began when he photographed the dismantling of the Second Avenue elevated subway in the 1940s. There is a substantial amount of material documenting Kaplan's visits to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Minneapolis, Minnesota, as well as a small amount of material documenting South Dakota and Tennessee. Notable locations in New York City documented in the collection include the Flatiron District, Battery Park City, and Trinity Church. There are some images of New York included in a project Kaplan titled Urban Stonehenge. Also included are transcripts of interviews of Sid Kaplan conducted by Stuart Alexander, Editor-in-Chief at Delpire Éditeur (Paris, France) and audiocassettes of interviews with the Philadelphia Mummers.

Arrangement Note

Arranged by record type.

Finding Aid Note

Creator supplied inventory available upon request.

Selected Search Terms

Personal Names

Corporate Names

Topical Terms

Geographic Names

Form/Genre Terms


Container List

Box Folder Content
1 - Contact sheets, unidentified, undated
2 - Negatives, 1-498, 1968-1976
3 - Negatives, 499-1049, 1976-1979
4 - Negatives, 1050-1598, 1979-1983
5 - Negatives, 1599-2098, 1983-1987
6 - Negatives, 2099-2498, 1987-1990
7 - Negatives, 2499-2799, 1990-1995
8 - Prints, Battery Park City [New York], undated
9 - Prints, early, including children, undated
10 - Prints, early, including Jack Kerouac, circa 1953
11 - Prints, early, including subway and El, undated
12 - Prints, early, undated [1]
13 - Prints, early, undated [2]
14 - Prints, Flatiron [District, New York], undated
8 - Prints, heads, Sid Kaplan, undated
8 - Prints, Midtown [New York] show, undated
15 - Prints, Minneapolis, Minnesota, undated
1 - Prints, neon, undated
8 - Prints, New York City, circa 1970
16 - Prints, New York City, horizontal and vertical, undated
17 - Prints, New York City, vertical, undated
18 - Prints, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, undated [1]
19 - Prints, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, undated [2]
20 - Prints, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and recordings from Philadelphia Mummers interviews, undated [original: audocassette [16]]
14 - Prints, Road Trip, 1-20, 41-60, undated
21 - Prints, Road Trip, 21-40, undated
15 - Prints, South Dakota, undated
22 - Prints, Tennessee, undated
1 - Prints, Trinity Church yard [New York], undated
22 - Prints, unidentified, 1970-1975
14 - Prints, Urban Stonehenge, undated
18 - Printed material, 1956-2004
23 - Slides, color and black and white, unidentified, undated
24 - Slides, Trinity Church yard [New York], undated
24 - Slides, unidentified, undated
18 - Transcripts, Stuart Alexander interview of Sid Kaplan, 2000-2004