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Guide to the Donald L. Nowlan Brooklyn collection ARC.120

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Patricia Glowinski

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on August 15, 2012
English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator - Photographer: Nowlan, Donald L.
Title: Donald L. Nowlan Brooklyn collection
Dates [inclusive]: 1930-1979
Quantity: 0.8 Linear feet in nine folders, one album, and two postcard boxes.
Graphic materials [Box]: Postcards
Graphic materials [Box]: Postcards
Graphic materials [Item]: Slides by Accession
Mixed materials [Box]: ARC. 114, ARC. 118, and ARC.120
Call Phrase: ARC.120
Sponsor: This collection was processed and described as part of the project, "Uncovering the Secrets of Brooklyn's 19th Century Past: Creation to Consolidation," funded by the Council on Library and Information Resources, with additional support from The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation.

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Biographical note

Donald L. Nowlan (b. circa 1921) is a Brooklyn resident who attended Brooklyn schools from elementary school through university. Nowlan went to Saint Saviour Elementary School located in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. He graduated high school in 1939 from Manual Training High School (now the Secondary School for Law, Journalism and Research) also in Park Slope. Following his high school graduation, Nowlan served in the 12th Armored Division, 56th Armored Infantry Battalion, Company HQ during World War II. Known as the Hellcats, the 12th Armored Division helped to liberate 10 satellite camps of the Dachau concentration camp that was located in Germany. Following his military service, Nowlan attended Brooklyn College, located in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn. He graduated in 1948 with a BA in Romance Languages. Nowlan grew up in Park Slope and lived at 470 3rd Street.

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Scope and Contents

The Donald L. Nowlan Brooklyn collection, measuring .8 linear feet, consists of materials pertaining to Nowlan's high school and college years in Brooklyn, N.Y. and to Nowlan's effort to document Brooklyn through the creation or compilation of images of the borough. Though the collection contains materials dating from the late 19th century, the bulk of the collection spans the 1930s through the 1970s. The collection is organized into three series: Series 1: Papers;  Series 2: Photographs and slides; and  Series 3: Picture postcards.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Nowlan, Donald L.

Document Type

  • Color slides
  • Diplomas
  • Photographs
  • Picture postcards
  • School yearbooks

Subject Organizations

  • Brooklyn Botanic Garden.
  • Brooklyn College.
  • Manual Training High School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).
  • Saint Saviour Elementary School (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.).

Subject Topics

  • College students -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Commencement ceremonies -- New York (State) -- New York
  • High school students -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Student life and customs -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Students -- New York (State) -- New York

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Social life and customs |y 20th century
  • Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)
  • Prospect Park (New York, N.Y.)

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by Donald L. Nowlan. Brooklyn Historical Society holds a nonexclusive license for the photographs and slides which authorizes BHS to use the materials for educational, exhibition, archival, documentary, publicity, promotional and research purposes. BHS is also authorized to license the materials for the same purposes listed above. Finally, we are authorized to distribute or sell to the public reporoductions of the materials in any form, including, but not limited to copy prints, slides, posters, postcards, note cards, tote bags, t-shirts, and other merchandise. Please consult library staff for more information.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Donald L. Nowlan Brooklyn collection, ARC.120, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Donald L. Nowlan, 1987 and 1990.

Processing Information note

Minimally processed to the series level.

This collection combines the accessions 1987.013, V1988.015, V1990.065, V1991.121, and V1990.002.

Photograph Records

Item-level description and digital versions of images from the collection are available for searching via the online image database

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Container List

Series 1: Papers, 1935-1948. 0.12 Linear feet in three folders.

Scope and Contents

This series contains items pertaining to Nowlan's attendance at Saint Saviour Elementary School, at Manual Training High School (now the Secondary School for Law, Journalism and Research) in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, and at Brooklyn College located in the Midwood neighborhood of Brooklyn. Included in the series is Nowlan's certificate of diploma from Saint Saviour Elementary School, 1935, a report of his grades, and a corresponding commencement exercises program. The collection also contains two school yearbooks including a 1939 copy of Prospect, the Manual Training High School yearbook and Nowlan's Brooklyn College yearbook,  Broeklandium, 1948. A commencement exercises program for Brooklyn College, dated 1948, is also included.

Series 2: Photographs and slides, circa 1960 to 1979. 0.6 Linear feet in four folders and one album.

Scope and Contents

This series contains 122 color photographic prints, 165 color slides, and three black-and-white photographic prints, taken by Donald L. Nowlan, that document locations in Brooklyn in the 1960s and 1970s. Subjects include Coney Island, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Prospect Park, and a Reenactment of the Battle of Brooklyn in Prospect Park (circa 1979).

Series 3: Picture postcards, 1875-1925. 0.08 Linear feet

Scope and Contents

This series consists of both color and black-and-white picture postcards of locations in Brooklyn such as Prospect Park, dating from circa 1875 to 1925. The postcards are presumed to have been collected by Nowlan.

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