Brooklyn Historical Society logo

Guide to the Bernard Gotfryd color slides and photographs V1987.003

128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY, 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Patricia Glowinski

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 28, 2011
English. using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator - Photographer: Gotfryd, Bernard
Title: Bernard Gotfryd color slides and photographs
Dates [inclusive]: circa 1965 to 1983
Quantity: 0.24 Linear feet 174 items housed in two folders and one color slide binder.
Graphic materials [Folder]: Film slides by accession V1987.3 to V1988.52
Graphic materials [Box]: OS 10
Graphic materials [Box]: Prints by Accession 61
Call Phrase: V1987.003
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.

Return to Top »

Biographical note

Bernard Gotfryd was born in Radom Poland in 1924. At the start of WWII, Gotfryd entered an apprenticeship at a photography studio in the Radom Ghetto while still a teenager. During the war, Gotfryd was involved in the Polish resistance and was subsequently imprisoned for his involvement. By the end of the war, he had survived imprisonment in six different concentration camps. Gotfryd immigrated to the United States in 1947 where he continued pursuing a career as photographer and photojournalist including while serving in the U.S Army. He married his wife Gina in 1952 and they had two children, Eva and Howard. In 1957, he was hired as a photojournalist for Newsweek and remained at the magazine for over 30 years. Gotfryd's career took him all over the world where he documented people, places, and events for Newsweek. In 1990, Gotfryd published Anton the Dove Fancier and Other Tales of the Holocaust, which chronicled many of his experiences during WWII. As of 2011, Gotfryd lives in New York and continues to lecture at local schools about his experiences during the war.


  1. The Hoover Institution. "Bernard Gotfryd Gives His Papers and Photographs to the Hoover Institution." Accessed July 29, 2011.
  2. New-York Historical Society. "Guide to the Bernard Gotfryd Photograph Collection, 1960-2008 (PR 276)." Accessed July 29, 2011.
  3. The Hebrew Home at Riverdale. "The Eye of a Generation: Bernard Gotfryd, Portraits & Landscapes." Accessed July 29, 2011.

Return to Top »

Scope and Contents

The Bernard Gotfryd color slides and photographs consists of 174 items dating from circa 1965 to 1983. The collection includes 150 color slides that document the 1983 Brooklyn Bridge Centennial celebration. The majority of the slides show views of the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as the fireworks display that took place during the celebration. Also included are 24 black-and-white photographic prints that primarily document predominantly African American neighborhoods in Brooklyn in the late 1960s to early 1970s. Most of the photographs are of East New York, though there are also images of Fort Greene and Crown Heights. All of the photographs are street views that capture children playing, people sitting on stoops, and sidewalk activity. Views of buildings and cars from the period are also captured in the photographs. Finally, three images of the Brooklyn Bridge are also included in the black-and-white photographic prints.

Return to Top »

Access Points

Document Type

  • Black-and-white prints (photographs)
  • Color slides
  • Photographs

Subject Topics

  • African Americans |v Pictorial works
  • African Americans -- Social conditions -y 1964-1975
  • African Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Fireworks -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Minorities -- United States -x Social conditions
  • Neighborhoods -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Street photography -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Buildings, structures, etc. |v Pictorial works
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.) |x Streets |v Pictorial works
  • Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.) |v Pictorial works
  • Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.) |x Anniversaries, etc.
  • East New York (New York, N.Y.)

Return to Top »

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by Bernard Gotfryd. Any commercial use of the photographs must have permission of the donor. Any noncommercial use of the photographs must attribute copyright to Bernard Gotfryd. For information on securing rights to publish or reproduce, please see the Brooklyn Historical Society Reproduction Rights Policy.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); Bernard Gotfryd color slides and photographs, V1987.003, Box number, Object ID number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Related Materials

For additional archives relating to the life and work of Bernard Gotfryd please see:

  1. New-York Historical Society: Bernard Gotfryd photograph collection, 1960-2008 (PR 276)
  2. Library of Congress: Bernard Gotfryd photograph collection, 1960-1990 (PR 13 CN 2004:032 [P&P])
  3. Hoover Institute: Bernard Gotfryd papers, 1945-2006 (2008C24)

Other Finding Aids

Item level description and digital versions of images from the collection are available for searching via the image database in the library. Please consult library staff for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Bernard Gotfryd, 1987.

Processing Information note

Fully processed to the item level.

Return to Top »

Return to Top »