Brooklyn Historical Society logo

Guide to the Photographs of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels V1989.033

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

Title: Photographs of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels
Dates: Circa 1971 to 1985
Quantity: 0.04 Linear feet six items contained in one folder.
Graphic materials [Box]: Prints by Accession 67
Call Phrase: V1989.033
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 »

Historical note

Curtis Sliwa was born in Brooklyn on March 26, 1954 and grew up in the Canarsie neighborhood. In the late 1970s, Sliwa founded the "Magnificent 13," a group of 13 young community activists, based in the Bronx, whose mission was to prevent or thwart crime. Also known under the moniker the "Red Berets" for their easily recognizable red hats, the "Magnificent 13" quickly expanded during the early 1980s, gaining more members and changing their name to the "Guardian Angels." As the Guardian Angels, the organization grew its safety patrols throughout the city and gained world wide notoriety. As of 2011, the Guardian Angels have 140 chapters in 15 countries, with services and programs ranging from safety patrols, to educational programs, to an internet safety program. Concurrent with his leadership as the Director of the Guardian Angels, Sliwa is also a radio host.


  1. Guardian Angels. "Chapters." Accessed August 23, 2011.
  2. Wilde, James. "In New York: The Magnificent 13." Time Magazine, May 7, 1979. Accessed August 23, 2011.,9171,920294-1,00.html
  3. Pileggi, Nicholas. "The Guardian Angels: Help-or Hype?" New York Magazine, November 24, 1980. Accessed August 23, 2011.

Return to Top »

Scope and Contents

The Photographs of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels is comprised of six black-and-white and color photographic prints pertaining to the founder of the Guardian Angels, Curtis Sliwa. The six photographs show Curtis Sliwa in either group or single portraits and were taken circa 1971 to 1985. Other people shown in the photographs include Richard Nixon (taken in 1971), Mario Cuomo (taken in 1980), and Lisa Sliwa (taken in 1984), among others.

Return to Top »

Access Points

Subject Names

  • Cuomo, Mario Matthew
  • Nixon, Richard M., (Richard Milhous), 1913-1994
  • Sliwa, Curtis, 1954-
  • Sliwa, Lisa

Document Type

  • Black-and-white prints (photographs)
  • Color prints (photographs)
  • Group portraits
  • Photographs
  • Portraits

Subject Organizations

  • Guardian Angels (Organization).

Subject Topics

  • Community activists
  • Crime prevention -- United States -x Citi-en participation
  • Vigilance committees

Subject Places

  • New York (N.Y.) |x Social conditions

Return to Top »

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction rights for the photographs have not been evaluated. 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); Photographs of Curtis Sliwa and the Guardian Angels, V1989.033, Box number, Object ID number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

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 Fran Sliwa, 1988.

Processing Information note

Fully processed to the item level.

Return to Top »

Return to Top »