Print / View Finding Aid as Single Page

© 2011 New-York Historical Society logo

Guide to the Carolyn Ratcliffe Collection on La Plaza Cultural
1980s-2006
 MS 3051

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


© 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on March 30, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents note

The collection includes photographs, ephemera and working papers from the files of Carolyn Ratcliffe relating to the history of La Plaza Cultural de Armando Perez. The bulk of the collection dates from the mid 1990s to about 2003, with much of this material being photographs. The photographs include images of performances; community celebrations of Halloween, springtime, and other occasions; sculpture and other artwork; people gardening, building, and doing other work in the space, as well as enjoying leisure activities; flowers and other plants in the garden; and other related subject matter. Most of the photographs are color print snapshots; other formats include slides and negatives. Some of the photographs and other images were gathered into albums.

The collection also includes at least some of Ratcliffe's working files. These primarily include documents related to grant funding proposals, reports to project funders, financial summaries, contact lists, and other administrative matters. Among the programs and grants represented in these files are the La Plaza Cultural Environmental Living Lab Program, Community Assets grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, and Neighborhood Open Space Management grants from The Trust for Public Land. The files include letters received from schoolchildren at PS 188 who participated in a gardening curriculum in 2003.

The collection also includes small posters and other publicity materials related to events at La Plaza. Also, the collection holds several digital formats, including zip drives, floppy disks, and CDs, that are labeled as holding photographs, brochures, hard drive back-ups, contact lists, and other matter; access to these is currently restricted in order to avoid the risk of corrupting or otherwise damaging the files.

Arrangement Note

The collection is arranged with photographs and other images first, followed by working files, and then digital formats, which are currently restricted.

Most of the photographs are snapshots. Those found together in albums or packets were retained together. Many though were loose. Photographs that were explicitly dated are presented first, followed by undated photographs. Loose photographs were compiled together by the processing archivist based on IDs or other markings on their reverse in an attempt to bring together like subject matter. These are compiled together in envelopes that note the linking ID. Photographs with no linking ID were sorted by rough subject.

Photographic slides were found in a series of small boxes and a carousel. The slides were moved to a sleeve, keeping together those slides found in particular boxes. The boxes were identified arbitrarily by letter, A to P, and that designation was noted on the slide sleeves.

The working files were found in unlabeled plastic folders; during processing the content was moved to archival folders. In the container list, these are all summarized in one entry. In the box itself, each folder retains the content of the original file. The original files were identified arbitrarily by the archivist by letter, A to E, and that designation was noted on the folder.