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Guide to the Sorotick Family Photographs and Papers
 PR 349

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 04, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Sorotick, Marsha
Creator: Sorotick, Irving
Title: Sorotick Family photographs and papers
Dates [inclusive]: 1943-1992
Abstract: 112 photographs sent home from Europe by Irving Sorotick (1915-2000), a United States Army veteran of World War II, plus material relating to the presidency of John F. Kennedy, notably a high school project scrapbook assembled by Sorotick's daughter, Marsha, during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962. Also includes seven political campaign pins.
Quantity: 0.209 Linear Feet (1 box)
Call Phrase: PR 349

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Biographical/Historical Note

Irving Sorotick (1915–2000) was a United States Army veteran of World War II who enlisted at New York on 17 August 1943 and was discharged on 11 January 1946. He sent some 112 photographs of his time in Europe back home to his wife, Pearl. Judging by those shots dated June 1944 and identified as "Omaha Beach" (a code name for one of the five sectors of the Allied invasion of German-occupied France), Sorotick may have participated in the Normandy landings of 6 June 1944. But the casualness of the photographs suggests he probably arrived shortly after the D-Day invasions (see Folder 1).

Sorotick's daughter, Marsha, attended Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, New York, during John F. Kennedy's presidency.

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Scope and Contents

The collection includes 112 photographs Irving Sorotick sent home from Europe to his wife, Pearl, during his World War II U.S. Army service. Fifty-two of the images are dated, as is a letter (20 September 1944) he wrote on stationery printed with views of Parisian landmarks.

Marsha Sorotick's contributions to the collection include the JFK scrapbook she assembled in high school during the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, as well as the 22 November 1963 issue of the New York World-Telegram and the Sun announcing "PRESIDENT SHOT DEAD," plus five photographs taken at a traveling exhibition of JFK memorabilia.

Seven political campaign pins--ranging from 1960 ("Kennedy for President") to 1992 ("Elect Clinton | Gore")--round out the collection.


Items in this small collection are grouped by topic--World War II, John F. Kennedy, and political campaign pins--and organized chronologically.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Gore, Al
  • Clinton, Bill
  • Bentsen, Lloyd
  • Dukakis, Michael S. (Michael Stanley)
  • Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973
  • Lindsay, John V. (John Vliet), 1921-2000
  • Chisholm, Shirley
  • Kennedy, John F. (John Fitzgerald), 1917-1963

Document Type

  • Photographic prints.
  • Slides (photographs).
  • Ephemera.
  • Scrapbooks.

Subject Topics

  • Vice-Presidential candidates -- United States
  • Presidential candidates -- United States
  • World War, 1939-1942.
  • Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962.
  • Mayors -- New York (State) -- New York

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Open to qualified researchers.

Photocopying undertaken by staff only. Limited to twenty exposures of stable, unbound material per day. (Researchers may not accrue unused copy amounts from previous days.)

Use Restrictions

Permission to reproduce any Print Room holdings through publication must be obtained from: Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 270. Fax: (212) 579-8794.

Preferred Citation

This collection should be cited as Sorotick Family Papers, PR 349, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.

Credit line (for exhibition labels): Gift of Marsha Sorotick.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Marsha Sorotick, August 2017 (accession no. PPAC.2017.051), and September 2018 (accession no. PPAC.2018.054).

Processing Information

Archivist Joseph Ditta processed this collection in December 2017. He updated it in October 2018 to reflect the addition of the photograph in folder 10 (accession no. PPAC.2018.054).


The bulk of the collection was donated by Marsha Sorotick in August 2017 (accession no. PPAC.2017.051). Ms. Sorotick supplied an additional photograph (a 1968 view of a newsstand at East 23rd Street and Park Avenue South) in September 2018 (accession no. PPAC.2018.054).

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Container List

Container 1     Title Date
Folder: 1 WWII: photographs (52) (dated)

Scope and Contents

Locations include England, France (Cherbourg, "Omaha Beach," Mortain), Belgium, Holland, Germany (Cologne, Nuremberg), and Monaco.

1944 May-1945 August
Folder: 2 WWII: photographs (56 + 4 slides) (undated)

Scope and Contents

Locations include England, France (Marseille, Reims, "Camp Chicago"), Germany (Roosevelt Rhine River Bridge), Holland, and the United States (Camp Patrick Henry, Virginia).

Folder: 3 WWII: ephemera

Scope and Contents

A letter from Irving Sorotick to his wife, Pearl, dated Paris, 20 September 1944, on stationery printed with photographs of Parisian landmarks. With two undated postcards of Chartres and Cherbourg.

1944, undated
Folder: 4 WWII: newspaper | New York Herald Tribune

Scope and Contents

Front page of the European edition of the New York Herald Tribune, published at Paris, with the headline "Russians in 18-Mile Breakthrough Reach Shores of Gulf of Danzig; 7th Army Halts Germans in Alsace."

1945 January 27
Folder: 5 JFK: scrapbook

Scope and Contents

In October 1962, Marsha Sorotick (donor of the collection) was a sophomore at Martin Van Buren High School in Queens, New York. For an American History class, she was assigned to create this scrapbook of President Kennedy's activities during one week. It turned out to be the period of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Sorotick got a A+.

1962 October-November
Folder: 6 JFK: newspaper | New York World-Telegram and the Sun

Scope and Contents


Access Restrictions

Too brittle for use.

1963 November 22
Folder: 7 JFK: photographs (5)

Scope and Contents

In June 1964, Marsha Sorotick (donor of the collection) visited and photographed a display of JFK memorabilia at the IBM Building (590 Madison Avenue, Manhattan). The exhibition traveled to twenty-three cities to raise funds for the construction of the JFK Presidential Library in Boston.

1964 June
Folder: 8 JFK: souvenir journal

Scope and Contents

The President Nobody Knew, vol. 1, no. 1, the Remember November Issue.

Folder: 9 Political campaign pins (7)

Scope and Contents

Folder: 10 Newsstand photograph

Scope and Contents

This photograph was taken by the donor, Marsha Sorotick, in the autumn of 1968. According to information she supplied by letter (5 September 2018), "it shows the corner of E. 23rd St. and Park Ave. South. It looked very much the same until about 2-3 years ago when a sidewalk elevator leading down into the subway was constructed and, alas, the newsstand wasn't returned. The 'Time' magazine cover [visible in the photograph] is of the events in Prague. I believe at the time I worked nearby at the NYPD Academy library."


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