Photo of the Week: Harry Kalmus papers and photographs

[Smitty Smith’s baby], circa 1950, v1991.11.106.1; Harry Kalmus papers and photographs, ARC.046; Brooklyn Historical Society.

[Smitty Smith’s baby], circa 1950, v1991.11.106.1; Harry Kalmus papers and photographs, ARC.046; Brooklyn Historical Society.

The strength of Brooklyn Historical Society’s photographic collections is the built environment, including photographs of buildings and homes that document nearly every Brooklyn neighborhood’s street grid. Not to be overlooked, however, are the collections that focus on Brooklyn’s diverse and active population. This photo of the week from the Harry Kalmus papers and photographs collection depicts Smitty Smith and his daughter around 1950. Harry Kalmus’s photographs include many scenes like this—happy moments and celebrations such as birthday parties, stick ball games in the street, and trips to Coney Island in 1950s Brooklyn.

This rich collection consists of approximately 13,339 black-and-white negatives, 108 prints, and 186 stereoscopic slides from Kalmus’s personal and professional photography work. Kalmus grew up on Vermont Street in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. After serving in World War II, he returned to Brooklyn and began his career as a professional photographer. He worked for advertising agencies, as well as an event photographer, photographing weddings and bar mitzvahs in Brooklyn. This collection is not digitized, but we would love for you to visit the collection in person during Othmer Library’s public research hours.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. library@brooklynhistory.org

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