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Finding Aid File

Guide to the Larry Racioppo Collection BCMS.0053

Summary Information


    Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection


    Racioppo, Larry


    Larry Racioppo Collection






    8.8 Linear feet , 5 flat boxes, 3 document boxes, 2 cartons, 2 legal size boxes


    Brooklyn Collection Morgue, Shelves 17.3-17.4, Flat File




    Materials documenting the career of New York based photographer Larry Racioppo.

    Preferred Citation

    This collection should be cited as the Larry Racioppo Collection, Brooklyn Public Library – Brooklyn Collection.

Printable version

Click here for a printable PDF version of this finding aid.

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Biographical Note

Larry Racioppo was born and raised in South Brooklyn, and has been photographing throughout New York City since 1971. A former VISTA Volunteer, and participant in NYC’s Cultural Council Foundation’s CETA Artists Project, Racioppo had his first solo exhibit in 1977 at Brooklyn’s f-stop Gallery. His first book of photographs, Halloween, was published by Scribners in 1980.

From 1989-2011, Larry was the official photographer for NYC’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development, hired to document the city’s rebuilding of distressed neighborhoods, including Bedford Stuyvesant, Harlem and the South Bronx. After receiving a Guggenheim Fellowship in Photography in 1997, Racioppo took a leave from HPD to work on a series of personal projects, including FORGOTTEN GATEWAY, the Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island, a travelling exhibit of his photographs that originated at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

In 2006 he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Chairman’s Extraordinary Action Grant for his exhibit The Word on the Street at the Museum of Biblical Art in New York. Racioppo’s photographs are in the collections of the Museum of the City of New York, The Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, El Museo del Barrio, and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. His second book,  Brooklyn Before: Photographs, 1971–1983 was published by Cornell University Press in 2018.

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Scope and Contents

This collection consists of items documenting the career of New York based photographer Larry Racioppo. Exhibit materials for both solo and group shows span over 40 years and include promotional materials, photographs and notes. Correspondence includes communications regarding funding opportunities, his Guggenheim Fellowship, recommendations and thank you notes from professional contacts.

Reports, brochures and calendars make up the bulk of Racioppo’s freelance assignments and his work for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Research materials for personal photography projects include scouting and shooting notes with copies of relevant maps and atlas pages. The Theater Project makes up the bulk of the Project Notes and Research series.

Photographs printed for various exhibits and publications are also included.

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This collection is arranged in seven series:

Series I: Exhibits is arranged chronologically. When multiple exhibits appear in a given year the folders are arranged alphabetically by exhibit space.

Series II: Press is arranged chronologically.

Series III: Correspondence is arranged alphabetically by subject with the exception of the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which is foldered together regardless of subject.

Series IV: Freelance Assignments is arranged alphabetically by the hiring organization.

Series V: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development is arranged alphabetically by project.

Series VI: Project Notes and Research is arranged alphabetically by project.

Series VII: Photographs is boxed by image size and foldered alphabetically by project, with the exception of Brooklyn Before and  B-Ball NYC, which appears at the end of the series.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Brooklyn Public Library - Brooklyn Collection , 2018

10 Grand Army Plaza
Brooklyn, NY, 11238
[email protected]


This collection is located in the Brooklyn Collection at Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch at Grand Army Plaza. The collection may only be used in the library and is not available through interlibrary loan. Requests to view the collection must be made at least 48 hours in advance of visit.


While many items in the Brooklyn Collection are unrestricted, we do not own reproduction rights to all materials. Be aware of the several kinds of rights that might apply: copyright, licensing and trademarks. The researcher assumes all responsibility for copyright questions.


This collection was acquired between 2014-2019 through a series of purchases and donations from Larry Racioppo.

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Related Materials

Oral history interview conducted with Larry Racioppo on April 5, 2018.

Racioppo, Larry. Brooklyn before : photographs, 1971-1983. Three Hills, an imprint of Cornell University Press. 2018.

Racioppo, Larry. Halloween. Scribner. 1980.

Racioppo, Larry. Kenny and Marie's backyard. Shutterfly. 1989.

Racioppo, Larry. The word on the street : the photographs of Larry Racioppo. Museum of Biblical Art. 2006.

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Photographs


  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)--Social life and customs
  • Photography—Exhibitions
  • Street Photography

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Collection Inventory

Series I: Exhibits 

Box 1 

Folder 1: Early Exhibits , 1974-1995 

Folder 2: Museum of African American History and Arts. Rebuilding Harlem , 1994 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 1

Folder 3: Bronx Museum, Satellite Gallery. Rebuilding the Bronx , 1995 

Folder 4: The Midtown Y Photography Gallery. The Mermaid Parade , 1995 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 2

Folder 6: Alliance of Queens Artists. Full Spectrum/Image and Imagination III , 1996 

Folder 7: Art Center of Northern New Jersey. Steel Water Light , 1996 

Folder 5: Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House. Civic Lessons , 1996 

Folder 8: Jamaica Arts Center. The Outskirts of Town , 1996 

Folder 9: The Municipal Arts Society. Reasons for Hope , 1996 

Folder 10: Pace University. Coney Island Photographs , 1996 

Folder 11: The Print Club. Primary Subject , 1996 

Folder 12: The Times Square Lobby Gallery. Almost Home , 1996 

Folder 14: Brooklyn Borough Hall. Home Ownership in Brooklyn , 1997 

Folder 13: The Center for Art and Culture of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Inc. Theosophy-N-Art , 1996-1997 

Folder 15: The Times Square Lobby Gallery. The Nature of Our Environment , 1997 

Folder 16: The Hudson River Museum. Getting From Here to There , 1998 

Folder 17: Museum of the City of New York. New York Begins , 1998 

Folder 18: Republic National Bank of New York. Community Renaissance , 1998 

Folder 19: National Building Museum. Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island , 1998-1999 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 3

Folder 20: Museum of the City of New York. Landscapes of Hope , 1999 

Folder 21: New York Public Library. Disorder Order , 1999 

Folder 22: Westchester Gallery. New York, the Lost City , 1999 

Folder 23: Gallery Five. Worship , 1999-2000 

Folder 24: Museum of the City of New York. Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island , 1999-2000 

Folder 25: Museum of the City of New York. New York Now 2000 , 2000 

Folder 26: Godwin-Ternbach Museum (CUNY). A Vision of the Street , 2000 

Folder 27: Henry Street Settlement. Sacred Spaces: Lower East Side Shuls +1 , 2000 

Folder 28: New Jersey State Museum. Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island , 2000 

Folder 29: Deutsche Bank. The Mural as Muse , 2001 

Folder 30: The Municipal Society. Fresh Kills: The Photographs , 2001 

Folder 31: New Jersey Historical Society. Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island , 2001 

Folder 32: The River Edge Cultural Center. From Ellis Island to the Golden Land , 2001 

Folder 33: The Rotunda Gallery. To Market to Market , 2001 

Folder 34: Save Ellis Island. Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island , 2001 

Folder 35: St. Paul’s Chapel. Out of the Dust , circa 2002 

Folder 36: Ellis Island Immigration Museum. Forgotten Gateway: The Abandoned Buildings of Ellis Island , 2002-2003 

Folder 37: Brooklyn Public Library. All This Useless Beauty , 2003 

Folder 38: Brooklyn Public Library. World Religions of Brooklyn , 2003 

Folder 39: Safe-T-Gallery. O Giglio E Paradiso , 2003 

Oversize: Morgue Flat File

Folder 40: Enterprise Reception Winter Garden. HPD Photography , 2004 

Folder 41: Interfaith Center of New York. Frames of Reverence , 2004 

Folder 42: Municipal Arts Society. Keeping the Faith , 2004 

Folder 43: La Guardia Community College. Going to Look for America , circa 2005 

Folder 44: Center for Photography at Woodstock. Relationships: A Ten Year Bond , 2006 

Folder 45: Museum of Biblical Art. The Word on the Street , 2006 

Folder 46: Museum of the City of New York. New York Comes Back: Mayor Ed Koch and the City , 2006 

Folder 47: Museum of the City of New York. Catholics in New York 1808-1946 , 2008 

Folder 48: Safe-T-Gallery. Brooklyn Interiors , 2008 

Folder 49: Yeh Art Gallery. Influences of African Beliefs on Latin American Contemporary Alters: An Exhibition of Alters and Ritual Offerings , 2008 

Folder 50: Garibaldi-Meucci Museum. Kitty and Lucky: Photographs of My Aunt Concetta and Uncle Augustine , 2009-2010 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 5

Folder 51: Art + Cayce. Larry Racioppo Photographer , 2010 

Folder 52: BRIC. 30, a Brooklyn Salon , 2011 

Folder 53: New York City Health and Hospital Corporation. NYC in Focus, Volume 2 , 2011 

Folder 54: El Museo Del Barrio. Voces Y Visiones: Gran Caribe , 2012 

Folder 55: Brooklyn Arts Council. Sea Drift , 2013 

Folder 56: Valentine Museum of Art. Coney Island , 2015-2016 

Folder 57: Brooklyn College. From Brooklyn College to Coney Island , 2016 

Folder 58: Brooklyn Public Library. Looking Out/Looking In , 2016 

Morgue Flat File 

The Eleventh Street Photo Gallery. Halloween , 1979 

The Goodwin-Ternbach Museum. A Vision of the Street , 2006 

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Series II: Press 

Box 1 

Folder 59: The Journal of the Theater Historical Society , circa 1980-2005  

Folder 60: Bricks + Mortar , 1993 (Fall) 

Box 2 

Folder 1: Neighborhood , 1983 (Summer) 

Folder 2: Community News 1992 (Nov.) 

Folder 3: Brooklyn Bridge Magazine , 1998 (June, Oct., Dec.) 

Oversize: Morgue Flat File

Folder 4: Common Bond , 1999 (Spring/Summer) 

Folder 5: Culture Front Magazine , 1999 (Summer, Fall) 

Folder 6: Queens Life , 2000 (April) 

Folder 7: Clippings , 2000-2006 

Folder 8: ArtNews , 2013 (April) 

Morgue Flat File 

Metro , 2007 (Sept.) 

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Series III: Correspondence 

Box 2 

Folder 9: Department of Housing Preservation and Development , 2004-2010 

Folder 10: Guggenheim , 1996-1998 

Folder 11: Letters of Acceptance and Recommendation , 1997-2001, 2011 

Folder 12-13: Rejections , 1994-2014 

Folder 14: Thank You Letters , 1989-1999 

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Series IV: Freelance Assignments 

Box 2 

Folder 15: Brooklyn Historical Society, Red Hook Guide , 2000 

Folder 16: Brooklyn Historical Society, Williamsburg Guide , 2000 

Folder 17: Chase Manhattan, Corporate Responsibility Annual Report , 2000 

Folder 18: Take the Field , 2000 

Folder 19: International Longshoremen’s Association , 1977-1978 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 6

Folder 20: Queens Council on the Arts, Annual Reports , 2000, 2006 

Folder 21: Yale University, Wolf Head’s Society , circa 2005 

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Series V: New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development 

Box 2 

Folder 22: Condition Reports , circa 1992-1995 

Folder 23: HPD Pipeline Newsletter , 1995 (Jan.) 

Folder 24-25: Housing Development Corporation, Annual Reports , 1998-2008 

Folder 26: Landmarks Conservancy, Annual Reports , 1997-2000 

Folder 27: The New Housing Marketplace, Progress Reports , 2003, 2005, 2008, 2010 

Folder 28: Supportive Housing Network , circa 2005 

Folder 29: Reports , circa 1995-2000 

Folder 30: Neighborhood Entrepreneurs Program , circa 2005 

Folder 31: New York City Home , circa 1998 

Folder 32: Deck of Cards 

Morgue Flat File 

Housing, New York City Cover Proof , 1999 

Single Room Living in New York City Cover Proof 

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Series VI: Project Notes and Research 

Box 3 

Folder 1: Brooklyn Before , 2017-2018 

Folder 2: The Brooklyn Book of the Dead 

Folder 3: Giglio , circa 1995-2000 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 7

Folder 4: Halloween , 1979-1980 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 8

Folder 5: Theaters, Brooklyn Drawings 

Folder 6: Theaters, Clippings , 1975-2001 

Folder 7: Theaters, Drawings 

Folder 8: Theaters, Found 

Folder 9: Theaters, Gone 

Folder 10: Theaters, Location and Access with Maps 

Folder 11: Theaters, Locations and Contacts 

Folder 12: Theaters, Locations not Photographed 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 9

Folder 13: Theaters, Loew’s Kings Proposal 

Folder 14: Theaters, Photographed 

Oversize: Box 4, Folder 10

Folder 15: Theaters, Photographed but Incomplete 

Folder 16: Theaters, Polaroids and Contacts with Notes 

Folder 17: Theaters, Shooting Notes 

Box 4 


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Series VII: Photographs 

Box 4 

Folder 11: Calendars , 2000-2001, 2018 

Box 5 

Folder 1: BRIC-2000 

Folder 2: BRIC Calendar 

Folder 3: Churches 

Folder 4: Coney Island Mermaid Parade 

Box 6 

Folder 1-2: Coney Island Mermaid Parade 

Folder 3: Coney Island/Theater , 1998-2000 

Oversize: Morgue Flat File

Folder 4: Churches , 1990-2008 

Oversize: Morgue Flat File

Folder 5-6: Giglio 

Folder 7: Landscapes of Hope 

Box 7 

Folder 1: Landscapes of Hope 

Folder 2: Lowe’s Kings Theater , 1998-2001 

Folder 3-4: Scrap 

Folder 5: B-Ball NYC: Proofs 

Box 8 

Folder 1: Books , 2009-2018 

Folder 2: Books, Shutterfly , 2017-2018 

Folder 3-4: BRIC 2000 Calendar/HDC 

Folder 5: Coney Island Mermaid Parade 

Box 9 

Folder 1: Giglio, Printed for Show , 2003 

Folder 2-3: Good Friday 

Folder 4: Prospect Park 

Box 10 

Folder 1-2: Word on the Street , 1995-2005 

Box 11 

Brooklyn Before , 1971-1983 

Box 12 

Folder 1: B-Ball NYC: Correspondence and Notes 

Folder 2: B-Ball NYC: Outtakes 

Folder 3: B-Ball NYC: First Set of Proofs 

Folder 4: B-Ball NYC: Proofs 

Folder 5: B-Ball NYC: Book and Calendar, Shutterfly 

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