Harold Roth Photograph Collection
Language of Materials
Collection consists of 25 gelatin silver photographic prints, documenting New York City street life.
The photographs are digitized and available in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Digital Library.
Born in 1918, New York photographer Harold Roth received his first camera in 1930, as a gift from Kodak to half a million children who turned twelve in the year of the fiftieth anniversary of George Eastman's first patent. By the late 1930s, Roth had graduated to a Graflex camera and begun to extensively document the city around him. He is best known for his photographs of 1940s and 1950s New York City street life.
Photographs are arranged chronologically.
Scope and Content Note
The Harold Roth Photograph Collection spans the period from 1937-1950 and consists of 25 black and white gelatin silver photographic prints, all 11 x 14 inches.
Photographs in this collection show New York City street life, and range from a group of children playing in the spray of an open fire hydrant in the waning sunlight to a view of foot traffic in Madison Square Park against the hazy backdrop of the Flatiron Building. Other views include the interior of Grand Central Terminal, a hot dog vendor at work, the Parachute Jump at Coney Island, and an aerial view of a stickball game. Several photographs of circuses and sideshows are also included.
The photographs in this collection were printed by Harold Roth from his vintage negatives between 1991 and 1995. Prints are numbered, captioned, and in most cases signed on the verso by Roth.
Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit www.nyhistory.org/library/visit.
Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff.
Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, firstname.lastname@example.org. Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.
Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit: https://www.nyhistory.org/about/rights-reproductions
This collection should be cited as Harold Roth Photograph Collection, PR 195, Department of Prints, Photographs, and Architectural Collections, The New-York Historical Society.
Location of Materials
Purchase, 1991, 1996, and 1998.
Existence and Location of Copies
Digital copies are available in the Shelby White and Leon Levy Digital Library.