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Paul Kagan photographs of utopian communities and personal papers

 Collection
Call Number: WA MSS S-2640

Scope and Contents

Chiefly photographs created and copied by Kagan while conducting research for his book, New World Utopias: A Photographic History of the Search for Community (New York: Penguin Books, 1975). The photographs document nineteenth and twentieth century utopian communities, most located in California, with others in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The collection includes material he collected about utopian communities, including audiotapes of interviews and related events, as well as drawings and photographs. The collection also includes examples of photography and graphic design that Kagan created for traditional and alternative newspapers, as well as examples of some of his book reviews and other writings. A small group of material documents social action at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the San Francisco Bay Area during the 1960s.

Utopian communities and other groups represented in the collection include an Amish community, Ananda Ashrama, Caspar Compound, Divine Light Mission, Esoteric Fraternity, The Farm, Fundación Indra Devi, Fountaingrove, Fountain of the World, Halcyon, Holy City, Icaria Speranza, Kaweah Colony, Krotona (including Happy Valley School), Lama Foundation, Lemurian Fellowship, Llano del Rio, The Lord's Land, Pisgah Faith Home, Pisgah Grande, Point Loma, Rosicrucian Fellowship, Questhaven Retreat, Self-Realization Golden World Colony, Table Mountain Ranch, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Theosophical Society (Pasadena), Unification Church, and Vedanta Temple (Santa Barbara).

Dates

  • circa 1895-circa 1989
  • Majority of material found within 1968 - 1976

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Boxes 18-19: Copy photographs are for reference use only, and are not to be reproduced. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 20: (audiovisual material): Restricted fragile. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Paul Kagan Photographs of Utopian Communities and Personal Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Copyright to the photographs in the collection created by Paul Kagan belong to Yale University. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Sue Kagan on the Frederick W. & Carrie S. Beinecke Fund for Western Americana 2010.

Arrangement

Organized into three series: I. Photographs of Utopian Communities, 1968-1976. II. Other Material Related to Utopian Communities, circa 1895-circa 1989. III. Personal Papers, 1960-circa 1989.

Associated Materials

Paul Kagan Utopian Communities Collection (WA MSS S-1737)

Walter Millsap / Keikichi Akana Imamura Family Papers (WA MSS S-1590)

Extent

4 Linear Feet ((23 boxes) + 3 broadside folders)

Language of Materials

English

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL

http://hdl.handle.net/10079/fa/beinecke.kaganphotos

Overview

Chiefly photographs created and copied by Kagan while conducting research for his book, New World Utopias: A Photographic History of the Search for Community. The photographs document nineteenth- and twentieth-century utopian communities, most located in California, with others in New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. The collection includes material that Kagan collected about utopian communities, including audiotapes of interviews and related events, as well as drawings and photographs. The collection also includes examples of photography and graphic design that Kagan created for traditional and alternative newspapers, as well as examples of some of his book reviews and other writings. A small group of material documents social action at the University of California, Berkeley, and in the San Francisco Bay area during the 1960s.
Utopian communities and other groups represented in the collection include an unidentified Amish community, Ananda Ashrama, Caspar Compound, Divine Light Mission, Esoteric Fraternity, The Farm, Fundacio?n Indra Devi, Fountaingrove, Fountain of the World, Halcyon, Holy City, Icaria Speranza, Kaweah Colony, Krotona (including Happy Valley School), Lama Foundation, Lemurian Fellowship, Llano del Rio, The Lord's Land, Pisgah Faith Home, Pisgah Grande, Point Loma, Rosicrucian Fellowship, Questhaven Retreat, Self-Realization Golden World Colony, Table Mountain Ranch, Tassajara Zen Mountain Center, Theosophical Society (Pasadena), Unification Church, and Vedanta Temple (Santa Barbara).

Biography

Paul Kagan, photographer and author of the book New World Utopias, was born in 1943. After receiving a degree in history from the University of California at Berkeley in 1965, he worked as a television news writer, photographer, graphic artist, and magazine art director. Kagan spent five years researching New World Utopias: A Photographic History of the Search for Community (New York: Penguin Books, 1975). Initially, the National Institute of Mental Health provided funds for Kagan to photograph the remains of California 'utopias'; a few years into the project the California Historical Society gave him funds to research and collect the records and contemporary photographs of those communities. During this time Kagan organized the Utopian Studies Center at the California Historical Society Library (San Francisco). At the time of the book's publication, Kagan described himself as writer/researcher and still photographer for the Television Health Information Project at University of California Medical Center, San Francisco. Paul Kagan died in New York in 1993.

Processing Information

Much of the biographical and historical information about the photographs derives from Paul Kagan, New World Utopias: A Photographic History of the Search for Community (New York: Penguin Books, 1975).
Title
Guide to the Paul Kagan Photographs of Utopian Communities and Personal Papers
Status
Under Revision
Author
by Matthew Daniel Mason
Date
June 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

Contact:
P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977

Location

121 Wall Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.