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Sidney Swadosh Photograph Collection

Identifier: 2008-0127

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of 208 slides and 16 photographic prints taken by Mr. Swadosh.


  • 1900-1967
  • Majority of material found within 1959 - 1967


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Sidney Bernard Swadosh was born in 1921 to Ralph and Janette (Yalen) Swadosh in Hartford’s North End. Ralph, born Rubin Swiadoszct in Vilnius, Lithuania, was employed as a house painter and served as an officer in one of the Hartford chapters of the Arbeter Ring, or Workmen’s Circle, a Jewish-American fraternal organization with Socialist leanings. Janette, known as “Jennie,” was born in Poland and had immigrated with her parents and siblings to Norwich, CT. The couple had two other children, Leonard and Herbert.

Sidney Swadosh graduated from Weaver High School in 1939 and enrolled at University of Connecticut with plans to become an aeronautical engineer. Although his two brothers were drafted into military service during World War II, he was exempted for reasons of poor health. Illness contributed to his inability to complete degree requirements and he subsequently left the university. However, he continued to pursue a lifelong interest in correspondence courses, studying agronomy and horticulture by mail.

Joining the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation as a surveyor afforded him the opportunity to travel throughout the state. A self-trained photographer from youth, he documented rural areas of the state prior to and during the construction of highway systems and transportation infrastructure in the years following World War II. Using a darkroom in his Hartford apartment, he developed his own film and hired himself out as a portrait and wedding photographer. While this business provided him with creative opportunities, it was never a reliable source of income. The joy of composing shots (he particularly enjoyed humorous self-portraiture) and developing the film using experimental techniques appear to have been his primary motivations. He also collected antique cameras.

In 1979, he, his wife and their young daughter moved from Hartford to the Connecticut shoreline prior to the birth of their second daughter. After retiring from the Department of Transportation in the 1990s, he dedicated much of his time to recreational fishing and gardening, eventually becoming a Master Gardener through the University of Connecticut’s Agricultural Extension System for whom he served as a telephone referral service representative. He died in Chester, CT, in 1996.


0.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection contains photographs and slides taken by Mr. Swadosh.

Provenance and Acquisition

The collection was donated by the family in 2008.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to various aspects of Connecticut history. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.

Sidney Swadosh Photograph Collection
Archives & Special Collections staff
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US