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Finding aid of the Carrie Plato Kahn Papers
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing Information
  • Biography / Administrative History
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Carrie Plato Kahn Papers
    Dates: 1887-1953
    Bulk Dates: 1898-1918
    Collection number: 2001.41
    Creator: Kahn, Carrie Plato, 1872-1925
    Creator: Kahn, Jacob
    Collection Size: .4 linear feet
    Repository: Autry National Center. Institute for the Study of the American West
    Los Angeles, CA 90027
    Abstract: The Carrie Plato Kahn Papers Collection includes 67 items ranging in date from 1887 to 1953. It is organized into five different series: Photographs, Personal Papers, Business Papers, Correspondence, and Tourist Material.
    Physical location: Autry National Center
    Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English French


    Collection is open for research. Appointments to view materials are required. To make an appointment please visit http://www.autrynationalcenter.org/research_application.php or contact library staff at (323) 667-2000.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to the Autry Library, Autry National Center. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Library Director. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Autry Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item identification] Carrie Plato Kahn Papers, 2001.41. Autry Library, Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA

    Acquisition Information

    The Carrie Plato Kahn Papers collection was donated by Nancy Arnheim. Carrie Plato was Arnheim's husband's grandmother.

    Processing Information

    Katie Moore, February 21, 2003.

    Biography / Administrative History

    Carrie Plato was born in California in 1872 to Jewish parents named Cecilia and Freeman Plato. The Plato family was from the Alsace-Lorraine region of Europe and considered themselves French. In the 1870s they came to the United States and settled in San Francisco, California. In 1887 Carrie's mother passed away at the age of 37. After Cecilia Plato's death, Carrie and her younger siblings were raised by their mother's sister, Aunt Davis. Carrie had two younger sisters (Annie Gerty and Selda) and one younger brother, (Arthur).
    In 1899, at the age of 27, Carrie married 46 year-old Jacob Kahn. The couple had one child, a daughter named Felice Cecille, born in 1900. Jacob Kahn was in the cigar and tobacco business. He also dabbled in real estate and his family enjoyed an upper middle-class lifestyle. Well respected among his peers, Jacob's family received many condolence letters upon his death in 1913.
    Carrie enjoyed an active lifestyle and liked outdoor activities. She spent a lot of time with her family and friends, and enjoyed corresponding with her husband's family in France. Carrie died in 1925.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Carrie Plato Kahn Papers Collection includes 67 items ranging in date from 1887 to 1953. It is organized into five different series: Photographs, Personal Papers, Business Papers, Correspondence, and Tourist Material.
    The Photographs series includes 29 items, comprising the bulk of the collection. The photographs are located at the beginning of the collection. They are rarely identified and are organized in categories. The first file contains photographs of Carrie Plato Kahn; the next two files Carrie Plato Kahn with other people; the next file unidentified people; and the last file contains a photograph of a house and photograph of a headstone. The collection includes photographs of Carrie in studio poses, as well as outdoors; two show her in boats. The unidentified people in the photographs probably include Carrie's husband Jacob, and their daughter Felice.
    Different types of photographic processes are represented within the Photographs series. Most of the photographs are black and white and are mounted on photo board. Some have been tinted, and/or retouched. There are three tintypes and four cyanotypes.
    The Personal Papers include: calling cards, a memorial card, an engagement announcement, and a wedding invitation. In addition, an autograph album is housed in box 2.
    The Business Papers consist of stock certificates, a land sale document, and a letter. The Correspondence folder includes telegrams, letters, envelopes and a postcard ranging in date from 1894 to 1918. The telegrams were all sent to Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Kahn on June 7, 1899, congratulating them on their wedding. Five of the seven letters are written in French.
    The Tourist Material series is from a later time period than the rest of the collection. It includes five color postcards, four of the California ghost town of Bodie. It also includes a brochure about Nevada ghost towns and a color booklet about Virginia City, Nevada. The booklet was published in Nevada City, Nevada in 1953.
    In addition, a LIFE magazine cover from June 5, 1944 is also a part of the collection.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Kahn, Carrie Plato, 1872-1925.
    Kahn family.
    Jewish women--West (U.S.)
    Jewish women--California--San Francisco.
    Jews--California--San Francisco.
    San Francisco (Calif.)--History.
    San Francisco (Calif.)--Social life and customs--Sources.
    Bodie (Calif.)--Pictorial works.
    Virginia City (Nev.)--Pictorial works.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Stock certificates.
    Finding aids.