Hank Kaplan

There was a nice article in the Miami Herald about the late Hank Kaplan’s collection of all things boxing. An excerpt from the article by Santos Perez:

Kaplan was considered boxing’s preeminent historian. The two-car garage in his Kendall home became a library to thousands of boxing archives. Boxing writers, authors, researchers, filmmakers or anyone with an affinity for the sport marveled at Kaplan’s collection of books, newspaper and magazine clippings and other boxing memorabilia after a visit.

In his will, Kaplan donated the library’s archives to Brooklyn College. Kaplan was born in Brooklyn before settling in South Florida in the early 1950s.

An estimated 2,000 boxes of items were removed from Kaplan’s home and transferred to Brooklyn College in February. Now a Brooklyn College professor, who befriended Kaplan, is leading the effort to preserve the items and eventually open the library for public use and research.

See more about Mr Kaplan at the Brooklyn College Library web site.

Article referenced is copied in full at end of post.

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Brooklyn College aims to show late Hank Kaplan’s boxing mementos

Posted on Mon, Dec. 15, 2008

BY SANTOS A. PEREZ

Although difficult to imagine, Sunday marked the first-year anniversary of Hank Kaplan’s death. As Kaplan’s close friend Ramiro Ortiz said, “Boxing lost its best friend.”

Kaplan was considered boxing’s preeminent historian. The two-car garage in his Kendall home became a library to thousands of boxing archives. Boxing writers, authors, researchers, filmmakers or anyone with an affinity for the sport marveled at Kaplan’s collection of books, newspaper and magazine clippings and other boxing memorabilia after a visit.

In his will, Kaplan donated the library’s archives to Brooklyn College. Kaplan was born in Brooklyn before settling in South Florida in the early 1950s.

An estimated 2,000 boxes of items were removed from Kaplan’s home and transferred to Brooklyn College in February. Now a Brooklyn College professor, who befriended Kaplan, is leading the effort to preserve the items and eventually open the library for public use and research.

”We are at the fund-raising stage,” said Anthony Cucchiara, who teaches archival management at Brooklyn College. “Preserving material is costly.”

Cucchiara coordinated the transfer of items from Kaplan’s home and estimates the project will cost $250,000. Maintaining dated material, including some from the 1800s, requires special containers, folders and fluids.

In addition to archival maintenance, funds raised will help convert many of the items into digital form and create a library website. Cucchiara said once the upgrading of the items is complete, an archivist will be hired to oversee the library.

”We have put together a fund-raising committee consisting of writers and boxing historians,” Cucchiara said. “The library will need preservation and reorganization to make it usable.”

The project already has generated $3,500 in donations and a special fund-raising event is planned for next year, Cucchiara said. The advisory board also will submit an application to the National Foundation on the Arts and Humanities for additional assistance.

”I feel so committed to Hank and making the project a reality,” Cucchiara said. “He was so dedicated to boxing and its preservation. He poured his soul into boxing.”

According to Cucchiara, an independent appraisal done after the items were transferred to Brooklyn lists the library’s value at $2.94 million, ”And that appraisal might be a conservative one,” Cucchiara said. “This is a national resource.”

The items currently sit in storage at the college’s library.

Notice of Kaplan’s archives has resulted in the additional donation of items.

”People, whose fathers or uncles were in boxing, had items they didn’t know what to do with,” Cucchiara said. “Now those items will be part of the library.”

With the financial backing and re-organization, Cucchiara hopes the library could open within the next two to three years.

”It’s too early to tell, but I am confident this project will be completed,” Cucchiara said. “This library is not just about the history of the sport, but the growth and re-shaping of American society, of which boxing played an important role.”

To assist in the library’s fund-raising effort, checks can be made out to the Brooklyn College Library/Kaplan Boxing Collection and sent to Anthony Cucchiara, 2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210.

HOLT KEEPS TITLE

Kendall Holt retained his World Boxing Organization junior-welterweight title late Saturday with a split decision victory over Demetrius Hopkins in Atlantic City, N.J.

COMING UP

Mike Alvarado vs. Miguel Huerta, 10 rounds, junior-welterweights 8 p.m., Friday (Telefutura-Ch. 69).
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About Jorge Costales

- Cuban Exile [veni] - Raised in Miami [vidi] - American Citizen [vici]
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