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Vincent Giordano Before The Flame Goes Out Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: SCA-HAP-0001

Content Description

The Vincent Giordano Before the Flame Goes Out Collection contains materials pertaining to an unfinished documentary by Vincent Giordano about the Romaniote Jewish community in Ioannina, Greece, and the lower east side of Manhattan. The collection contains photographic prints and negatives; project files related to travel, research, and exhibition; and audio-visual materials. Giordano captured religious objects, rituals and holidays; community events and lifecyles; and the architecture and art of the synagogues. He interviewed members of the congregations and took their portraits.


  • circa 1999-2010


Appointments to examine materials must be made in advance. Please email for more information or to schedule an appointment. A portion of the collection is also available on JSTOR Open Community Collections and in the digital exhibition Romaniote Memories, a Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan

Conditions Governing Use

Works created by Vincent Giordano are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC 4.0), the full terms of which can be found at

Biographical / Historical

Vincent Giordano (1952-2010) was a photographer, filmmaker, and documentarian based in New York. Giordano was born in Manhattan, raised in Plainview on Long Island, and attended college at SUNY Oswego.

From 1999 until his death in 2010, he documented the Romaniote Jewish communities in New York and Ioannina, Greece. Some of the photographic work was exhibited, though the documentary remained unfinished. In 2008, at the time of his exhibition at the Museum of Biblical Art, Giordano released a trailer for his intended full-length documentary.

Giordano's project was guided by members of the Kehila Kedosha Janina (KKJ) synagogue on New York’s Lower East Side. Imagining that the congregation would soon disappear, he titled his project Before the Flame Goes Out (though the community has remained remarkably vibrant). The project expanded to include the Romaniote Jewish community in KKJ's mother city of Ioannina, Greece. Giordano's work was sponsored by the International Survey of Jewish Monuments. He was also awarded a Fulbright for the project.

Giordano's collection of 9/11 related portraits, Remembrance, is in the permanent collection of the New-York Historical Society. He won seven Clio Awards as Director of Photography.


8 Linear Feet (One record carton, two 5" x 8" boxes, five 8" x 10" boxes, three 10" x 13" boxes, one 10.5" x 12" box, and five 12" x 17.5" boxes.)

Language of Materials


Greek, Modern (1453-)


Multi-media collection created by Vincent Giordano documenting the Romaniote Jewish community in New York's lower east side, and its mother synagogue in Ioannina, Greece.


The collection is arranged in three series, two of which have been further arranged in subseries.

Series I: Photographs

Subseries I-A: New York

Subseries I-B: Greece

Subseries I-C: Portraits

Series II: Project files

Subseries II-A: Research and travel

Subseries II-B: Exhibits and Portfolios

Series III: Audio-Visual and CDs

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated to the Benjamin S. Rosenthal Library and Hellenic American Project of Queens College by Hilda Giordano in May of 2019.

Related Materials

Romaniote Memories, a Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan: Photographs by Vincent Giordano, an online exhibit curated by Dr. Samuel Gruber and designed by Annie Tummino.

The Holocaust in Greece, an online exhibit from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Condition Description

Stable condition. Legacy media needs to be converted for digital access.

Processing Information

This collection is collaboratively curated and maintained by the Queens College Library's Department of Special Collections and Archives and the Hellenic American Project. This collection was processed be Graduate Fellow Ellis Ging in spring 2022, thanks to the generosity of the Queens College Center for Jewish Studies, which funded the Fellowship. Archival description in the finding aid drew from a digital exhibit curated by Dr. Samuel Gruber, Romaniote Memories, a Jewish Journey from Ioannina, Greece to Manhattan: Photographs by Vincent Giordano.

Vincent Giordano Before The Flame Goes Out Collection
Ellis Ging
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Queens College (New York, N.Y.) Special Collections and Archives Repository

Queens College Library, CUNY
Benjamin Rosenthal Library RO317
65-30 Kissena Boulevard
Flushing 11367 USA us