Tim Chapman Collection - 1968-2012

Identity elements

Reference code


Name and location of repository

Level of description



Tim Chapman Collection - 1968-2012


  • 1968-2012 (predominant: 1972-2012) (Creation)


193.00 Boxes

Name of creator

Biographical history

Tim Chapman spent 40 years working as a photographer for The Miami Herald. He covered wars, hurricanes, riots, earthquakes, mass exoduses from Cuba, kidnappings, plane crashes, death and mayhem, including Guyana’s Jonestown massacre in 1978.

Chapman moved to Hialeah when he was eight. He attended Hialeah High, Miami Dade College and the University of Miami (UM). After graduating from UM in 1972, he went to work at the Miami Herald as a lab tech processing film and making prints. He shot spot news in his spare time and was promoted to staff photographer after a few months.

During his career, Chapman covered events and conflicts in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Beirut, Cuba, and Haiti. Back in Miami, he photographed hundreds of events, including the Mariel Boatlift and the cocaine cowboy era of the 1980s.

Chapman retired from the Miami Herald in 2012.

Content and structure elements

Scope and content

The Tim Chapman collection consists of photographs and related materials shot or collected by photojournalist Tim Chapman during the second half of the twentieth century. While most materials pertain to people, places, and events in the Miami area, Latin American and world events are also represented.

The collection includes his professional work as a photojournalist as well as his photography for personal interest. Photographic media include 35mm negatives and slides (mainly black-and-white), photographic prints, and born-digital, color images. Supporting material includes newspaper and magazine articles containing illustrations by Chapman.

Photography pertaining to people, places, and events in the Miami area includes crime scenes; politics; the Mariel boatlift; the upheaval of the 1980s, including the Cocaine Cowboys; and Hurricane Andrew. The shots also include images of ordinary and famous people.

During 2013, Chapman filled a series of notebooks with handwritten notes identifying the most significant images. Entries are chronological, to coincide with the arrangement of the collection.

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use elements

Conditions governing access

The collection is in process. For access to this collection, please contact the Research Center at archives@historymiami.org for further information and to make an appointment.

Physical access

Access to the born-digital materials is limited to the public and requires assistance from archives staff.

Technical access

Conditions governing reproduction

Requests to publish or display materials from this collection require written permission from the rights owner. Please contact archives@historymiami.org for more information.

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Finding aids

Acquisition and appraisal elements

Custodial history

Immediate source of acquisition

Gift of Tim Chapman, April 2013.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling information


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Related archival materials

The Miami Herald collection contains a few additional Tim Chapman photographs. The Miami Herald and Miami News collections contain many examples of other Miami area photojournalists’ work.

Information about related materials is available at http://historymiamiarchives.org/guides/index.php?p=collections/controlcard&id=1224

Related descriptions

Notes element

General note



2013-376 (Cassius Clay vs. Sonny Liston fight on Miami Beach, 1964)

2013-391 (Big Stories and Special Assignments)

2013-395 (Born-Digital Images)

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Description control element

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Sources used

Archivist's note

Finding Aid Authors: Kristen Lachterman, Rebecca A. Smith, Maria R. Estorino, and Archives staff.

Archivist's note

© Copyright 2019 HistoryMiami Archives & Research Center. All rights reserved.

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