Contents and Arrangement

Series 1: Correspondence and Personal Files, 1910s-2013 (mostly 1930-2006)

23 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series includes three distinct file runs of correspondence and other personal papers and business files, distinguished by their creator and level of organization. The first run contains vertical files kept by Ruth Bernhard, sorted by topic. The second contains artificial files by and about Bernhard, organized chronologically by topic and maintained by the Princeton University Art Museum, including original correspondence as well as correspondence between museum staff and various parties, along with articles by and about Bernhard, exhibition catalogs, workshop materials and advertisements, reproductions of photographs, publishing agreements, and more. The third contains unsorted correspondence and enclosures that Bernhard kept loose in boxes.

These files include a diverse mix of personal and business correspondence and other documents, ranging from birthday cards to living wills to publishing contracts. Bernhard maintained close friendships with many of her business contacts, students, and colleagues, resulting in the frequent presence of correspondence of a mixed nature within this series. Researchers should note that Subseries 1A and 1C contain a mix of personal and business files and correspondence, while Subseries 1B provides a more linear picture of Bernhard's professional career.


This series is arranged into three subseries.

Collection History


Nothing was discarded or transferred in the processing of this collection.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Kelly Bolding in January - February, 2014. Finding aid written by Kelly Bolding in February - March, 2014, using item description provided by Emily McVeigh of the Princeton University Art Museum in 2013. Finding aid updated by Kelly Bolding in 2016

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright and literary rights for materials in this collection that were created by Ruth Bernhard are held by the Trustees of Princeton University. Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, any copyright vested in the donor has passed to The Trustees of Princeton University and researchers do not need to obtain permission, complete any forms, or receive a letter to move forward with use of donor-created materials within the collection. For materials in the collection not created by the donor, or where the material is not an original, the copyright is likely not held by the University. In these instances, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have a question about who owns the copyright for an item, you may request clarification by contacting us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Series 1: Correspondence and Personal Files; Ruth Bernhard Papers, C1468, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 1-22; 79

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Related Materials

Ruth Bernhard's photographic archive is held by the Princeton University Art Museum. Her working library is available in the Rare Books Collection.

Margaretta K. Mitchell Working Files on Ruth Bernhard (C1591)