Contents and Arrangement

Series 5: Memorabilia, 1913-2006 (mostly 1938-2005)

29 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This series includes photographs and artwork by others, gifts, personal effects, awards, and other memorabilia collected by Ruth Bernhard throughout her life for personal or sentimental reasons. These materials include snapshots, photographs, and photograph albums documenting Ruth Bernhard's personal and professional life from childhood until her death in 2006, portraying the photographer as a young woman, in the photography studio working with models and students, and during various events, exhibitions, birthday parties, and travels.

The series also includes a large group of fine art photographs, artwork, and gifts collected by Bernhard. Throughout her long career as a photographer and teacher, especially after she became a well-known instructor of photography both in the United States and internationally in the 1970s through the early 2000s, Bernhard frequently received gifts from students, friends, admirers, and fellow photographers, ranging from gallery-quality prints to crafts such as decorative boxes. Those she kept are included in this series, along with related correspondence when it was retained with the item.

Additionally present are Bernhard's personal slides and videos, personal items such as a polyester silk "Picasso" jacket and her Clay Street mailbox, as well as various plaques, trophies, and certificates honoring her work in photography. Unattributed still life photographs and portraits, often in the form of mounted magazine and catalog clippings, are also included.


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 5: Memorabilia; Ruth Bernhard Papers, C1468, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Boxes 27, 35, 52, 78

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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)