Contents and Arrangement

Subseries 5A: Snapshots and Photographs of Ruth Bernhard, 1913-2006 (mostly 1920-2000)

7 boxes

Collection Overview

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

This subseries primarily includes photographs and snapshots of Ruth Bernhard with friends, family, students, and colleagues. Photographic materials vary greatly in size and quality, from fine art portraits of Ruth Bernhard taken by various friends and fellow professional photographers, to early black-and-white photographs from Bernhard's childhood in Germany, to amateur contemporary color snapshots taken at various events and parties. Many photographs of Bernhard in her apartment on Clay Street in San Francisco are present in this subseries, including documentation of her collection of natural objects and props, some of which can be found in Series 3. In snapshots from her later life, which make up the majority of materials in this subseries, Bernhard is frequently pictured with her life partner, Price Rice, and Mary Ann Helmholtz (sometimes abbreviated as "MAH"), her close friend and personal assistant. In addition to large, sometimes mounted, prints stored flat and vertical files containing snapshots and small photographs, photograph albums are also included at the end of the subseries.

Additional photographs of Ruth Bernhard, originally stored with correspondence, teaching materials, or personal files can be found in those series.


Items within this subseries are not arranged according to any arrangement scheme. Though legacy item description provided by the Princeton University Art Museum exists for many individual items in this subseries, the materials remain physically unsorted below the box or folder level.

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:

Subseries 5A: Snapshots and Photographs of Ruth Bernhard; Ruth Bernhard Papers, C1468, Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

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Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (rcpxm): Box 52-58

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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)