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Album of snow crystal photomicrographs, ca. 1931
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Album of snow crystal photomicrographs
    Date (inclusive): ca. 1931
    Collection number: 94/183
    Creator: Bentley, W. A. (Wilson Alwyn), 1865-1931, photographer.
    Physical Description: 1 album (200 photomicrographic prints) : b&w, ^^ x ^^ cm (albums)

    Photographs are mounted on squares of black paper, arranged four to a page on recto and verso of leaves of heavy dark gray paper, each of which is slipped between recto and verso of each of 25 double leaves; photomicrographs are visible through corresponding cut-out windows on both sides of each leaf.

    Bound in dark brown pebble-grain leather; gold-stamped cover title in upper left corner, "Photographs;" manufacturer's label on back pastedown of Ward's Stationery of Boston.

    Spec. Coll. copy: in modern beige cloth-covered clamshell box, with spine title "Bentley snow crystal photomicrographs." Laid in album are two envelopes of newspaper clippers and offprints of articles relating to snow crystals, and their photographing by W. A. Bentley and other scientists.
    Abstract: Album, probably prepared around 1931, containing 200 photomicrographs of snow crystals by W.A. Bentley, which were used to illustrate his book, Snow crystals / by W.A. Bentley and W.J. Humphreys. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1931.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Gift of Albert Boni.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Album of snow crystal photomicrographs (Collection 94/183). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 


    World authority and photographer of snowflakes. Wilson Alwyn Bentley, born in Jericho, Vermont on Feb. 9, 1865, began his love affair with snow crystals as a young boy of fifteen, when he viewed snowflakes from the first snowfall of 1880 through a small microscope which his mother had given him for his birthday. By 1884 he had learned how to successfully photograph the crystals, and from then on, took photos of snowflakes from every snowstorm. His collection numbered 5,000 designs, no two of which are exactly alike. He remained on the family farm in Jericho his whole life, as he found the cold dry climate there produced the most perfect crystals for his work. In 1898, his photographs were discovered by Professor G.H. Perkins of the University of Vermont, which led to national and world attention, not only by scientists and meteorologists, but also by lacemakers, fabric and jewelry designers, and even cookie-makers who wanted to use his crystals in their work. Bentley wrote many journal and encyclopedia articles on snow and frost, and, with W.J. Humphreys, produced the book Snow crystals (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1931, reprinted 1962), which contains many of his photographs.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Snowflakes --Photographs.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints.
    Photograph albums.

    Related Material

    Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.
    For additional information, cf. Wilson A. Bentley, 1865-1931: photographer of snow crystals / Douglas Prior. Tempe, Ariz. : School of Art, Arizona State University, 1984.