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Photographs, 1908–1999

Call Number: YCAL MSS 1053, Series IV

Scope and Contents

This subseries consists of Steinberg’s personal photographs, family photographs, and professional and amateur portraits and snapshots of Steinberg and Sigrid Spaeth. A group of small reference albums made for Steinberg by Anton van Dalen are also included. The bulk of the photographs date from after Steinberg’s immigration to the United States, though some early family photographs, and photographs from his childhood in Romania and college years in Milan are also included. Most photographs from the 1940s and 1950s record trips abroad with Hedda Sterne or visits with friends. Also included are photographs of Steinberg’s Italian girlfriend Ada Cassola Ongari, and photographs from Steinberg’s World War II service in the United States Navy. Photographs after 1960 include travel snapshots, photographs of friends, and many images from daily life which often serve as a record of Steinberg’s relationship with Sigrid Spaeth. Of note are photographs of Steinberg by photographers Evelyn Hofer and Inge Morath, production photographs from the filming of German documentary "Das Maskenhaffe an Saul Steinberg", photographs of Steinberg’s studios and home, and many reference photographs. Many photographs were taken by Sigrid Spaeth. Photographers other than Steinberg are noted where known. This subseries consists primarily of silver gelatin photographic prints, color photographic prints, and Polaroids, along with some negatives and 35 mm color slides.


  • 1908–1999

Language of Materials

From the Collection: In English, Italian, French, Romanian, and German.

Conditions Governing Access

From the Collection: This collection is open for research.

Box 145, folder 2710 (medical records): Restricted until 2046. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 145, folder 2709 (medical records): Restricted until 2061. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 146 (medical records): Restricted until 2049. For further information consult the appropriate curator.

Box 640, folders 7373, 7374, and 7377: Restricted until January 1, 2032. For more information consult the appropriate curator.

Boxes 253, and 635-636 (motion picture film): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Boxes 640-643 (sound recordings, audio tapes, and video recordings): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.


This subseries is arranged into five groups: Personal photographs, Photographs of Steinberg family, Photographs of Saul Steinberg, Photographs of Sigrid Spaeth, and Albums made for Steinberg by Anton van Dalen. Each group is arranged chronologically by year of image creation. Date of photographic prints may be later than date of image creation.

Processing Information

Color slides were originally stacked in commercial slide boxes labeled by Steinberg or Sigrid Spaeth. During processing, slide boxes were photocopied and discarded and slides were rehoused for preservation purposes. Slides are arranged according to their original order and file titles are transcribed from slide boxes. Photocopy surrogates of original slide box labels are stored with each group of slides. Some nitrate negatives from travel in Mexico, France, Italy and the United States during the 1950s were found among the photographs. Negatives matching extant prints were discarded in 2019 in compliance with Yale University policy. Negatives lacking matching prints were digitized and then discarded following digitization.


Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

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New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
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New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours

Access Information

The Beinecke Library is open to all Yale University students and faculty, and visiting researchers whose work requires use of its special collections. You will need to bring appropriate photo ID the first time you register. Beinecke is a non-circulating, closed stack library. Paging is done by library staff during business hours. You can request collection material online at least two business days in advance of your visit, using the request links in Archives at Yale. For more information, please see Planning Your Research Visit and consult the Reading Room Policies prior to visiting the library.