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Bernard Perlin papers

Call Number: YCAL MSS 849

Scope and Contents

Correspondence; artwork, including sketchbooks and two busts; photographs and negatives; printed material, including clippings; and other related papers documenting the life and work of the artist Bernard Perlin. Material pertaining to Perlin's work creating propaganda art as an artist-correspondent for Fortune and Life magazines during the Second World War is present, as is material documenting his later landscape and figurative painting.


  • 1940-2006


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Box 34 (videocassettes): Restricted fragile material. Reference copies may be requested. Consult Access Services for further information.

Conditions Governing Use

The Bernard Perlin Papers is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Bernard Perlin, 1998, 2006, and 2007, and David Leddick, 2010.


Organized into six groupings: February 2006 Acquisition, May 2007 Acquisition, September 2007 Acquisition, November 2010 Acquisition, 1998 Acquisitions, and 2002 Acquisition.

Material within this collection has been organized by acquisition reflecting the fact that the collection has been acquired in increments over time. In order to locate all relevant material within this collection, researchers will need to consult each acquisition described in the Collection Contents section.


21.23 Linear Feet ((30 boxes) + 2 art, 4 broadside.)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


Correspondence, artwork, photographs, negatives, and other printed material.

Biographical / Historical

Bernard Perlin (1918-2014) was an American painter and an artist-correspondent for Life and Fortune magazines during World War II. He began working as an artist in 1938, when he received a fellowship to paint in Poland; he then painted murals for the United States Treasury Department and the United States Maritime Commission.

Processing Information

This collection received a basic level of processing in 2014, including rehousing and in some instances minimal organization. Various acquisitions associated with the collection have not been merged and organized as a whole. Each acquisition is described separately in the contents list below, identified by a unique call number and titled according to month and year of acquisition.

The finding aid for this collection is compiled from individual preliminary lists for each acquisition that were created at or around the time of receipt by the library. The preliminary lists were migrated to comply with current archival descriptive standards and merged into a single file in 2007-2008. As part of the migration, modifications were made to the formatting of individual lists; however, the content of the lists was neither modified nor verified.

As a rule, descriptive information found in the Collection Contents section is drawn in large part from information supplied with the collection and from an initial survey of the contents. Folder titles appearing in the contents list below are often based on those provided by the creator or previous custodian. Titles have not been verified against the contents of the folders in all cases. Otherwise, folder titles are supplied by staff during initial processing.

This finding aid may be updated periodically to account for new acquisitions to the collection and/or revisions in arrangement and description.

This collection includes materials previously identified by the call numbers Uncat MSS 851, Uncat ZA File 710, Uncat Za File 385 Uncat MSS 970, Uncat MSS 1250, Uncat ZA MS 566, and YCAL MSS 1216.

Guide to the Bernard Perlin Papers
Under Revision
by Beinecke staff
November 2010
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Revision Statements

  • 2014: [Revision description not specified]
  • 2010-02-10: Transformed with yale.addEadidUrl.xsl. Adds @url with handle for finding aid. Overwrites @url if already present.

Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository

P. O. Box 208330
New Haven CT 06520-8330 US
(203) 432-2977


121 Wall Street
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.