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The Bentley Collection DLESE Reviewed Collection
Wilson Alwyn Bentley (1865-1931), famous for his photomicrographs of snow crystals, prepared sets of glass lantern slides of dew, frost and ice crystals. Many of these sets found their way to colleges and universities around the United States. The University of Wisconsin's Department of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences donated their collection to the Schwerdtfeger Library in 2000. Shortly after, the Library obtained partial funding through the Friends of the Libraries, University of Wisconsin - Madison, to preserve the physical collection and provide web access. This collection is uniquely searchable by classification, keyword in classification, and browseable.
Intended for grade levels:
  • Middle (6-8)
  • High (9-12)
  • College (13-14)
  • College (15-16)
  • Graduate / Professional
Type of resource:
  • Visual:
    • Photograph
  • Text:
    • Ref. material
  • Atmospheric science
  • Cryology
Technical requirements:
No specific technical requirements, just a browser required
Cost / Copyright:
No cost
Wilson A. Bentley did not copyright his images because he wanted them to be freely used. They are in the public domain. This digital version of Bentley's photomicrographs is published by The Schwerdtfeger Library, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2002.
DLESE Catalog ID: DWEL-000-000-000-306
Educational standards:
  • National Science Education Standards (NSES):
    • 9-12:
      • Unifying concepts and processes:
        • Evidence, models, and explanation
        • Form and function
      • B - Physical science:
        • Structure and properties of matter
      • G - History and nature of science:
        • Historical perspectives
Resource contact / Creator / Publisher:
Publisher: University of Wisconsin - Madison
Schwerdtfeger Library