School of Information
(Previously School of Library & Information Studies)
Lodewyk Bendikson, 1875-1953: Photography in Documentation
Lodewyk Bendikson advanced photographic techniques for documentary reproduction
and for the forensic analysis of damaged, forged, and redacted documents.
Born in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in 1875, Bendikson became a medical doctor (MD, University of
Amsterdam, 1901) specializing in orthopedic surgery in the Netherlands and in New York.
Surgeon John Shaw Billings, then Director of the New
York Public Library, induced Bendikson to join the library staff in 1910 as a cataloger.
In 1916, Bendikson became a bibliographer in the private library of Henry E. Huntington and
moved with the library to San Marino, CA.
Bendikson took up photography as a hobby and in 1920 became responsible for
photographic services for the Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Gardens. He established a
photographic laboratory, undertook research, and wrote, lectured, and consulted on photographic
techniques for documentary reproduction.
By skilful use of infrared and ultraviolet wavelengths Bendikson developed techniques for
making charred documents legible, for reading text covered by ink blots, for revealing
forgeries, and showing the original text of a document redacted by the Spanish Inquisition.
He also developed opaque microprint on cards as a compact publication medium.
Bendikson participated in documentation conferences, notably the 1935 FID
Congress in Copenhagen and the 1937 World Congress for Universal Documentation in Paris.
He was active in the American Library Association and the California Library Association and
served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Documentary Reproduction.
Bendikson lived in Pasadena, CA, retired in 1943, and died May 27, 1953.
Checklist of Bendikson's publications.
Lodewyk Bendikson and photographic techniques in documentation, 1910-1943. ASIST
History preconference, Oct 27, 2012. Preprint.
or to Michael Buckland's