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Ben Shneiderman Photographic Collection

Identifier: CBI 268

Content Description

Collection contains personal and professional photographs taken by Ben Shneiderman. Media formats include photographic prints, 35mm slides, and some paper records.


  • Creation: 1974-2000

Biographical / Historical

BEN SHNEIDERMAN ( is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Founding Director (1983-2000) of the Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (, and a Member of the UM Institute for Advanced Computer Studies (UMIACS) at the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow of the AAAS, ACM, IEEE, and NAI, and a Member of the National Academy of Engineering, in recognition of his pioneering contributions to human-computer interaction and information visualization. His widely-used contributions include the clickable highlighted web-links, high-precision touchscreen keyboards for mobile devices, and tagging for photos. Shneiderman’s information visualization innovations include dynamic query sliders for Spotfire, development of treemaps for viewing hierarchical data, novel network visualizations for NodeXL, and event sequence analysis for electronic health records.

Shneiderman is the co-author with Catherine Plaisant of Designing the User Interface: Strategies for Effective Human-Computer Interaction (6th ed., 2016). With Stu Card and Jock Mackinlay, he co-authored Readings in Information Visualization: Using Vision to Think (1999). His book Leonardo’s Laptop (2002) won the IEEE book award for Distinguished Literary Contribution. He co-authored, Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL (2010, 2nd edition 2019) with Derek Hansen and Marc Smith. The New ABCs of Research: Achieving Breakthrough Collaborations (2016) promotes new forms of research to produce higher societal benefits.

An important component of Shneiderman’s work has been related to photography, including development of the Photofinder and PhotoMesa tools. The March/April 2007 issue of ACM Interactions has an 8-page portfolio of 100+ photos from the 25-year history of ACM CHI conferences.

During his professional career Shneiderman photographed conferences and colleagues. He has selected a set of key personalities who are leading HCI researchers and developers to profile with text and photos with Encounters with HCI Pioneers: A Personal Photo Journal, which was featured in the New York Times (September 7, 2015). The Computer History Museum features Shneiderman’s photos of 22 key personalities in its exhibit “Computer Pioneers: Photos from the Field”. An additional exhibit of Candid Photos of Computer Scientists was also on display at the University of Maryland in 1981 (these prints are included in the collection and upcoming digital exhibit).

Shneiderman's devotion to photography is inspired by his uncle David Seymour (1911-1956), a world-famous photojournalist, who founded Magnum Photos. As executor of Seymour’s estate, Shneiderman manages the archives, works with curators to develop exhibits, and maintains a web site with current information on exhibits and publications.


5 Cubic Feet (Slides, prints, paper records in standard record cartons and one flat box.)

Language of Materials


Ben Shneiderman Photographic Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Charles Babbage Institute Archives Collecting Area

Elmer L. Andersen Library
222 - 21st Avenue South
Minneapolis MN 55455