Milestones for the JDC Archives Photo Collection

May 17, 2016

The JDC Archives has partnered with two burgeoning and compelling digital history initiatives, the World Digital Library (WDL) and the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA). Each project endeavors to make documents and images of key historic value available to a broad range of audiences worldwide. JDC photographs shared on the two platforms highlight the Jewish experience in JDC’s first decade on the international arena.

A collaborative undertaking of the U.S. Library of Congress and the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), the WDL promotes intercultural understanding across the globe. Each prospective contributing institution undergoes a rigorous approval process. The JDC Archives is proud to have received the WDL Executive Council’s recognition. The 34 photographs, an index card, and one poster provided by the JDC introduce WDL viewers to the JDC Archives. Translated into six languages, the descriptions of JDC images enable WDL visitors to learn, in their own languages, about JDC’s rich history.

If cross-cultural awareness on the global level define the WDL, the second online library portal with whom the JDC Archives has proudly partnered, the DPLA, focuses on providing access to American digitized cultural heritage. The 35 photographs that the JDC Archives contributed tell a compelling history of an American-based Jewish organization’s role in assisting those in need around the world.

Nine photographic treasures from the JDC Archives have recently enriched a temporary exhibit, titled “Marking 100 Years of Jewish-American Involvement in the Yishuv and the State of Israel,” at the Israeli Knesset (Parliament). The Ruderman Program for American Jewish Studies at the University of Haifa curated the exhibit, which opened on May 25, 2016, and was on display for three weeks. The exhibit was created to honor Jewish American Heritage Month. Photographs from the JDC archival collection highlighted the American-Jewish organization’s input and accomplishments in supporting Jews in the land of Israel (prior to the creation of the state), and after the establishment of the State of Israel.