Please excuse us while we upgrade our site. Some pages may not be fully functional during this time; we apologize for the inconvenience. To search our collections database, go to

About the Photograph Collection

From World War I until the present, professional photographers and JDC staff helped fulfill JDC’s responsibility to communicate to the public the extent of the needs overseas and how entrusted funds were spent. As a result, more than 100,000 photographic images, many rich in ethnographic detail, provide a parallel visual history to JDC’s massive text archives, and literally put a face on individuals and (many now-vanished) communities reached by JDC’s life-saving work in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Highlights from the photograph collection can be viewed in our Gallery and our Online Exhibits.

To date over 67,000 photographs from the collection have been digitized and selections are available to browse and search in our collection database. Images in the collection are searchable by photographer, subject term and location and date.

Online photo orders are available. To include our photos on Facebook or other social media, please cite the JDC Archives as the source or adjacently include a link to our website. For web and other uses, please refer to the photo order form.

A basic search of our photo collection is available. In order to conduct advanced searches as described below, please enter our catalog system. A video tutorial of how to search the JDC photo collection using our catalog system is also available.

To begin a search, type one or more words into a search box. Two search options are available: Literal, which returns results that exactly match the entered search terms, and Fuzzy, which returns a broader range of results that includes misspellings, alternative spellings, and partial words. Keep in mind that your search is limited to only those items for which information is available. Not all items contain data in all fields so vary your search fields for best results.

Search results appear in two options:

1. Record View a list of thumbnail images with Title, Reference Code, City/Town and Decade visible;

2. Album View with thumbnail images and titles visible.

Click on a thumbnail to zoom in on the image. Click on the title of the item for more information and larger images.

Advanced Search Options

Search all fields

Enter your search term into this field to search all available data in the record including: Title, Description, Dates, Subjects, Locations, Photographer, Reference Code, and other fields. Using this field will provide the largest results. For best results use Boolean logic terms OR, NOT, AND. The search defaults to AND between search terms. Results are returned in numerical order by reference code. To expand your results try using keywords and not whole phrases.

Examples: Passover OR Germany

Children AND Sports


Entering your search term in this field will search all descriptive data available in the record.


Click on the magnifying glass to the right of the search field to browse an alphabetic list of our subject index, including topics such as: Children at Play, Health Services, Religious Ceremonies and Holidays. A full list of all available terms can be found here.


Enter a city, a town, a country, a region, or a province. Historic names, alternate spellings, and modern names can be used interchangeably.


Browse by year (yyyy).


Browse an entire decade of photographs. Example: 1940 [NOT 1940’s or 1940s]

Creator (Photographer)/Agency

Enter the photographer’s (or photo agency’s) name in the search box to browse by photographer. A full list of creators included in the JDC Archives is available here.