Sunday, December 22, 2013

Introducing a Major Collection of Vintage Photographs:

If the Library of Congress Archives Was Our "Mother Lode," the University of California Museum of Photography Is the "Father Lode"


Original caption: "Jew at Wailing Place,"
circa 1900. The UCR collection contains
at least 20 photos of Jews at the Western Wall.
(Credit: Keystone-Mast Collection, California
Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock,
University of California, Riverside)
With the realization that responsible librarians and archivists are using new technologies to digitize their vintage photographic treasures, Israel Daily Picture continues its search for major collections of 100+ year-old pictures of Palestine, and especially of the Jewish community in Eretz Yisrael.

Recently, we found historical treasures in unexpected places -- Chatham University, the Church of Ireland, the library of Oregon State University, Emory University, and the archives of the University of Dundee, Scotland, Medical School, to name a few.

Today, we introduce you to the incredible collection of glass plates and film negatives in the University of California - Riverside Museum of Photography where many of their 250,000 stereoscopic plates and 100,000 negatives are now online.  This posting is Part 1 of several future features.

Since the Library of Congress' American Colony collection served as our "mother lode" of photos, we refer to the UCR's immense collection as the "father lode."  Indeed, many of the photographs found in other collections are but copies, often in poor condition, of the vintage pictures at UCR.

Israel Daily Picture has just begun reviewing the UCR's collection.  We found that many of the pictures are not captioned, dated, or analyzed.  The Jews of Palestine -- as well as Egypt, Syria and Mesopotamia were often the subjects of the photographers' work.

Original caption: "Wayside Railroad station," 1933.
 Enlarging the photo (see below) shows the station is at
Zichron Yaakov, a Jewish settlement formed in 1882.
(Credit: Keystone-Mast Collection, California Museum of Photography
 at UCR ARTSblock, University of California, Riverside)
According to the UCR Museum, its -

"Keystone-Mast Collection is the archive of the Keystone View Company of Meadville, PA (active from 1892-1963). As a collection, it is the world's largest body of original stereoscopic negatives and prints providing an encyclopedic view of global cultural history."

"The Keystone View Company was founded by amateur photographer, B. L. Singley of Meadville, Pennsylvania, in 1892. ... Stereography's popularity was the novelty of experiencing explicit three-dimensional detail in a stereo card and the potential for card owners to frequently revisit views of world events in private or during social gatherings. Stereographs were to 19th century generations, what television and the Internet are to contemporary culture, and enabled armchair observers to have vicarious experiences in faraway places.
The sign over the railroad station at Zichron Yaakov
... The collection is a composite of several stereographic publishing companies. By 1920,the Keystone View Company cornered the market by acquiring the negative collections of all major stereograph publishers such as B. W. Kilburn, H. C. White, Underwood and Underwood, and C. H. Graves."


Jews of Mosul, Mesopotamia (Iraq) circa 1900
(Credit: Keystone-Mast Collection, California
Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock,
University of California, Riverside)




















Original caption: "Cavern beneath the Sacred Rock Mosque
of Omar, Jerusalem" (circa 1900). The "sacred rock" is the
foundation stone on which the Jewish Temples were built.
(Credit: Keystone-Mast Collection, California Museum of Photography
 at UCR ARTSblock, University of California, Riverside)





Original caption: "A Jewish synagogue, Jerusalem"
(circa 1900). The synagogue is the Churva
synagogue, completed in 1864, and destroyed by
the Jordanian army in 1948. It was rebuilt in 2010.
(Credit: Keystone-Mast Collection, California
Museum of Photography at UCR ARTSblock,
University of California, Riverside)



























We wish to express our thanks to the librarians and archivists at the California Museum of Photography at the UCR ARTSblock, University of California, Riverside, who granted us permission to present their collection.  In accordance with their request, we do not reproduce the photographs at the highest resolution. We encourage readers to view the original pictures in high resolution at the links provided under each picture.
 

1 comment:

  1. Please note that Zikhron Yaaqov station station was only established in the early 1920s (there was no railway there before 1918) and this building was replaced in the mid-1940s, so the picture is definitely not from 'c. 1900'. In fact, this particular picture, by an F. White was dated by him as 01.11.1933 on the back of the print in the UCRM collection.

    Chen Melling
    Manager
    The Israel Railway Museum

    ReplyDelete