A Military Parade in Tel Aviv
By browsing through the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection at the National Library of Israel, you can pay a visit to Jerusalem in the 19th century, Tel Aviv as it emerged over 100 years ago, the agricultural settlements of Ottoman Palestine and the newly established State of Israel. You can follow in the footsteps of individuals, both famous and forgotten, witness cultural events and economic enterprises, archeological excavations and educational institutions. You can also become acquainted with the diverse cultures imported by the waves of immigration as well as local Arab culture. Countless experiences and revelations await you here, caught in the eye of the camera's lens.
Below, you can view photographs by a variety of wonderful photographers whose work is included within the Pritzker Family National Photography Collection.
Come and meet Rudi Weissenstein's Photohouse Collection: 45 years of photographing the Land and State of Israel. This collection contains the work of a photographer who traveled the breadth and width of the land and documented its development – from the momentous to everyday life.
The Meitar Collection at the National Library of Israel, with more than 100,000 photographs of historical significance, in fact comprises three separate photographic collections, representing the work of Benno Rothenberg, Moshe Levin and Boris Carmi. These three important photographers worked in Israel from the 1940s and onwards, documenting events, landscapes, personalities, archaeological excavations and daily life in the young country.
Zvi Meitar (1933–2015), founder of the Meitar Collection, who had a keen sense for collecting and historical documentation, purchased the photo collections and copyrights from the three photographers beginning in the 1990s. In 2019, the Meitar family signed an agreement with the National Library of Israel to catalog and digitize the collection and make it accessible to the public for noncommercial purposes.
Some of the photographs are ingrained in the national collective memory, but most are being made public here for the first time, allowing a glimpse into historical events from surprising and unfamiliar angles.
The IPPA (Israel Press & Photo Agency) collection includes photographic documentation of the history of the State of Israel, Israeli society and Israeli culture.
This photo agency was founded by Mr. Dan Hadani in 1965 and operated until 2000. During these 35 years, a rich collection was created, including photographs sent by photographers from all over the country, documenting Israel from the days preceding the Six-Day War to the Second Intifada: Wars, peace agreements, settlements, terror attacks, demonstrations, political upheavals, cultural events and more. In addition to all this, the daily realities and the more casual side of Israeli life were also captured in these photographs, offering a glimpse into Israeli society and culture during the second and third generations of the State. The collection also includes photos of leaders, senior military officers, politicians from Israel and abroad, cultural figures and hundreds of thousands of other photographs which comprise an impressive mosaic of the events, crises and people that shaped the society and influenced it for many years.
In 2016 Dan Hadani decided to transfer the entire collection of photographs to the National Library.
The Schwadron Autograph and Portrait Collection, numbering some 40,000 items, is the largest collection of manuscripts and portraits of Jewish personalities in the world.
The history of the State of Israel documented by a range of photographers
The Ze'ev (Wilhelm) Aleksandrowicz Collection encompasses some 16,000 photographs, most of which were taken in the early 1930s. Aleksandrowicz was born in Kraków in 1905. He was an avid Zionist and made three extended trips to Palestine before deciding to move there. The thousands of images he captured bear testament to these trips, documenting both urban and rural life in various regions across the country. The collection also includes images taken by Aleksandrowicz during his travels around the world.