November 26, 2015

Harvard Library’s Judaica Division Awarded $1 Million to Digitize News Agency Photo Archive

From the Harvard Library:

The Lucius N. Littauer Foundation of New York has awarded the Judaica Division of the Harvard Library a grant of $1 million.

The grant is for the digitization of the Division’s recently acquired photo archive of Israel Sun Ltd., a photo news agency in Israel. This archive consists of well over a million negatives covering the years 1968 to 2003. These negatives, representing photographs taken in this period by a cadre of photographers working at Israel Sun, document in great depth events, places and people in Israel.


In a letter to Charles Berlin, head of the Library’s Judaica Division, announcing the grant, Robert D. Frost, president of the Littauer Foundation, noted: “These images represent one of the most important visual resources on the history of Israel. We recognize this is a unique opportunity and that the digitization of this archive by Harvard will be an important contribution to the field by making this material freely available to the public….This grant is a fitting commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Judaica Division and a tribute to your leadership for that entire period.”


The addition of the Israel Sun photoarchive to the Israeli photoarchives already at Harvard  creates a true “critical mass” of pictorial materials that in the aggregate represent one of  the largest digital collections of pictorial documentation of Israeli life and culture—and one that is accessible online globally.

The Judaica Division has other extensive collections of images from Israeli institutions: the Central Zionist Archives (640,000 images), the Jewish National Fund Archives (650,000), and Yigal Allon Center (600,000); and from the private archives of Israeli photographers such as Israel Haramaty (400,000—including copyright), Eldad Rafaeli (250,000), Yaakov Agor (200,000), Yosi Zwecker (140,000), Eyal Landesman (110,000), Yitshak Amit (110,000), and others, as well as other visual documentation such as posters, for a total of some 5.3 million images. Adding over one million images from Israel Sun will bring the total to over 6.3 million.

Read the Complete Announcement & View a Slideshow of Six Images from Israel Sun Photoarchive 

Hat Tip: Matt R. Weaver

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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