The Lenkin Family Collection of Photography
Thanks to a major gift from Edward Lenkin (C'71, PAR'12), the Penn Libraries acquired in 2009 an outstanding collection of historical photographs of the Holy Land. The Lenkin Family Collection of Photography at the Penn Libraries, as it is now known, comprises over 5,000 original photographs, primarily of Jerusalem and Palestine taken from 1850 to 1937. These photographs serve as primary source materials for teaching and research across a broad spectrum of disciplines, including the history of photography, architecture, regional planning, religious studies, history, and political science. These physical photographs are original witnesses to the architecture, topography, and archeological exploration of the Holy Land from the earliest days of photography into the 1930s. The collection also includes 813 additional photo-reproductions, a reference library of nearly 100 secondary sources, and an extensive archive of notes and documents. Among the photographs are dozens of images of the Western Wall and stunning panoramas of Jerusalem as seen from the Mount of Olives and Mount Scopus.
Great thanks to the leadership of Carton Rogers, Vice-Provost and Director of the Penn Libraries, to Oren Weinberg, Director General of the National Library of Israel for supporting the digitization of the Lenkin Collection, and to Dror Wahrman, Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities and Vigevani Professor of European Studies at the Hebrew University, for the invaluable role he played conceiving and advising on this project. We also are most grateful to Dennis Mullen of the Kislak Center, who designed the web page, and to the Library Technology Services department for the development, adaptation, and maintenance of the technical architecture supporting the operation of this page. The Lenkin Collection has been digitally photographed by Ardon Bar Hama through the generosity and support of the National Library of Israel. Louise Strauss (C'82), a devoted Penn Libraries volunteer, cataloged the Lenkin collection in its entirety.
In 2017 a facial recognition python script was used on the Lenkin Family Collection. You can click on the link in the item relation field to see the face associated with the photograph.