Photos, Prints, Drawings Riding party, 1903. LC-DIG-ppmsca-15830-00001 (digital file from original on page 1, no. 1) digital files of original photos

About this Item

About this Item

Members and activities of the American Colony (Jerusalem)
Photographs show members of the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem founded by immigrants from the United States and Sweden. Includes photographs of American Colony leader Anna Spafford and her daughters Bertha (Spafford ) Vester and Grace (Spafford) Whiting, Frederick Vester (husband of Bertha Vester), John D. Whiting (husband of Grace Whiting), Ruth Whiting (sister of John D. Whiting) and the Matson family. Documented are trips in Palestine, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, and Malta; American Colony buildings and activities, visitors to Jerusalem, and Arab life. Some photographs depict friends and family of Colony members in the United States, Norway, and other locations. Album page image number 1-16 (p. 1-15): Photographs include: trips to Nazareth, Mar Saba, Emmaus, Jaffa, Malta, and Beirut; the boat the Celtic, Bertha (Spafford) Vester with gift of Muslim girl's school to Kaiser Wilhelm II (Ottoman Empire coat of arms), ruins of Bala'bakk, group portrait of American Colony residents in 1904, wedding of Bertha Spafford and Fredrick Vester in 1904, residence of the American Colony, and a picnic at Sherafat (Sharafat). Album page image number 17-30 (p. 16-30): Photographs include: man ascending "convent" of Meteora, Greece in basket; Anna Fast working in hospital, "Old Building" of the American Colony, convention in Pottawatomie Point, Michigan; horse races and dancing in Abu Ghosh (Abu Ghaush), school at the American Colony "Old House," Mr. Dudeavitch in Africa, Malta, trip to Sherafat (Sharafat), near Jerusalem; Tombs of the Judges, Jerusalem; kindergarten at the "Old Building," bronze statute of Buddha, Kamakuru, Japan; convention, Lake Michigan; Mr. Rimestad from Stavanger, Norway; portrait of young American Colony members including John and Ruth Whiting, Mr. Danehardt at Kulonieh (Kaloniyeh), group portrait celebrating 50th anniversary of arrival in Jerusalem of Frederick and Rosine Vester, wedding of son of Sheik of Abu Ghosh, 1904; American Colony building ("Pasha's Palace") including salon, canning store room, courtyard and fountain; and Lewis Larsson and Anna Spafford in the salon of the "Pasha's Palace." Album page image number 31-47 (p. 31-46): Photographs include: harvest and weaving room at the American Colony, picnic at Ain Farah with Ernest F. Beaumont on the right, Dilbe, Bedouin visiting American Colony, wedding of Florence Page and Fareed Naseef at American Colony, visit to Jerusalem of the Kaiser Wilhelm II and Augusta Viktoria, group portrait of American Colony residents at Tombs of the Kings, Jerusalem, in 1901; visit to "Ain ed-Deek" (Ain Duk) and Jericho, tennis court, American Colony; visit to Bethlehem, Book club in 1898, visit to Jaffa, 1904; family of Prof. Sahlberg, Sodus Point, Lake Ontario; and the Morehouse family. Album page image number 48-60 (p. 47-61): Photographs include: Salon in "Old House" of American Colony in 1890, Jerusalem city walls, children, visit to Ramallah, Miss Jennie Hishmah, children's party at the "Old House," Frederick and Bertha Vester, picnic at Emmaus, Mrs. Guild and Anna Grace (daughter of Frederick and Bertha Vester), Spafford(?) family portraits, four women in Chicago, 1896; Geo. Fredricson and family, supper at Kulonieh, 1905; party at Artas, John Whiting with Arthur Shaw and others, Anna Grace Vester as a baby, visit to Barrage Park, Philae, and the Great Pyramid in Egypt, 1905; "Mrs. Watson's visit to the Bedouin," the American Colony "Old House", and ruins at Palmyra, Syria. Album page image number 61-75 (p. 62-76): Photographs include: town near Bala'bakk, ruins at Palmyra, Syria; Bedouins(?) with camels and goats, Tiberias, Bethsaida, Mar Saba, Callirhoe hot springs, Jordan; ruins, "Kalonia," visit to Sharafat, Anna Grace Vester, Jennie Hishmeh, Frederick and Bertha Vester with daughter Anna Grace and others, Lulu Meyers, portrait of the Matson family in Jerusalem including Eric Matson, and Ottoman officers in Jerusalem. Album page image number 76-85 (p. 77-86): Photographs include: portrait of John Whiting with Hussein al-Husseini and Ismail al-Husseini, photographs of drawings by American Colony member Ernest Forrest Beaumont of the Ecce Homo Arch and Robinson's Arch, Jerusalem; mosaic inscription, Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great, Jerusalem in snow, 1904; and models of the Tabernacle, Solomon's Temple, Herod's Temple, Justinian's Church, and the Temple Area, Jerusalem.
Contributor Names
American Colony (Jerusalem). Photo Department, photographer
Whiting, John D. (John David), 1882-1951, photographer
Larsson, Lewis, photographer
Matson, G. Eric (Gästgifvar Eric), 1888-1977, photographer
Created / Published
[between 1890 and 1906]
Subject Headings
-  Whiting, Grace Spafford
-  Vester, Bertha Spafford,--1878-1968
-  Spafford, Anna T.,--1842-1923
-  Palestine--History--1799-1917
-  William--II,--German Emperor,--1859-1941--Travel--Jerusalem
-  Mar Saba (Monastery)--1890-1910
-  American Colony (Jerusalem)--People--1890-1910
-  Bedouins--Middle East--1890-1910
-  Arabs--Palestine--1890-1910
-  Tadmur (Syria)--1890-1910
-  Malta--1890-1910
-  Israel--1890-1910
-  Jerusalem--1890-1910
-  West Bank--1890-1910
-  Egypt--1890-1910
-  Jordan--1890-1910
-  Cities & towns--Palestine--1890-1910
-  Children--Palestine--1890-1910
-  Picnics--Palestine--1890-1910
-  Houses--Palestine--1890-1910
-  Schools--Jerusalem--1890-1910
-  Religious communities--Jerusalem--1890-1910
-  Weddings--Palestine--1890-1910
-  Architectural models--Jerusalem--1890-1910
-  Archaeological sites--Syria--1890-1910
Format Headings
Group portraits--1890-1910.
Landscape photographs--1890-1910.
Photograph albums--1890-1910.
Photographic prints--1890-1910.
Portrait photographs--1890-1910.
Portrait photographs--1890-1910
Group portraits--1890-1910
Photograph albums--1890-1910
Landscape photographs--1890-1910
Photographic prints--1890-1910
-  Many of the photographs were created by the photographers of the American Colony Photo Department, located in Jerusalem. Founded in the late 1890s by Elijah Meyers, the photo agency was headed during its heyday (ca. 1903-1933) by Lewis Larsson, whose staff photographers included Erik Lind, Lars Lind, Furman Baldwin, and G. Eric Matson. It transitioned into the Matson Photo Service around 1940, with photography by Matson, Hanna Safieh, Joseph H. Giries, and others. John D. Whiting contributed periodically to the work of both agencies. For more information see: and
-  Album made by or for Grace (Spafford) Whiting. "Grace Spafford" stamped on front cover.
-  Seven photographs are missing from album.
-  Album unpaginated, album page numbers supplied by Library staff.
-  Six unattached photographs stored with album. Of these, five photographs were formerly attached to album pages and were scanned in their appropriate places. One photograph showing Bertha and Frederick Vester on the American Colony tennis court, was found with album, but does not appear to have been placed on the album pages.
-  Photographs include: Collodion printing-out paper prints, gelatin silver printing-out paper prints, albumen prints, platinum prints, and one cyanotype.
-  Some uncaptioned photographs identified by similar images in LOT 13845 and matching negatives in the G. Eric and Edith Matson Photograph Collection (LC-M33-767 and LC-M31-617).
-  LOT title devised by Library staff.
-  John D. Whiting's diaries, correspondence, and other materials are located in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division (Papers of John D. Whiting).
-  Forms part of: Visual materials from the papers of John D. Whiting (Library of Congress).
-  Transfer; Manuscript Division; 2006; (DLC/PP-2006:051:17)
1 album (322 photographic prints) ; 25 x 33 cm. (album)
1 photographic print ; 10.5 x 12 cm.
Call Number/Physical Location
Source Collection
Visual materials from the papers of John D. Whiting
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
Digital Id
ppmsca 15830 //
ppmsca 15831 //
Library of Congress Control Number
Reproduction Number
LC-DIG-ppmsca-15830 (digital files of original photos) LC-DIG-ppmsca-15831 (digital files of album pages)
Rights Advisory
No known restrictions on publication.
Access Advisory
For reference access, please use the digital images in the online catalog to preserve the fragile original items.
Online Format
online text
LCCN Permalink
Library of Congress Online Catalog
Additional Metadata Formats
MODS Record
Dublin Core Record

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  • Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on publication.
  • Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-ppmsca-15830 (digital files of original photos) LC-DIG-ppmsca-15831 (digital files of album pages)
  • Call Number: LOT 13835 (H) (USE DIGITAL IMAGES) [P&P]
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Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

American Colony . Photo Department, John D Whiting, Lewis Larsson, and G. Eric Matson, photographer. Members and activities of the American Colony Jerusalem. [Between 1890 and 1906] Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed December 06, 2016.)

APA citation style:

American Colony . Photo Department, Whiting, J. D., Larsson, L. & Matson, G. E., photographer. Members and activities of the American Colony Jerusalem. [Between 1890 and 1906] [Online Text] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

American Colony . Photo Department, et al., photographer. Members and activities of the American Colony Jerusalem. [Between 1890 and 1906] Online Text. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.