Archive of Roman Vishniac’s pre-Holocaust photos goes public

Holocaust museum archivists ask for help in identifying people and places depicted in images

Detail from Roman Vishniac image from pre-Holocaust Poland. (screenshot
Detail from Roman Vishniac image from pre-Holocaust Poland. (screenshot

NEW YORK — A vast U.S. archive of photographs of pre-Holocaust Eastern European Jewish life is being made available to the public and researchers.

The International Center of Photography in New York and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday announced the joint creation of a digital database to facilitate access to photographer Roman Vishniac‘s archive.

Vishniac was a Russian-born Jew who moved to Berlin in 1920. He documented the rise of Nazi power and its effect on Jewish life in Central and Eastern Europe.

The International Center of Photography said it believes the project “represents a new model for digital archives” and it’s excited to bring Vishniac’s collection to a wider audience.

“Our shared goal is to make the images available for further identification and research, deepening our knowledge of Vishniac’s work and the people and places he recorded in his images,” said the center’s executive director, Mark Lubell.

The database includes all of Vishniac’s 9,000 negatives, most of which have never before been printed or published.

The photography center and the museum are asking scholars and the public to help identify the people and places depicted in the images.

The Holocaust Memorial Museum’s director of collections, Michael Grunberger, said he hoped Vishniac’s work would inspire new generations to learn more about the late photographer and Holocaust history.

“This project will introduce many people to one of the 20th century’s pre-eminent photographers while greatly increasing our understanding of his subjects,” Grunberger said.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press

read more:
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed