Pre-1948 Israel Photo Archives Exposed

in Life, Culture & Sports

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A Folk Dance Group in Kibbutz Dahlia. Photo Credit: Zoltan Kruger, Public Domain

About 28,000 images of Israel before it became a state were released on Wikimedia Commons. The pictures, taken between 1900 and 1946, were found in the archives of institutions such as the Jewish National Fund, the Palmach Archive, the Moshe Sharett Heritage Foundation, as well as from the State Archive. The pictures were released through Wikimedia to support their goal and offer “free access to the totality of human knowledge.”

Many of the photos were under copyright law, which in Israel expires after fifty years. Wikimedia Israel attempted to reach out too many of the organizations, realizing the creative license had expired, and went forward with exposing the images to the public domain.

Photos were only released prior to the official development of the state of Israel, as the photo release could have legal implications per their governing bodies and agreements. Wikimedia hopes that within this act, more Jewish archives are inspired to release their images to the public, as a means to help share knowledge to the public.

To learn more, visit here.

Based in the startup city of Tel Aviv, Zo Flamenbaum is a writer and social entrepreneur who dedicates her time to mission-driven projects that empower connection between the many diverse layers of our world. In 2014, she founded School of Shine as a value-based educational space for women who are tired of the ‘default life’ and crave personal freedom through self-expression for more purposeful living.

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