Yad Vashem's Online Photo Archive


Source: Yad Vashem


On The Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, May 1, 2008, Yad Vashem, launched an online searchable annotated database of over 130,000 photos, the largest of its kind in the world. This collection of historical photos covers a wide range of subjects including Jewish life before the Holocaust, Jewish life during the Holocaust, the life of Jewish survivors in Europe after the war, and activities to commemorate the Holocaust in various places around the world.


Yad Vashem, with its establishment, began collecting and cataloguing photographs from a wide variety of sources: official archives, private collections, museums, various historical collections and other sources. In 1983, Yad Vashem established a separate department which coordinates all activities connected with the Photo Archive, including collecting, cataloging and researching historical photos related to the Holocaust. In 1993, the photo department began its computerized photo archive catalogue and in 1998 began a project to scan the photos. Today the archive holds over 200,000 photos. Over 130,000 of them have now been made available online. The photos in this collection constitute a valuable resource for historians, teachers, students, writers and film producers, as well for as the general public.


Users may search the database by topic, name or geographic location. High quality scans of the images may be ordered for a fee via a link on the site. Photographs in the database are also linked to existing information about their content, and when an image is clicked on, a Google map automatically opens, showing the location of the places mentioned in the caption. Other links enable expanded searches.

The archive executive is hoping that the public will join in the ongoing efforts to decipher the pictures and identify the people in them.


In the future Yad Vashem hopes to add more photos to the web site as individual photos and collections arrive at and are incorporated into the current Photo Archive.

Updated: Jun. 17, 2008