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American Colony in Jerusalem

American Colony, a non-denominational utopian Christian community was founded by a small group of American expatriates in Ottoman Palestine in 1881. The collection is a gift to the Library of Congress from the board of directors of the American Colony of Jerusalem, Ltd., which is made up of American, British, and Swedish descendants of the early colonists.

The materials in the collection were initially retained by Bertha Vester in connection with her writing of the memoir Our Jerusalem (1950), and later by her daughter-in-law Valentine Vester and others at the American Colony Hotel.

The collection focuses on the personal and business life of the colony from the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, through World War I and the British Mandate, and into the formation of the state of Israel.
The bulk of the materials dates from 1870 to 1968 and relates to the leadership of the colony by members of the Spafford, Vester, and Whiting families.
Portraits of the Vester and Whiting families and other members of the American Colony (Jerusalem)
2,518 Media in collectionpage 1 of 26

Bertha Spafford Vester, Anna Spafford, and Grace Spafford Whiting

Photograph shows a portrait of Anna Spafford with her two daughters Bertha (Spafford) Vester and Grace (Spafford) Whiting.

Joanna Brooks [i.e. Johanna Brooke]

Photograph shows Clara Johanna Brooke, member of the American Colony in Jerusalem, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing front.

Elizebeth [i.e., Elizabeth] Gould

Photograph shows Elizabeth Gould, member of the American Colony in Jerusalem, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing front.

Jacob Spafford

Photograph shows Jacob (Eliyahu) Spafford, member of the American Colony in Jerusalem, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing front.

William Rudy

Photograph shows William H. Rudy, member of the American Colony in Jerusalem, three-quarter length portrait, standing, facing left.

Grace [Spafford] Whiting [and] Bertha [Spafford] Vester

Photograph shows Grace (Spafford) Whiting (left) and Bertha (Spafford) Vester, full-length portrait, facing front, seated on sofa.

Mr. Rudy (Brother William)

Photograph shows Mr. William H. Rudy, member of the American Colony in Jerusalem, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing right.

[Man and boy wearing fezzes, driving horse-drawn cart filled with children]

Photo shows children from the Christian Herald Orphanage (run by the American Colony in Jerusalem) on their way to Ain Karim. (Source: Photograph album, Christian Herald Orphanage, Library of Congress Manuscri... more

[Arab woman in traditional dress, seated with boy and girl (possibly members of the American Colony), looking at comics]

Photo shows the Anna Spafford Baby Home. (Source: The American Colony in Jerusalem, 1870-2006 website, "Timeline, 1916-1930", Library of Congress, American Memory)

[Members of the American Colony in Jerusalem, seated outside at the American Colony summer home at Ein Karim (Ain Karim)]

Identified in photograph: (left to right) Nellie Olson (nanny to the Vester children), Hulda Larsson Beaumont, Louise and Frieda Vester, three unidentified people, Natalia Holmstrom and Katerina Larsson. (Sourc... more

Kenep[?] at at Ain Farah

Photograph shows Eric Matson (center front), Johh Whiting(?) (left, wearing Arab headdress), and two other men, seated in woods at Ain Farah (Ain Fara, West Bank). Cameras on tripods in background.

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Meetings of British, Arab, and Bedouin officials in Amman, Jordan, April 1921

Photographs show meetings between Arab, Bedouin, and British officials around April 17-27, 1921, at Amir Abdullah ibn Hussein's camp at Amman, Jordan. During these meetings British High Commissioner Herbert Sam... more

Studio portraits of members of the American Colony (Jerusalem), friends, and associates

Photographs show members of the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem founded by immigrants from the United States and Sweden. Included are Anna Spafford with daughters Grace (Spafford) Whiting an... more

Studio portraits of members of the American Colony (Jerusalem), friends, and associates

Photographs show members of the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem founded by immigrants from the United States and Sweden. Included are Anna Spafford with daughters Grace (Spafford) Whiting an... more

Studio portraits of members of the American Colony (Jerusalem), friends, and associates

Photographs show members of the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem founded by immigrants from the United States and Sweden. Included are Anna Spafford with daughters Grace (Spafford) Whiting an... more