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Edwin Samuel, the son of the first British High Commissioner for Palestine, Sir Herbert Samuel, added a rich collection of documents and photographs to the Israel State Archives detailing his father’s activities. One such item, the Mitzpah Album, is a treasured artifact, containing photographs attributed to a unique body known as the American Colony.

A group of Christian immigrants founded the American Colony in pre-state Israel in 1882. The US transplants were joined a decade later by Swedish immigrants who shared their viewpoint on religion. An unknown member or members of the colony carefully documented the Holy Land in beautiful photographs.

Forty-nine of these photos, now contained in the Mitzpah Album, span the dates 1917-1925. Israeli archivists believe that the album was given to Herbert Samuel shortly before the end of his term on June 30, 1925.

View a selection of our favorite photos below:

The Dead Sea, 1920
The Dead Sea, 1920
The Jordan River, 1920
The Jordan River, 1920
Tel Aviv Municipal Gardens, 1920
Tel Aviv Municipal Gardens, 1920
The Sea of Galilee with Mount Hermon, 1925
The Sea of Galilee with Mount Hermon, 1925
View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, 1920
View of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives, 1920
One the road between Jerusalem and Jaffa, 1920
One the road between Jerusalem and Jaffa, 1920
Opening ceremony of the Hebrew University, 1925
Opening ceremony of the Hebrew University, 1925
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