Outdoor Market in Burned-Out Neighborhood, Poland

The caption for this news photograph reads: “Poles distributing vegetables amid the ruins of town destroyed by shell-fire in one of the battles between Germans and Russians. Thousands of towns and villages in Poland are still in ruins and must be rebuilt. This work will be one of the first tasks of the new Poland. And American steel and other materials will be needed in the work of reconstruction, as well as our financial aid. Owing to the rather remote position of Poland as regards France, England and the United States and to the difficulties in getting materials from German manufacturers until Germany has recovered from the war, the rebuilding of Poland will be less speedy than the reconstruction of the devastated areas in France and Belgium and Italy. 11/19/18” The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC), a humanitarian relief organization, was a significant contributor to reconstruction efforts, particularly in affected Jewish communities. The image is from photographic agency Underwood and Underwood, a major producer of stereopticon (a kind of magic lantern) slides, which entered the news photography field in 1910. The photograph is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

Relief Ship Sails for Near East

The caption for this wire-service photograph states: “The USS Pensacola, now used as a relief ship carrying food and clothing to the destitute countries in the Near East, sailed from New York with a cargo valued at more than two million dollars. The Pensacola is not the first ship to sail for the Near East, two others having preceded it. The relief ships are under the auspices of the American Committee for Relief in the Near East. Photo shows the Pensacola pulling out of the pier at Hoboken to start on the long trip to Constantinople, which is the first stop.” The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC), a humanitarian relief organization formed at the outset of World War I to address the needs of Jews in British Mandate Palestine and Europe, participated in this nonsectarian relief effort, providing $300,000 toward the cost of the Pensacola’s cargo. The photograph is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

First Shipment of Kosher Meat Sent to Danzig, Poland

In 1919, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were trapped between the warring forces of Poland and Russia, American Jews shipped desperately needed food to these refugees. In this photo, barrels of kosher salted beef are loaded aboard the SS Ashburn in New York harbor to be sent to Danzig (present-day Gdansk, Poland). The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds, and emergency supplies, to the stricken Jews of Europe during the war. The war left in its wake many additional catastrophes—pogroms, epidemics, famine, revolution, and economic ruin—and after the war the JDC continued to play a major role in rebuilding the devastated Jewish communities of Eastern Europe and in sustaining the Jews in Palestine. The image, distributed by the photographic agency Underwood and Underwood, is from the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present. Since its founding, the JDC has provided aid and social care in more than 90 countries.

World War I Prisoner of War Card

This card was issued in 1920 to a Hungarian prisoner of war, Kiksa Biro, by the Vladivostok branch of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC). The card includes a rare photograph and contains such biographical information as the prisoner’s name, birthplace and date of birth, nationality, home address, family status, and occupation. Through its Vladivostok branch, the JDC aided Jewish prisoners of war in Siberian camps during and after World War I—transmitting mail to their families, seeing to their welfare, and arranging hospital care for the very ill. Some 10,000 Jews were among the 160,000 prisoners of war in Siberia who had served in the German and Austro-Hungarian armies. The nonsectarian Siberian War Prisoners Repatriation Fund, supported chiefly by the JDC and the American Red Cross, was created in April 1920 with the goal of repatriating all prisoners of war from Siberia to their homelands. Ships were chartered for this effort. Almost all prisoners of war who desired to return to their homes were able to do so. This card is one of 1,000 World War I prisoner-of-war cards in the archives of the JDC, which contain documents, photographs, film, video, oral histories, and artifacts recording the work of the organization from World War I to the present.

The Books of the Wisdom of Astronomy

The manuscript Libros del saber de astronomía (The books of the wisdom of astronomy) comprises 16 treatises on the science of the heavenly bodies and the instruments used in their study. The work contains translations from the Aramaic and the Arabic made by various people, including Yehuda ben Moshe Hakohen (also seen as Jehuda ben Moses Cohen) and Rabiçag de Toledo (also seen as Rabbi Zag and Isaac ben Sid), always with the direct input from King Alfonso X of Castile and Leon (1221‒84, called Alfonso the Wise) so as to guarantee the use of the most correct Castilian. The translators, from the Toledo school, included Jews, Christians, and Muslims. The work is divided into three broad thematic sections: astronomy (covered in Treatise 1, which describes the celestial spheres and the signs of the zodiac, constellation by constellation); the operation and manufacturing of various instruments for astronomical observations (covered in Treatises 2 through 10 as well as 16); and instruments for measuring time (Treatises 11 through 15). Toledo, Burgos, and Seville are mentioned in the codex, suggesting that these cities were places where the work might have been made. Scholars believe, however, that at the time the work was composed, in 1276‒79, the Alphonsine scriptorium was based in Seville. The codex has all of the characteristics of the books produced by King Alfonso’s scriptorium. It consists of 201 folios on thick but well-prepared parchment, as would be expected from the product of a royal scriptorium. The text was copied by one hand, in a uniform and careful textual Gothic script, in brown ink for the text and red ink for the legends in the chapters. Red paragraph signs mark the beginning of each paragraph; upper-case letters are decorated with details in red. The text is in two columns across all pages, whether or not there are illustrations. The illustrations, executed with the utmost refinement and skill, include the initials at the beginnings of books and chapters; the flourishes that mark the margins of the columns in some parts of the codex and that occur at the end of some paragraphs; various illustrative tables; and the images that illustrate the text itself. The red and blue ink initials and the cartouches, in calligraphic filigree, are especially outstanding and representative of the Gothic and Mudejar influences in the decoration. However, the most representative decorations, 162 of which are full page, are those that illustrate the text with a clear didactic purpose. The codex, originally in the library of Queen Isabella the Catholic and later sold to Cardinal Francisco Jiménez de Cisneros by King Ferdinand II of Aragon, was included in the first set of works held in the library of the Complutense University. There are nine extant copies of the work, all produced later. These copies help to further knowledge of damaged or lost sections of the original manuscript.

Lieutenant General Winfield Scott

Winfield Scott (1786‒1866) was one of four generals during the American Civil War to hold the post of general in chief of the armies of the United States, the others being George McClellan, Henry Halleck, and Ulysses S. Grant. Scott was born in Virginia, graduated from William and Mary College, and then studied law and was admitted to the bar. He joined the army during the War of 1812, in which he was captured by the British, released in a prisoner exchange, and then severely wounded at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane (near Niagara Falls, New York) in July 1814. He won great fame for his exploits in the Mexican War (1846‒48), which included the capture of Veracruz, the defeat of Santa Anna’s army, and a triumphal entrance into Mexico City. When the Civil War broke out, he was the logical choice to head the Union war effort, but he served only until November 1, 1861, when he retired for reasons of age and poor health. The image is from an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.

Elisha Kane

Elisha Kent Kane (1820–57) was an American Arctic explorer. He studied medicine in his native Philadelphia and in 1843 entered the U.S. Navy as a surgeon. In 1850 he sailed as the senior medical officer and naturalist on an expedition in search of Sir John Franklin (1786–1847), the British naval officer and explorer who had been missing in the Canadian Arctic since 1845. Funded by New York merchant Henry Grinnell and carried out by the U.S. Navy, the expedition explored Lancaster Sound and Wellington Channel and found one of Franklin's camps but no trace of the men. The expedition was led by Lieutenant Edwin Jesse De Haven and consisted of two ships, the brigs Advance and Rescue. In 1853–55 Kane commanded a second expedition, also funded by Grinnell, which also failed to find Franklin. Kane wrote books about both of his Arctic adventures. The image is from an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.

Young America

“Young America” is a print, copyrighted by Edward Anthony (1818‒88) in 1862, that was intended as a commentary on slavery, the major cause of the American Civil War (1861‒65) then raging. A counterpart print, “Young Africa: Or, The Bone of Contention”, also copyrighted by Anthony in 1862, shows an African-American child (presumably a slave) of similar age. Both prints were included in an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.

Young Africa: Or, The Bone of Contention

“Young Africa: Or, The Bone of Contention” is a print, copyrighted by Edward Anthony (1818‒88) in 1862, that was intended as a commentary on slavery, the major cause of the American Civil War (1861‒65) then raging. The print depicts a young African-American child, presumably a slave. A counterpart print, “Young America,” also copyrighted by Anthony in 1862, shows a white child of similar age. Both prints were included in an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.

Major General Francis Preston Blair, Jr.

Francis Preston Blair, Junior (1821‒75) was a member of prominent political family with ties to the border states of Missouri and Maryland but which opposed slavery and stood with Lincoln during the Civil War. After serving two terms in the Missouri Senate, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1856 as a Free Soil Democrat, an opponent of the expansion of slavery to the territories. He switched his affiliation to the Republican Party in 1860. During the secession crisis that followed Lincoln’s election, he organized Unionist elements in Saint Louis (including German immigrants opposed to slavery) and did much to keep Missouri in the Union. He left Congress in 1862 and was appointed a brigadier general in the Union army. He raised seven Missouri infantry regiments and led a brigade under General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Battle of Vicksburg. After the war he was elected to the U.S. Senate, where he served one term. The image is from an album of mostly Civil War-era portraits by the famous American photographer Matthew Brady (circa 1823‒96) that belonged to Emperor Pedro II of Brazil (1825‒91), a collector of photography as well as a photographer himself. The album was a gift to the emperor from Edward Anthony (1818‒88), another early American photographer who, in partnership with his brother, owned a company that in the 1850s became the leading seller of photographic supplies in the United States. Dom Pedro may have acquired the album during a trip to the United States in 1876 when he, along with President Ulysses S. Grant, opened the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Brady was born in upstate New York, the son of immigrants from Ireland. Best known for his photographs documenting the battles of the American Civil War, he began his career in 1844 when he opened a daguerreotype portrait studio at the corner of Broadway and Fulton Streets in New York City. Over the course of the next several decades, Brady produced portraits of leading American public figures, many of which were published as engravings in magazines and newspapers. In 1858 he opened a branch in Washington, DC. The album, which also contains a small number of non-photographic prints, is part of the Thereza Christina Maria Collection at the National Library of Brazil. The collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II throughout his life and donated by him to the national library. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America.