Up until about the middle of the twentieth century, one of the most popular sources for photographs was the Matson Photo Archive. Included in the catalog are numerous photographs of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. From an origin in being illustrations of Biblical lands and peoples to the Victorian and Edwardian public which couldn’t get enough of them, the photographs have now become historical data themselves, revealing to us images of a landscape which has since been transformed.
The complete collection of Matson negatives was acquired by the Library of Congress. For several years now, they have had a browsable and searchable subset of the collection available online. Enjoy!