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Photographs of the West Bank, Jordan, and Syria



Photographs show John D. Whiting's trips in the Middle East region in 1936 and 1937. Whiting, a member of the American Colony in Jerusalem, worked as a tour guide, businessman, writer, and photographer. Photographs show Mar Saba monastery (West Bank), Bedouins and castles in Jordan, and the Crusader fortress of Krak des Chevaliers in Syria. Individuals depicted include Edmund (Wilson) Whiting, Grace Whiting, Geo Asfar, Joshua Simon, Bedouin Sheik Majid, Sheik Salim Abu es Ghanam, and others.
Album page image number 2-11 (p. 1-10) Photographs include: Edmund (Wilson) Whiting and others riding on donkeys in Jerusalem, and Mar Saba monastery including icon painting of Jacob's Dream, aerial view of Mar Saba, doorway with monk and "fellah" looking out, blind Bedouin at a gate, priest door keeper locking gate, descent into monastery, central court, tomb, grated window for receiving food, the stairway, women's tower, Mar Saba belfry, early morning silhouette, chains of bells stretched to rock across from the church, and close up of bells.
Album page image number 12-21 (p. 11-20) Photographs include: Mar Saba monastery including cliff with monks' cells, St. Sabra's cell and valley, monastery from near library tower, St. Sabra's date palm, cells under overhanging rock and women's tower, guest room, library tower, monk drawing from cistern, bird drinking, the old copper bucket, garden, church from great arcade, church by moonlight, stairwell to cell, court and refectory, and stairs from St. John's tomb to tower.
Album page image number 22-31 (p. 21-30) Photographs include: Mar Saba belfry with buttresses on south side, Dorman, Joshua Simon and Wilson Whiting; Wilson Whiting drawing using Simon's back to support the board, party riding up to Din Adu Abeid, Wilson Whiting and his pack of drawing materials on a donkey, watering sheep at well, camels at Louizi's(?) tents, Sheik Majid's tent and horses, early morning in Sheik Majid's tent, Wilson Whiting drawing Sheik Salim Abu es Ghanam and coffee makers, and portraits of Sheik Salim Abu es Ghanam.
Album page image number 32-41 (p. 31-40) Photographs include: Kasr Khorani (Qaṣr Kharāna, Jordan) including the exterior from a distance, the entrance gate, court, apsidal end, empty corners, corner arch, sisters (nuns) making drawings, interior showing triple pillars and three arches, corner arch and south chamber, a cross vault with four squares, small room off west chamber, and a doorway.
Album page image number 42-54 (p. 41-53) Photographs include: Kasr Amra (Qusayr ʻAmrah, Jordan) including views from the northwest and south, barrell vaults and arches in main hall, frescoes of zodiac in dome, frescoes in bath and barrell vault; Krak des Chevaliers (Syria) including views from the monastery of St. George and from the village, towers of southwest corner, west towers and wall, the water aqueduct, the south square tower and inscription, the tunnel-like entrance, the tower with lions, the court and King's tower, Grace Whiting and Geo Asfar in window, the banquet hall of the knights of the inner keep, the refectory, the moat and round towers, and view looking down into moat from queen's tower.

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. Photographs show members of the American Colony, a Christian community in Jerusalem founded by immigrants from the United States and Sweden. Includes photographs of American Colony leader Anna Spafford, her daughters Bertha (Spafford) Vester and Grace (Spafford) Whiting, Frederick Vester (husband of Bertha), John D. Whiting (husband of Grace), and her grandchildren (Anna Grace, Horatio, Tanetta and John (Jock) Vester, and Spafford and David (Whiting). Primarily portraits and photographs of the grandchildren as they take part in various activities, such as playing at the beach, participating in a July 4th pageant, having tea, celebrating first birthday, riding on a donkey, playing musical instruments, playing in garden and snow. Also includes a photograph of the American Colony store with Frederick Vester. Album page image number 1-12 (inside front cover-p. 11) Photographs include: a family portrait of Whiting and Vester families: Standing left to right: Jacob Spafford, Grace and John Whiting, Frederick and Anna Grace Vester; seated: Anna Spafford holding John (Jock) Vester?, Horatio Vester, Bertha Vester holding unidentified baby; floor: Tenetta Vester, Spafford and David Whiting. Grace Whiting holding Spafford, Anna Spafford holding David?; Jock and David in baby carriage, baby and toddler portraits, child playing outside with nurse, Spafford? celebrating first birthday, July 22, 1911; donkey ride, tea time, July 22, 1912; Spafford playing in leaves, feeding a horse and playing with water faucet, July 1911; family outing, portrait of Vester children, bath time for Spafford, and Vester children playing at the beach. Album page image number 13-26 (p. 12-25) Photographs include: Whiting family portrait (Grace, Spafford, John D.) 1911, Vester family portrait (Frederick, Anna Grace, Bertha), Bertha with Anna Grace on her back, Vester children playing in the garden and playing musical instruments with friends, Jock Vester and David Whiting feeding a turkey, Spafford Whiting in a baby carriage, Vester children pose with friends, Yates family, great grandmother Mary Whiting holding Spafford, children playing in the snow, Jacob Spafford? with child, Granny Hornstein, Selim Barakat, Vester children with Spafford, children with umbrellas, children on sled, woman and little girl standing outside, Anna Grace sitting with Tanetta and Horatio?, girls playing with dog, July 4th pageant (little boys lined up holding toy rifles), American Colony store with Frederick Vester standing out front, unidentified child with Spafford? and David? sitting in the grass, unidentified woman in Arab dress holding a child, Grace Whiting having tea with women, John D. Whiting and child riding on a donkey, David playing with plants, Whiting and Vester families at Ein Karem, David Whiting, and Spafford Whiting playing with hammer and wooden crates.





Whiting, John D. (John David), 1882-1951, photographer
Matson, G. Eric (Gästgifvar Eric), 1888-1977, photographer




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