National Library of Israel releases photo archive of IDF history - pictures

However, the Library is lacking information relating to the identities of the soldiers and are requesting the public's help to identify their names and stories.

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May 9, 2019 10:15
3 minute read.
National Library of Israel releases photo archive of IDF history - pictures

IDF soldiers in the 1990s. (photo credit: NATIONAL LIBRARY OF ISRAEL)

Thousands of photographs have been preserved at the National Library of Israel, documenting the operational history of the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, throughout the state's history. The Library is bringing these photographs back to life through a digitization project, that allows the yellow negatives to be converted into high resolution images.

However, the Library is lacking information relating to the identities of the soldiers and are requesting the public's help to identify their names and stories.


Last summer the Library partnered up with Facebook Israel to make these cultural treasures more accessible to the public, as well as continuing the initiative to identify the soldiers in the photographs.

"We hereby invite the public to identify and tag their loved ones, family members and friends who served in these wars. In this way, their names will be commemorated in the history pages of the State of Israel, their memories preserved for the benefit of future generations alongside other Israeli cultural treasures of at the National Library," the Library's press release read.

The collection includes more that 2.5 million photographs documenting the Land of Israel's history spanning back 150 years.

"This unique assortment of photographs in fact includes several different collections, most notably the Dan Hadani Collection – an archive of more than a million photographs documenting almost every event in the history of the country," read the release. "For decades, Dan Hadani and his team of press photographers documented political and cultural events, as well as wars and periods of national mourning."

These same photographers accompanied the IDF soldiers who liberated the Old City of Jerusalem during the Six Day war, through battles in the Sinai as well as the Golan Heights during the Yom Kippur War and during Operation Peace for Galilee in Lebanon. The photographer donated the collection to the Library, however, often submitted with uncompleted information so the library is looking for the public's help to identify the soldiers photographed, so they may get the recognition for their efforts.

“We are happy to share with the Israeli public the important task of preserving the culture and heritage of the State of Israel,” says Yaron Deutscher, head of the National Library’s Digital Access Division. “We are confident that through this cooperation with Facebook, which enables us to extract these cultural treasures from the archives of the Library and make them accessible to large audiences, a great deal of information will be gathered, enabling students, researchers and the general public to know more about what has happened here since the establishment of the State.”

The photos are now being uploaded to the National Library's Facebook page, in lieu of Israel's Independence Day, in hopes of finding out these brave soldiers identities.

Pictures below: War of Independence:
 
The Sinai Campaign:
 
Six Day War:
 
The War of Attrition:
 
The Yom Kippur War
 
Operation Peace for Galilee (The First Lebanon War)
 
The IDF in the 1970s
 
The IDF in the 1990s
 


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