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Judaica and Hebraica Collections


"The First Hebrew City": Early Tel Aviv through the Eyes of the Eliasaf Robinson Collection

Over a period of close to 40 years Eliasaf Robinson, one of the most prominent antiquarian booksellers in Israel, collected books, pamphlets, journals, documents, photographs, posters, maps, architectural plans, and ephemera relating to the early history of the "First Hebrew City," Tel Aviv. Taken as a whole, these materials provide invaluable documentation on the political, economic, and cultural development of the Israeli metropolis during its formative decades. The collection includes several Ottoman land deeds (kushans) for lots purchased in 1909 by the first Jewish settlers, who built Tel Aviv as a new Jewish suburb outside of the Arab city of Jaffa.

See the article and slideshow about this exhibit, in the Stanford Report, April 22, 2009. An online version of the exhibit is also available.

Major portions of the Eliasaf Robinson Collection on Tel Aviv have been digitized.

Stanford acquired this collection at the end of 2005, with support from Koret Foundation Funds and the Jewish Community Endowment Fund.

Ira Nowinski: The Photographer as Witness
Online exhibition

(Ira Nowinski Collection, from the series: Soviet Jews in San Francisco;
Stanford University Libraries, Department of Special Collections)

In 2002 the Stanford University Libraries acquired 15,000 negatives, 1,200 study prints, and over 600 archival prints from three extensive series of photographs taken by Ira Nowinski, mainly during the mid- and late 1980s:

• In Fitting Memory: The Art and Politics of Holocaust Memorials;
• Karaite Jews in Egypt, Israel, and the San Francisco Bay Area; and
• Soviet Jews in San Francisco

Prints from these three series - along with other photographs - were exhibited in Green Library's Peterson Gallery (2nd floor, Bing Wing) from August 2004 until March 2005.

Background: The independent photographer Ira Nowinski has been active on San Francisco’s artistic and cultural scene for over three decades. After receiving his Master of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973, Nowinski quickly rose to prominence with his work on several highly acclaimed projects.

In No Vacancy Nowinski photographed the elderly and impoverished residents of single-occupancy hotels South of Market, shortly before the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency tore these buildings down to make way for the Moscone convention center and Yerba Buena Gardens.

The Café Society project took him to North Beach in the mid-1970s, where he photographed many of the leading figures of the Beat Generation as they were entering their middle years .

Subsequently, Nowinski achieved considerable renown as the official photographer of the San Francisco Opera and the Glyndebourne Opera Festival.

Most recently, Nowinski has expanded his repertory to nature photography. During the past two years he has visited the Galapagos Islands several times, as part of a five-year project aimed at documenting changes to the islands wrought by immigration from the mainland and by globalization.

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Last modified: September 8, 2010

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