JPL Photograph Collection
Collection Description
Sample Gallery
Collection Project
Jewish Public Library of Montreal


Collection Description

Custodial History

Scope and Content



Access and Use

The Jewish Public Library Photograph Collection consists of photographic materials spanning over three centuries, exhibiting historical and cultural aspects related to or effecting Montreal's Jewish Community. Given the immigrant history and internationalism of the Jewish community, there are also numerous photographs from various periods and on a myriad of subjects from Eastern Europe, Israel, and northern Africa.

The subject material of the photographs is as diverse and rich as the Jewish community: events, such as anniversaries, board meetings, building constructions, etc., relating to various organizations, institutions, or subjects, including - but not limited to - the Allied Jewish Community Services/Federation CJA, the Jewish Public Library, the Jewish Peretz/Jewish Peoples Schools, the United Talmud Torahs, Montreal synagogues, and the YMHA/YWHA. Photographs of Montreal's architecture, landscapes, and traditionally Jewish neighborhoods are also present.

The collection contains images of significant members of the community, including - but not limited to - Sarah Fischer, members of the Bronfman family, David Rome, Rochl Korn, and Mordecai Richler, as well as internationally renown Jewish figures, such as Shalom Aleichem and Albert Einstein.


The majority of photographs in the Collection were donated at the same time as the related textual collections, especially during the 1970s and 1980s. In these cases, the custody is linked to the original donors. In other cases, however, the custody of photographs was not recorded and is therefore unknown. Over the years, numerous families and individuals have donated such photographs to the Archives as a means of capturing a wider community history. Photographs originating from the Jewish Public Library, FEDERATION CJA and its earlier titles, and affiliated agencies such as the Jewish Immigrant Aid Society (JIAS) were created and donated directly by these organizations and agencies. With the implementation of improved arrangement and description classification, information regarding custodial history, content, and context will now be properly recorded in any new acquisitions.


The Collection includes photographs and negatives, arranged by event and/or category. Categories include Allied Jewish Community Services/Federation CJA, Jewish Public Library, Schools - Jewish Peretz/Jewish Peoples Schools, Schools - United Talmud Torah, Synagogues, and YMHA/YWHA, all of which are available through search queries. Other photographs belong to textual collections and can be searched via content and creator. All photographs can be searched via supplied subject headings.


In-house Photograph Collection database in English, original captions with and on certain photographs in English, French, Hebrew, Russian, and Yiddish.


Handling restrictions on delicate and/or over-sized photographs.


The JPL Photograph Collection is accessible through an in-house searchable database. In the future, this database will be web accessible. The JPL Archives is pleased to offer reference and assistance for searching for images. The JPL Archives also offer scanning and copying services. For more information on accessing the JPL Photograph Collection, pricing for services or to make an appointment, please contact the JPL Archives directly at:
Phone- (514) 345-2627, ext. 3015.