The Netherlands Institute for the Near East

Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten  -  Institut néerlandais du Proche-Orient

10 Mar 2023 Workshop

Wanted: volunteers to work with vintage photographs

Would you like to work hands-on with vintage photography? And do you think it is important to contribute to the visibility of the visual history of Palestine? We are looking for volunteers to work on our Frank Scholten Collection! Register for one of the “Palestinian History in Frame” workshops, held between April and June 2023.

The Netherlands Institute for the Near East (NINO) and Leiden University Libraries (UBL) are working on improving the digital accessibility of the Frank Scholten photographic collection, a rich and unique photo collection about Palestine in the 1920s. To be able to take the last steps in opening up this important heritage, we are looking for enthusiastic volunteers!

From 1921-1923, Frank Scholten photographed what was then Palestine in an almost encyclopaedic manner. From systematic documentation to portraits, from Biblical landscapes to a loose form of street photography: Scholten captured it in more than 20,000 photos. His photo collection is now regarded as one of the most important visual resources on Palestine. What makes his work completely unique is the so-called ‘queer lense’ through which Scholten, himself a homosexual, viewed the world. The photos are already online, but an extra layer of information needs to be revealed to make them easily findable and searchable. Will you help us uncover the hidden secrets in this important heritage collection?


To register for one or more workshops, go to the “Palestinian History in Frame” workshops page on the UBL website.



In a series of ten workshops, April through June 2023, we take the final cataloguing steps for the collection. In particular, we will focus on texts added to the photo prints and negatives by Frank Scholten himself. In groups of three volunteers, we organize relevant negatives and prints and record additional information in the database. The workshops take place in the University Library in Leiden. Lunch and coffee/tea are provided.

Everyone is welcome, even if your availability is limited!

View the workshop dates on the UBL website.

Kick-off: mini-symposium

In preparation for the workshops, we are organizing a mini-symposium “Palestinian History in Frame” on Thursday 30 March, where the importance of the Frank Scholten collection is discussed and the work to be done in the workshops will be further explained. Registrations for the mini-symposium are open until 27 March.

Frank Scholten

Read more about the Frank Scholten legacy on the NINO website or
view the already digitised Frank Scholten Photographs in Leiden University Library’s Digital Collections.