About the Collection
The Werner von Boltenstern Shanghai Photograph and Negative Collection offers a photographic record of life in Shanghai, China, in the war-torn years from 1937 through 1949. Every-day life in the city is captured in photographs of bustling streets, school children playing, and family portraits. The greatest importance of the collection rests in its remarkable photographic documentation of the Jewish community of Shanghai, consisting mostly of Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust. Examples of subjects of these photographs and negatives include businesses, cultural life, living quarters, and government documents. While von Boltenster spent most of these years in Shanghai, he traveled to Taiwan and, possibly, Hong Kong as well. As a result, a small portion of the images might be of those locations.
The William H. Hannon Library owes a debt of gratitude to the many people who helped provide information about this collection and assisted with our research. They include: Ruth Barnett, Lawrence Baron, Clio Calodoukas, Horst Eisferlder, Peter Engler, Sophie Fetthauer, Paul French, Lisl Gerber, Henry Haas, Claus Hirsch, Steve Hochstadt, Tess Johnston, Tina M. Kanagaratnam, Trude Kuttner, Steven Lasky, Erica Lyons, Sonja Muehlberger, Gerhard Moses, Mladen Petrov, Margot Rubenstein, Sue Anne Tay, Sigmund Tobias, John Upton, and Seth Ward. Additionally, the Library owes a debt of gratitude to students from Holli Levisky's Literature of the Holocaust class, which in the spring of 2015 also made a major contribution to the research process.
"The Importance of Being Discovered: The Werner Von Boltenstern Shanghai Photograph and Negative Collection" (2020) by Melanie Hubbard in Judaica Librarianship