Richard Schofield
April 24,2024

Private & Confidential

Pre-Second World War Lithuanian Jewish Photographs

DestroyedDisplaced │ Re(dis)covered │ Reclaimed


During a visit to the Ukmergė Regional Museum’s (surprisingly excellent and friendly) archive facilities on September 8, 2022, J.P. the Archive Custodian, showed me some of the old family photo albums (below) that had just been donated to the museum. A quick look through the top album revealed several photographic prints that originated from the interwar studio of one of Ukmergė's most celebrated photographers, Mauša Levi (1886-1941). As with the Cantonist Lists and several other types of historical documents that include photographs that are attached to them, family photo albums are generally categorised within Lithuanian memory institutions as being non-photographic in nature, a classification that surely must lead to some missed research opportunities. Despite recent changes in attitude towards the subject of family photography in general within the academic community, family photographs, and the albums in which they're sometimes meticulously and lovingly displayed, still often don't receive the attention that they often deserve.  It was during my visit to the Ukmergė Regional Museum that J.P. showed me the record books that the museum holds in its archives.

Photo: Richard Schofield