This collection consists of photographs of various craft industries in Bethlehem. For centuries the town has been famous for its devotional objects, carved mainly from mother-of-pearl and olive wood, and produced for sale to visiting pilgrims and tourists. The industry provided the basis for Bethlehem's emigration explosion in the late 19th and early 20th centuries when merchants from the town travelled all over the world selling Bethlehem religious crafts. Today there are Bethlehem-origin communities scattered around the world as a result of those migrations. Bethlehem is also famous for its embroidery (tatriz in Arabic) of bridal dresses and its stone masons.
The original photographs, along with the digital versions displayed here, are held in the Matson Collection at the Library of Congress in Washington D.C.