This collection consists of photographic portraits of women in Bethlehem, compiled by the photographic service of the American Colony in Jerusalem. In different ways, the photos reflect the ways in which male western photographers romanticised and fetishised Bethlehem women. It was a common trope of western travel accounts to emphasise the beauty of women in Bethlehem. Many of the photographs here are re-enactments of biblical scenes, confirming the extent to which Bethlehem women were seen through a western biblical lens.
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.