Baha’i History in Photographs on the Web

One benefit of the centenary of the visit of ‘Abdu’l-Baha to the West has been the increase in the number of photographs available online as digital images. Hundreds of photographs of ‘Abdu’l-Baha reside in archives around the world–some of them portraits taken by professionals, others snapshots with the Master barely in the frame. In the past only a few of them could be seen in books or slide shows. 

Today a Google search returns hundreds of images of ‘Abdu’l-Baha, with more being uploaded to websites daily. Some are computer scans of pages from Star of the West, volumes of The Baha’i World, and other publications.

The Baha’i Media Bank at the World Center has more than 500 historical photographs available to use for free. More are constantly being added.

The Heritage Project at the National Baha’i Archives in the United States has been making high-quality digital scans of thousands of photographs in its collection.

The Wilmette Institute has put these new resources to use in its courses. For example, the upcoming course on the Ministry of Shoghi Effendi will include many photographs related to episodes in his life.

For the course ‘Abdu’l-Baha in America we are using historical postcards of hotels where `Abdu’l-Baha stayed during His visit to North America.

Photographs from Wikimedia Commons and collections from the Library of Congress have graced other Wilmette Institute courses.

Friends of our Wilmette Institute Facebook page know that we often post images chosen for courses in status updates. Our Facebook “cover photo” also often changes to reflect current or future courses. “Like” us on Facebook, and enjoy the fruits of our research to find beautiful, illustrative, and educational images related to the Baha’i Faith.