Both the collections and the building of the Rockefeller Museum in east Jerusalem are impressive. Anyone who has visited can testify that the space harkens to an earlier era—the time of the British Mandate—when administration and collection methods were different. While the signage is somewhat confusing for the nonspecialist, anyone can appreciate the museum’s white limestone walls and tranquil courtyard.
Thanks to the Israel Antiquities Authority’s (IAA) initiative, the Rockefeller Museum Online project, all of the artifacts in the Rockefeller Museum’s collection are being digitized. Photographs of the artifacts, along with detailed descriptions, will be available online, granting public access to the museum’s entire collection; 1,253 entries have already been uploaded. This project is a hallmark in Israel, as it is the first time that a museum’s entire collection will be digitized and made available online—thanks to a generous gift from David Rockefeller, who at age 99 is continuing his family’s legacy of philanthropy. His father, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., donated the funds to the British Mandatory Government to establish the museum—the official name of which was the Palestine Archaeological Museum—in 1938. After the 1967 war, the name was changed to the Rockefeller Museum.