The Portraits Collection at the National Library
The Abraham Schwadron Collection at the National Library is composed of two divisions: the Autograph Collection and the Portrait Collection. Alongside examples of signatures and original handwriting, the Portrait Collection, contains tens of thousands of profiles of more than 3,000 Jewish figures. Essentially, this is the biggest, and only, collection of its kind in the world of Jewish portraits. It is a sort of "National Gallery" of great Jews over the years. Abraham Schwadron, the man who founded this unique collection, wrote about his motivations for collecting the portraits:
"Just as every person, to whom feelings of admiration are not foreign, will be happy to know that the picture and handwriting or those dear and close to him are being preserved and will continue to exist, so certainly, it is important and pleasant […] to know the faces- the most intimate and personal remnant of these great people- to know, that they are being preserved and will continue to exist for a long time and for coming generations."