Exhibits >> Imagining Jerusalem >> Home

In ancient times, Jerusalem was seen as the center of the physical world. Presently, it is the spiritual center for three of the world’s major religions. The many imaginings and re-imaginings of this holy city have inspired the creation of countless pieces of art, poetry and prose, and have certainly influenced mapmaking. Based on sacred and historic texts, personal accounts and, of course, artistic musings, these maps and other artifacts provide a window into the real, spiritual and imagined world of Jerusalem.

Imagining Jerusalem marks the 20th anniversary of an important donation of antique Holy Land maps by James C. and Adina P. Simmons of Tel-Aviv, Israel, and Tallahassee, Florida. The exhibition coincides with the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, which celebrates the rededication of the Jewish Temple (The Second Temple) after its desecration by the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes in the second century BCE.


Imagining Jerusalem presents antique maps, historic photographs and rare books depicting, idealizing and imagining Jerusalem. It is a collaborative effort between the Map and Imagery Library and the Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica at the University of Florida. The online exhibition is based on the exhibition of the same name that was presented at the University of Florida George A. Smathers Libraries, November 13 - December 14, 2012.

Curated by Rebecca Jefferson and Carol McAuliffe
Designed by Lourdes Santamaría-Wheeler