In the mid-19th century, United States foreign policy emerged from its traditional non-involvement in the East and 16 consuls served in the Holy Land from 1857 until the outbreak of the First World War. The post in Jerusalem lacked stability and appointments were often based on personal connections or the spoils system rather than professional ability.
The Dreams and Diplomacy exhibit at the National Library of Israel was a joint project with the Shappel Manuscript Foundation which tells the story of the relationship that developed between the United States and the Holy Land. In 2015, the exhibit was digitized for posterity by Ardon Bar-Hama. All four exhibit areas are shown in high resolution video, with the ability to zoom in on specific artifacts and read the accompanying text and labels.