The Servian City Wall on the Esquiline Hill with a locomotive, Salted paper print, 3rd quarter of the 19th c., Photo: Lodovico Tuminello



PHAROS is an international consortium of fourteen European and North American art historical photographic collections and archives. The goal of the initiative is to present the holdings of the separate archives in one single database, and to make digital images and metadata available to researchers. An initial impression of this work is provided by the PHAROS Art Research Database which, until now, contains only a small amount of data but allows a non-semantic search for images and thus the identification of similar or identical works within the individual collections. The project will make the digitised holdings of the consortium (approximately 30 million photographs in total) available for research over the next few years.

Bildindex/Consortium of Art-Historical Photographic Collections (AKBF)

Since 1999, the photographic collection has been a partner of the digital "Bildindex der Kunst- und Architektur" provided for research and teaching purposes by the German Documentation Centre for Art History (DDK) – Bildarchiv Foto Marburg. In cooperation with the DDK and the photographic archives of other German research and cultural institutions, the photographic collection also participates in the "Consortium of Art-Historical Photographic Collections" founded in 2004.

Graphikportal/"Graphik vernetzt" Project

The photographic collection has been a member of the "Graphik vernetzt" working group since 2013. The group's aim is to achieve agreement on common digitisation standards and the development of strategies required to advance the digital networking of graphic collections. On its behalf, the DDK - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg operates the "Graphikportal" in which the graphic holdings of the art collection of the Bibliotheca Hertziana are fully accessible.

Images from Research

Since 2013 the Photographic Collection has been featuring selections of its holdings in a series of image galleries devoted to a wide range of themes. They reflect the activities and holdings of the Photographic Collection – new photographic campaigns, areas of particular strength, holdings by particular photographers as well as current research projects pursued by members and fellows of the Bibliotheca Hertziana. Images from Research

Corpus Photographicum of Drawings (Corpus Gernsheim)

In 2002, Jutta Lauke-Gernsheim and Walter Gernsheim, founders of the "Corpus Photographicum of Drawings", presented the Bibliotheca Hertziana with a complete set of prints (approximately 193,000 photographs).  The donation was completed in 2013 when all the negatives of the Corpus were transferred to the photographic collection along with the photographer's rights. As a result of the ongoing research on the Corpus, largely unpublished material is being added to the photographic collection. The photographic collection has been hosting annual conferences on research on drawing since 2012.

Events Drawings "Gernsheim-Studientage"

  • 10.–12.05.2022: Accident or Strategy. The Collecting of Drawings in 16th and 17th Century Italy, scientific coordination: Tatjana Bartsch, Johannes Röll and Claire Van Cleave
  • 24.09.2019: Gernsheim-Research Seminar: Von verlorenen Fäden und neuen Verknüpfungen. Die Bestände italienischer Cinquecento-Zeichnungen in Dresden und der "Kosmos" Gernsheim, Speaker: Dr. des. Marion Heisterberg
  • 21.–23.11.2018: Das Ende der Architekturzeichnung? Darstellungsmodi und Baupraxis zwischen 20. und 21. Jahrhundert, scientific coordination: Tatjana Bartsch, Anne Scheinhardt, Johannes Röll and Vitale Zanchettin
  • 25.–27.10.2017: Farbe auf Zeichnungen der frühen Neuzeit – Symbiose und Antagonismus, scientific coordination: Tatjana Bartsch, Iris Brahms and Johannes Röll
  • 16.–18.11.2016: Abbreviaturen, Formeln und Chiffren in der Zeichnung der Frühen Neuzeit, scientific coordination: Tatjana Bartsch and Johannes Röll
  • 11.–13.11.2015: Renaissance-Zeichnungen für und nach Skulptur, scientific coordination: Tatjana Bartsch and Johannes Röll
  • 14.–15.11.2013: Zeichnen und Zeichner im Rom des 18. Jahrhunderts Grandtour, Kunstmarkt und Kunstexport, scientific coordination: Susanne A. Meyer, Stefan Morét and Johannes Röll
  • 28.–29.11.2012: Zeichnungen im Fokus – Focus on Drawings. Studientag zu Ehren von Jutta Gernsheim und in memoriam Walter Gernsheim, scientific coordination: Stefan Morét and Johannes Röll

Corpus of Italian Drawings from 1300–1500

The Corpus of Italian drawings from 1300–1500 is one of the most important undertakings of the history of art related to drawings. Founded by Annegrit Schmitt-Degenhart and Bernhard Degenhart, its focus is on Italian drawings of the late Middle Ages and the early modern period, which have so far appeared in 15 volumes. The Corpus was donated by Annegrit Schmitt-Degenhart to the photographic collection of the Bibliotheca Hertziana in 2018 and complements its comprehensive collection of drawings.

Rare Photographs Department

Many of the oldest holdings of the photographic collection date back to the donation of Henriette Hertz. Due to their condition, and in accordance with the criteria of historical photographic technology, these have been archived under improved conservation conditions, and catalogued and digitised since 2012.

Fototeca Unione

The "Fototeca dell'Unione di arte post-antica romana" has been built up since 1956 with the support of the Italian and international cultural institutes of the "Unione Internazionale degli Istituti di Archeologia, Storia e Storia dell'Arte in Roma". The American Academy in Rome maintains a corresponding department for photographs of antique art. The Fototeca Unione comprises approximately 25,000 photographs, which are incorporated in the photographic collection of the Bibliotheca Hertziana.

Bartsch/Le Blanc Illustré

The Photographic Collection holds a unique collection of photographic prints of engraved reproductions of Italian art. It has been systematically developed since the 1970s and comprises approximately 35,000 black and white prints. It was fully digitised and catalogued from 2010–2014. The publications Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes (1854–1890) by Charles Le Blanc and Le peintre graveur (1843–1876) by Adam Bartsch formed the basis for this project.

Studies in the History and Theory of Photography

Object based studies in the history and theory of photography are central to the research projects of the Photographic Collection. The process of digitization of photographs places them between update and historicism. Photographs are therefore to be regarded both as objects in their own right as well as carrier of information of objects within a scientific discourse, thus also enabling further contextualisation within the humanities. The role of the collection as a cultural archive within the history of medial and institutional changes as well as the factuality of photographs in altering usages and circumstances are actively pursued themes that have also been the subject of conferences (Factuality and utilisation of early photography), lecture series (Dunkelkammergespräche/Conversazioni sulla Camera Oscura), workshops (Pharos-Meeting; The Art Historical Image in the Digital Age) and Studienkurse (Circulating Photographs: Materials, Practices, Institutions).

Events Photography

  • 18.03.–22.03.2019: Studienkurs Fotografie Circulating Photographs, Materials, Practices, Institutions. Studienkurs mit der Folkwang Universität der Künste Essen, organized by Tatjana Bartsch, Antonella Pelizzari, Johannes Röll and Steffen Siegel.
  • 04.–11.2017: Dunkelkammergespräche – Conversazioni sulla Camera Oscura, Lecture series by the Photographic Collection of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut and Bibliotheca Hertziana, Rome (7 Lectures).
  • 22.03.–24.03.2017: Faktizität und Gebrauch früher Fotografie. Studientage der Fototheken der Bibliotheca Hertziana – Max-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte und des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Rom, scientific coordination: Tatjana Bartsch, Johannes Röll, Paul Pasieka and Ralf Bockmann.
  • 09.04.2016: Forum Kunstgeschichte Italiens, Fünfte Arbeitstagung, Plenarsektion III: Die Frühzeit der Fotografie in Italien, organized by Tatjana Bartsch, Johannes Röll and Costanza Caraffa.


  • Regine Schallert, "Auf der Suche nach der guten Form. Die Italienreise des belgischen Architekten Jules Brunfaut (1852–1942)", in Blickwendungen: Architektenreisen nach Italien in Moderne und Gegenwart (Römische Studien der Bibliotheca Hertziana, vol. 45), ed. Kai Kappel and Erik Wegerhoff, Munich: Hirmer Verlag 2019, pp. 173–188 (photo albums of Jules Brunfaut).
  • Regine Schallert and Johannes Röll, "La Fototeca della Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max Planck Institute for Art History)", in Immagini e memoria, Gli Archivi fotografici di Istituzioni culturali della città di Roma, Atti del convegno, Roma, Palazzo Barberini, 3 to 4. December 2012, ed. Barbara Fabjan, Rome 2014, pp. 169–182.
  • Regine Schallert, "Die Fotothek: ...dass ein Forscher jedwedes Material hier einsehen kann", in 100 Jahre Bibliotheca HertzianaMax-Planck-Institut für Kunstgeschichte. Volume I: Die Geschichte des Instituts 1913–2013, ed. Sybille Ebert-Schifferer in collaboration with Marieke von Bernstorff, Munich 2013, pp. 226–245, 310–314.
  • Regine Schallert, "Kunstschutz und Fotografie: Sonderführer (Z) Hans Werner Schmidt", in Kunsthistoriker im Krieg – Deutscher Militärischer Kunstschutz in Italien 1943–1945 (Publications of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte in München, Volume 29), ed. Christian Fuhrmeister, Johannes Griebel, Stephan Klingen and Ralf Peters, Cologne 2012, pp. 247–262.
  • Regine Schallert, "I tesori nascosti d'Italia: l'archivio dello studio Foto arte minore di Max Hutzel", in Photo Archives and the Photographic Memory of Art History, ed. Costanza Caraffa, Berlin/Hamburg 2011, pp. 335–346.

Loans exhibitions

  • Alfabeto fotografico romano. Collezione e archivi fotografici di istituzioni culturali in Roma, Rom, Istituto centrale per la grafica, Palazzo Poli, 16.05.–02.07.2017.
  • Der Göttliche. Hommage an Michelangelo, Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, 06.02.–25.05.2015.
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