Topics and Specialized Archives

Archiv der Fotografen - Archive of the photographers

The most important task of the Deutsche Fotothek, which it undertakes together with the F.C. Gundlach Foundation and other partners, is the preservation and activation of photographic works and estates.
The Deutsche Fotothek sees itself as a contact for photographers and their descendants. It preserves and activates photographers' archives or places them in suitable locations in cooperation with a network of photographic institutions.
As a showcase for the collections of the cooperating partners, the virtual archive of photographers helps to vividly convey the diversity and significance of German photography.

Digitaler Portraitindex

The Portrait Index is a web portal that provides online access to 295,000 early modern print portraits from collections in the German-speaking world.

GDK Research

GDK Research publishes unknown photographic documents on state-sponsored art of the Nazi era in order to place the critical examination of the art and cultural policy of the National Socialist regime on a broader, source-supported basis.


Since 2015 and in cooperation with the Staatliche Ethnographische Sammlungen Sachsens, the Deutsche Fotothek has been creating a collection of photographic source material of non-European living environments and natural areas around the globe. The project's title is »Weltsichten« (worldviews) and it will be fully developed by 2017, then comprising more than 100,000 photographs. Photographic documents dated from 1860 and after visualize the European view on the foreign and the exotic throughout the last 150 years. The focus is on the photographic documentation of research trips and expeditions. The spectrum ranges from early travel photography to photographies from aboard the first cruise ships or from world trips on luxury liners to contemporary advertising- and product photography.

Drawings of Architecture and Engineering

The portal of the Deutsche Fotothek (German Photographic Library) indexes 107,000 high-resolution digital copies of drawings of architecture and engineering. These hail from collections of the SLUB as well as from various partner institutions. Besides sheets from the SLUB's collections, the TU Berlin's Architekturmuseum, and the TU Munich's Architekturmuseum, it also contains the results of the DFG-funded project »Architektur- und Ingenieurzeichnungen der deutschen Renaissance. Digitalisierung und wissenschaftliche Erschließung des Zeichnungsbestandes von 1500 – 1650«.


Color slide archive of mural- and ceiling painting

The database of the Zentralinstitut für Kunstgeschichte indexes 39,000 digitized photographs of major fresco cycles and wall decorations in churches, monasteries, castles and other secular buildings in Germany, Austria, Poland, Russia and the Czech Republic. As an attempt by the National Socialist Regime to document interior wall decorations of important historical monuments throughout the whole »Greater German Reich« in light of threatening destruction, the archive was established between 1943 and 1945.

Map Forum

The Map Forum is an information portal of, mostly, Saxon libraries, museums, and archives. It is administrated by the Deutsche Fotothek (German Photographic Collection) and currently offers 26,000 of the most important digitized cartographic source materials in high definition - particularly concerning Saxon history and applied geography. The source materials stem from the collections of participating partner institutions and represent a basic resource for (art-) historical research.

Art and Architecture in Italy (KHI Florence)

The Digital Photo Library of the Kunsthistorische Institut in Florenz (KHI) provides direct access to currently 51,000 images. The focus is on art in Northern and Central Italy. Individual sections of collections include, for example, photographs of the photographer Hilde Lotz-Bauer, medieval art in Georgia, and the print collection of the photo library. A special focus is on the section »Cimelia Photographica«, which encompasses photo material from most diverse provenances (estates, donations, purchases) since the 1850s. These materials do not only enable research concerning individual photographers or the development and spreading of photographic techniques, but also the dynamic reconstruction of particular culture- and photohistorically relevant bundles, also including the materiality of the photographic objects.
The holdings of the Photothek of the KHI are also integrated into the image search.

Art and Architecture in Italy (Bilbiotheca Hertziana)

The Photo Library of the Bibliotheca Hertziana comprises a collection of more than 755,000 photographs and approximately 100,000 negatives on Italian art of all genres, from late antiquity until ca. 1850. The online catalog encompasses the inventory of approximately 231,000 photographs of 164,000 individual objects. It embodies the complete stock of new entries since 1995, smaller sections of the old stock, as well as data sets related to ca. 67,000 digital images: negatives scanned by the archive, digital photo campaigns since 2003 and digital images from external institutions or photographers.
Parts of the photographic collection are also integrated into the image search.


The Graphicportal is an international collaborative database, where graphic collections, picture libraries, photographic libraries and libraries publish their stocks of hand drawings and prints, or photographic reproductions of those, collectively on the internet. The database is administered by the Deutsche Dokumentationszentrum für Kunstgeschichte - Bildarchiv Foto Marburg, on behalf of the Arbeitskreis Graphik vernetzt, which is also part of the »Network« section of