Photographic Archive

The Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome consists of several valuable and specialized collections of photographs on archaeology, architecture and art, as well as landscape architecture and gardens. It also includes special collections important to the history of the Academy. All these collections have artifactual value for the history of photography, as well as documentary value for the study and research of their specific subject. Some of the collections have a particular historical and archaeological significance because the photographs record excavations and monuments from the early years of modern archaeology.

The photograph collections of the American Academy have been acquired over the years mainly through donations. They represent an exceptional document of the activity of considerable personalities, master photographers as well as scholars, active from the second half of the 19th century (Parker collection), to the beginning of the 20th century (Moscioni, Van Deman, Blake, Askew, Warsher collections), and more recently (Masson, Bini, Laidlaw collections). In recent years the Academy has accepted new gifts, such as the Detweiler collection (Archaeological sites in the Middle East), the Vermeule collection (Greek and Roman antiquities), the Aronson collection (aerial views of Rome), the Knauer collection (monumental sites in the Mediterranean area and in Northern Europe), the McCann collection (Cosa port excavations and excavations at Pyrgi and Populonia), and the Ludwig collection (Renaissance marble tomb reliefs). Contemporary photography is represented by an exceptional gift: the architect Toshiko Mori and architectural photographer Paul Warchol donated seven photographs depicting the House on the Gulf of Mexico II, Casey Key (FL). Toshiko also donated a suite of photographs by Abigail Cohen.

In addition to its own collections, the American Academy also houses the Fototeca Unione founded by Ernest Nash in 1957. The Fototeca Unione began with the donation of Nash's own archive to the International Union of Institutes of Archaeology, History and History of Art. It is a growing collection focusing on the architecture and topography of the Roman world. 

A complete index to the collections is available on the American Academy in Rome website.

As part of its mission, the Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome provides online access to digital versions of selected materials from its collections for educational, research, and publishing purposes. Digitized materials are gradually being added to the Digital Humanities Center.

The development of the DHC and the processing, cataloging and digitization of the Academy's collections have been generously funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation; the Getty Foundation; the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; and the Society of American Archivists Foundation.

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