About the Photo Archive

Villa of Domitian (Castel Gandolfo, Italy), corridor
Van Deman Collection
Mithraeum Domus Sanctae Priscae (Rome, Italy), iscrizione
Fototeca Unione Collection (founded by Ernest Nash). Property: Fototeca Unione
Forum Romanum, West side from the Clivus Victoriae (Rome, Italy)
Fototeca Unione Collection (founded by Ernest Nash). Property: Fototeca Unione
Decorative Fragment from the Excavations at Cosa (Italy)
Cosa Collection
Arch of the Aqua Antoniniana (Rome, Italy)
Parker Collection of Classical and Medieval Art and Architecture of Italy
Museo Capitolini (Rome, Italy), detail of female statue
Masson Collection
Villa Palmieri, Florence. Elevation drawing by M. Rapuano (Fellow in Landscape Architecture at the American Academy in Rome, 1927-1930)
Fellows' Work Collection
Stazione Termini, Rome (Italy)
Masson Collection
Market scene, Campo de' Fiori (Rome, Italy)
Masson Collection
The Photographic Archive at the American Academy in Rome
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The Photo Archive will close from July 27 to September 12, 2017.

L'Archivio Fotografico chiuderà dal 27 luglio al 12 settembre 2017.

About the Photo 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 (2002-2007) the Academy has accepted new gifts, such as 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 (Reinassance marble tomb reliefs).

Other special collections include the Berman collection of scenography, theater costume design and travel. The Fellows' Work collection is of great value for the Academy's institutional history; as it documents the individual and collaborative projects of Fellows and Visitors in the School of Fine Arts at the American Academy in Rome (1910-1958). 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.

The A Question of Time Collection consists of contemporary images shot by eleven international photographers inspired by the permanent collection of the Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome. The project focused on images of Rome and of the famous Campagna Romana (exhibition held at the American Academy in Rome in 2009 and 2010).

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.

As part of its mission, the Photo 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. The site includes over 20,000 photographic images. Individual images of the American Academy in Rome, Bini, Cosa, Gatteschi, Laidlaw, Masson, Parker, Regia, Warsher, Van Deman, Blake collections are available in digital form on the DHC Database.

To view sample images from the various collections, visit the Index to the Collections.

Many of the photographic collections have been also cataloged in the Library's catalog. The Askew (the Arch of Septimius Severus), Parker (Roman and Medieval art and architecture in Italy), Van Deman  (travels in Europe and North Africa; archaeology, architecture, and building techniques in the Roman world), Blake (studies on italian mosaics), Moscioni (Etruscan sites and art), Gatteschi (reconstruction drawings of Imperial Rome), Beato - Des Granges (archaeology of Egypt), Bini (art and archaeology of Italy and Europe), Cosa and Regia (official photographic documentation of the American Academy in Rome's excavations in Cosa and Regia in the Roman Forum), Detweiler (archaeology of the Near East), Laidlaw (The First Style in Pompeii), Warsher (Pompeii), Library collection (art and archaeology of Italy and Europe), Masson and Landscape Architecture (landscape architecture and gardens) and the Fellows' Work (works of art and architecture) collections are online. Other collections are available through inventory lists.


Samuel H. Kress Foundation. The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation. The Getty Foundation


Rights & Permission

The study collection contains over 80,000 images, all of which are protected by copyright. Permission is granted to reproduce (one time only) the item(s) owned by the Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome & Fototeca Unione upon specific request and payment.

For further information, please contact:

The applicant agrees that the permission, if granted, will be subject to the following conditions:

1. Unless otherwise stated, the applicant must use the following credit line in display and/or pubblication:

American Academy in Rome, Photographic Archive or Fototeca Unione, American Academy in Rome

When appropriate, include the name of the artist, photographer or author.

2. Permission is for one time only, as stated above. Applicants may not use reproductions in subsequent editions or in any other form of publication without the submission and approval of a new application.

3. Applicants may not edit, crop, overprint or otherwise alter reproductions. The Photographic Archive of the American Academy in Rome & Fototeca Unione must approve in advance the use of only portion of the reproduction. Furthermore, the caption of credit line must acknowledge that only a part of the item has been reproduced.

4. Documents, photographs, slides and trascripts owned by the Archives of the American Academy in Rome may be protected by copyright, trademark or a related interest not owned by the Archive: IT IS RESPONSABILITY OF THE APPLICANT TO DETERMINE WHETHER ANY SUCH RIGHTS EXIST, AND TO OBTAIN NECESSARY PERMISSION FOR USE.

5. The applicant agrees to provide the Photographic Archive & Fototeca Unione of the American Academy in Rome with a copy of the publication (if applicable) in which the Archives materials appear.

Exhibitions & Events

Exploring American Daguerrotypes, Masterclass with Jeremy Rowe, President of the Daguerreian Society, Board of the Ephemera Society of America, Senior Research Scientist at New York University, October, 2015.

A Question of Time, Rome 2009, 2010 (created by Alessandra Capodiferro, Lavinia Ciuffa, Marco Delogu, Matthew Monteith; contributors: Nicola-Louise Brandt, Lindsay Harris, and Francesco Zanot). Photographers 2009: Marco Delogu, Veronique Ellena, Brad Farwell, Matthew Monteith, Luca Nostri, David Spero; photographers 2010: Tim Davis, Marco Delogu, Juan Fabuel, Agnès Geoffray, Graciela Iturbide, Giuliano Matteucci, Tod Papageorge, Leonie Purchas.

Roma antica ricostruita nelle fotografie di Giuseppe Gatteschi, Roma 2006.

Georgina Masson, 1912-1980: Selections from the Photographic Archive, Rome 2003.

Esther B. Van Deman: An archaeologist's eye, New York 2001-2002.

Ernest Nash - Ernst Nathan, 1898-1974. Photographie: Potsdam, Rome, New York, Postdam 2000.

Collaboration on Exhibitions

Roma dall'alto - (exhibition and catalog edited by M.F. Boemi and C.M. Travaglini), Rome 2006.

Trastevere: Societá e trasformazioni urbane dall'ottocento ad oggi (exhibition and catalog edited by C. M. Travaglini et alii), Rome 2008.


A View of One's Own. Three Women Photographers in Rome: Esther Boise Van Deman, Georgina Masson, Jeannette Montgomery Barron, (exhibition catalog), Roma 2016

A Question of Time, (exhibition catalog edited by Alessandra Capodiferro, Lavinia Ciuffa, Marco Delogu, Matthew Monteith), Roma 2010.

Roma antica ricostruita nelle fotografie di Giuseppe Gatteschi, (exhibition catalog edited by A. Capodiferro), Pescara 2006.

Georgina Masson, 1912-1980: Selections from the Photographic Archive, (exhibition catalog edited by A. Capodiferro and C. Lauf), Milan 2003.

A. Capodiferro in Esther Boise Van Deman: An archaeologist's eye, Images from the Photographic Archive, American Academy in Rome, (exhibition catalog), New York 2001.

Ernest Nash - Ernst Nathan, 1898-1974. Photographie: Potsdam, Rom, New York, (exhibition catalog edited by M. R. Alföldi and M. C. Lahusen), Berlin 2000.

Esther B. Van Deman. Images from the Archive of an American Archaeologist in Italy at the Turn of the Century, (exhibition catalog edited by K. Bull-Simonsen Einaudi), Rome 1991.

Fotografia Archeologica 1865 - 1914, (exhibition catalog edited by K. Bull-Simonsen Einaudi), Rome 1979.