Research - Photographic Archive - About
Tivoli, Anio Novus, 1924 (image from the Swain Collection, American Academy in Rome, Photographic Archive)


The Photographic Archive 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 in Rome 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 nineteenth century (Parker collection), to the beginning of the twentieth century (Moscioni, Van Deman, Blake, Askew, Warsher collections), and more recently (Masson, Bini, Laidlaw, Aronson collections). In recent years the Academy has accepted new gifts, the McCann collection (Cosa port excavations and excavations at Pyrgi and Populonia), the Ludwig collection (Renaissance marble tomb reliefs), and the Fikret Yegül Collection (Roman Baths in Mediterranean area). Among other relevant collections, the Photographic Archive preserves 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). In recent years the Academy has accepted new gifts, such as the Yegül collection (Roman Baths in the Mediterranean area), the Stephens collection (Pompeii: Via dell'Abbondanza), the Raddato collection (over 900 images following the steps of the Roman Emperor Hadrian) and the Ayers collection (Rome and Europe in 1936-1938).

Contemporary photography is represented by: architect Toshiko Mori and architectural photographer Paul Warchol (seven photographs depicting the House on the Gulf of Mexico II, Casey Key-FL); a suite of photographs by Abigail Cohen; ca. seventy works by Jeannette Montgomery Barron (including the photographs displayed at the Academy’s exhibition A View of One’s Own); four works by Lyle Ashton Harris Studio 4 Roman Stranger’s, a portfolio by Denis Gillingwater, a set of ten photogravures by Philip Van Keuren Toward What Sun? Volume 1, and a framed print by Ewa Zebrowski Bassano in Teverina.

Among the special collections is included the Berman collection of scenography, theater costume design, and travel. 

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 (an exhibition held at the American Academy in Rome in 2009 and 2010).

In addition to its collections, the 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.

The Institutional Archive is of great value for the Academy’s institutional history, as it documents the Academy's activities as an International cultural organization dedicated to the arts and humanities; it includes documentation related to the Fellow's Work, the Academy life, buildings, events, and exhibitions.

The Photographic Archive provides online access to digital versions of most of its collections for educational, research, and publishing purposes on the Academy’s Digital Humanities Center 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. Other collections are available through inventory lists.


Getty Foundation 
The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation 
Samuel H. Kress Foundation 
Society of American Archivists Foundation 
Richard Allan Ayers 
Diane Favro and Fikret Yegül 
Douglas Preston


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