Image archives/photo libraries

Alexander Conze © DAINeapel, Panorama da S. Martino © DAIA further substantial part of the holdings of the scientific infrastructure for archaeological work, in addition to the libraries and archives, are the image archives and photo libraries with systematically surveyed image resources. Thanks to its long research tradition, the DAI possesses one of the world's oldest and largest collections of images in the area of the archaeology of the Mediterranean countries.

Holdings and utilization

As a result of systematic photographic campaigns, added input from concluded research projects and the scientific estate of significant researchers, the photo libraries of the departments have expanded over the decades and are now available to researchers and commercial users on demand.

The collections and archival holdings of the individual departments differ considerably in content and structure owing to their different history; overwhelmingly they reflect the archaeological topics of the host regions. The bulk of older image holdings exist in analogue form. Further information about the holdings and their systematic surveying, services (e.g. ordering images and prices) and conditions of use is therefore to be found on the web pages of the individual departments.

The image archives of the departments

Head Office Berlin
Eurasia Department
Orient Department
Commission for the Archaeology of Non-European Cultures (KAAK), Bonn
Athens Department
Istanbul  Department
Cairo  Department
Madrid  Department
Rome Department

Image holdings in digital form

Archäologische Forschungen im Orient © DAIIn the framework of various projects, portions of this voluminous material have already been scanned and scientifically processed. In addition, other holdings have been digitized by individual departments themselves (see their respective home pages).

Much of the work towards the digitization and electronic publication of image resources has been effected in collaboration with the Cologne Digital Archaeology Laboratory (CoDArchLab) at Cologne University. The following has already been completed:

  • the digitization of sculpture negatives belonging to the DAI Rome (details),
  • the digitization of 40,000 glass negatives with historical photographs (project EMAGINES),
  • the creation of an image database on the Roman Sarcophagus Corpus (details),
  • and the creation of a database on the architecture and inventory of the Basilica Aemilia in the Roman Forum (details).

With the aim of improving the online accessibility of its image resources, the DAI in collaboration with the CoDArchLab has been developing (since 2006) the object database Arachne as the definitive publication platform for the DAI's own photographs. Arachne also provides the possibility of ordering scans that can be searched for online. Beyond the existing search capabilities within the image holdings, we are working on solutions to enable the integration of the DAI's entire information holdings into the Semantic Web. This is the Athen, Propyläen © DAIobjective of a series of development projects being carried out in cooperation with CoDarchLab and other reputed content providers and front-end operators, all of which are aimed at enhancing the communicative capability of DAI data on the basis of CIDOC-CRM, a standardized topography index for archaeological scholarship, and in the provision of multilingual thesauri. These projects currently include:

  • development of a DAI object data ecosystem (details),
  • integration of the DAI image archives and photo libraries in Arachne,
  • and integration of the digital holdings of the EMAGINES project in the European Digital Library EUROPEANA as part of the CARARE project (details).

The integration of image sources and ancient textual sources is also pursued in the Hellespont Project, which is being realized by the CoDArchLab as the DAI's partner in cooperation with the Tufts University's Perseus Digital Library – with joint support of the DFG and NEH (National Endowment for the Humanities).

Rom, Aquedotto Claudio © DAITo order photographs from the archives of the DAI, please contact the department whose archive contains the negative.


Fotothek der Zentrale Berlin:
Peter Grunwald

Fotothek der Außenstelle Teheran der Eurasien-Abteilung:
Dr. Barbara Helwing
Email: /

Fotothek der Orient-Abteilung:
Irmgard Wagner

Fotothek der Kommission für Archäologie Außereuropäischer Kulturen (KAAK):
Dr. Heiko Prümers

Fotothek der Abteilung Athen:
Dr. Joachim Heiden

Fotothek der Abteilung Istanbul:
Dr. Anja Slawisch

Fotothek der Abteilung Kairo:

Fotothek der Abteilung Madrid:
PD Dr. Michael Kunst

Fotothek der Abteilung Rom:
Dr. Sylvia Diebner

If you have questions about image rights and rights of publication and reproduction in respect of photographs and/or drawings belonging to the DAI or shown in DAI publications, please contact:

Prof. Dr. Hans Rupprecht Goette


A comprehensive summary of copyright regulations can be found at the website of Heidelberg University library.