An Online Exhibition by the Photo library of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz - Max-Planck-Institut
The Photo library of the Kunsthistorisches Institute in Florence has evolved in recent years from a mere photograph archive to a centre for research into academic photographic material. For a long time, the photograph as an object took a subordinate role at the most, but in the era of all-encompassing digitalization the general interest in original photographic material has increased – also and particularly in photographic material that was produced and collected solely for academic purposes. Within a short period of time, this has resulted in an academically and historically oriented branch of research independent of photography as a form of art. Primarily, academics have realized the source value of historical photographs from earlier than 1900, above and beyond their documentary intention, which has moved them up from research tools to research objects. The 'Cimelia Photographica' project has transformed the systematic processing of our significant historical inventory into a focal point of the work of the photo library. This includes high-resolution digitalization of all the photographic boards. As a consequence, not only the actual photographs are recorded, but also the scars that their archiving history has left behind. An initial selection of old photographs from the years 1850 to 1900 are presented in this online exhibition. This is done in digital form – although we hope to also raise awareness of the importance and academic value of the originals.