Photography Reference Library

The Library and Photothek of the Kunsthistorisches Institut in Florenz have been collaborating on the enhancement of a special collection of books devoted to the theory and history of photography and photographic archives. This Photography Reference Library is arranged in open shelves at the Photothek in Palazzo Grifoni, in immediate neighborhood to the photographs.

The Photography Reference Library includes literature published between the second quarter of the nineteenth century and the present day. Therefore, also rare and highly valuable nineteenth century books are available for consultation, and even ‘photography incunabula’ published immediately after the photographic method was first announced in 1839. The strength of the Photography Reference Library lies in its international, transdisciplinary character.

In addition to ongoing acquisitions, the Photography Reference Library could be expanded significantly in the past years thanks to the purchase of two private libraries of historians and photography experts. This was made possible by special grants from the Max Planck Society: the book collections of Timm Starl (about 5200 volumes) and Diego Mormorio (about 3400 volumes) were acquired respectively in 2017 and 2018. At present, more than 8500 volumes with the marking Ya are searchable in the Kubikat.


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