Museum für Völkerkunde Hamburg
Mitglieder der Südsee-Expedition, 1908; Foto: Archiv des Museums für Völkerkunde

The Museum für Völkerkunde possesses an extensive photographic inventory from all around the world, consisting of roughly 300,000 photographs. For many decades the museum regarded photographs mainly as illustrative material for the other collections. At the end of the 1990s, however, the museum began to regard the photographic collections as autonomous inventories and began systematically making them accessible. Gradually, the inventories have been put together in databases, digitized, and stored in facilities designed for photo conservation.

In the first project from 1999 to 2001, supported by the ZEIT-foundation of Ebelin and Gerd Bucerius, the first 15.000 photographs were edited. The result of this project was shown in the corresponding exhibition “Indians 1858-1929 – A photographic journey from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego”. In the following project – also supported by the ZEIT-foundation – the 18,000 photographs from the Near- and Middle-East and North Africa were documented and edited. This project was concluded with the museum’s publication of “Camel and camera – Historic Orient Photography 1864-1970” and the exhibition of the same title.


Photo archiv
phone: 040. 42 88 79 – 680
fax: 040. 42 88 79 – 242