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Website offers collection with 2 million images of the history of photography

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“Lovers Lane” by John Topham, 1938

Europeana Collections has made available a free online gallery with an archive of more than 2 million photos. Photography enthusiasts, students and academics are invited to explore over 2 million historical images from more than 50 institutions across 34 countries, including photographs by pioneers like Julia Margaret Cameron, Eadweard Muybridge and Louis Daguerre.

The collection presents images from the first 100 years of photography, sourced from photographic archives, agencies and museum collections across Europe.

The project is led by the Photoconsortium, International Consortium for Photographic Heritage, a non-profit association committed to promoting and enhancing the culture of photography and photographic heritage.

Accessible in 23 different languages, the project was created with the aim of bringing European culture to all, creating a sense of cultural integration within the continent.

You can download and share the photos freely.

Most of the available images are important documentations of the early years of photography and are being organized in different “exhibitions” such as “Industrial Photography in the Machine Age”, “South Eastern European Postcards” and “The Magic Lantern” .

Among the public and private archives whose collections are included in Europeana Photography are: the world’s oldest photographic agency, Fratelli Alinari (Italy), TopFoto (UK), Parisienne de Photographie (France), Ajuntament de Girona/CRDI and GenCat, (Catalunya Spain), United Archives, (Germany), KU Leuven and KIK-IRPA (Belgium); Polfoto and Arbejdermuseet (Denmark), the National Board of Antiquities (Finland), the Israel Museum (Israel), and NALIS (Bulgaria).

The public launch of Europeana Photography took place on 20 May at Pisa’s Museo della Grafica, on the occasion of the European Night of Museums. The event included a live demo of Europeana Photography, virtual and physical photographic exhibitions, and presentations about the potential of digitised vintage photography and of Europeana resources for the education sector.

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