The archives are the heart of the Fratelli Alinari firm. It is here that the immense patrimony of portraits and documentary material pertaining to the art, history, folklore, landscape, industry and society of Italy, Europe and the rest of the world, from the second half of the nineteenth century to the present, is housed.
Through a series of new color and black/white photographic campaigns the Archive nucleous has been continuously enriched. Recently, besides the extraordinary archive holding such Alinari, Anderson, Brogi, Chauffourier, Fiorentini and Mannelli, some other glass-plate negatives and film from the Wulz, Michetti, Nunes Vais, Bombelli, Mollino, Betti-Borra, Zannier, Pozzar, Balocchi, Vannucci-Zauli, Unterveger, Tuminello, Muzzani, Miniati, Trombetta, Panatta collections and the Villani archive of Bologna composed of 600,000 images from a period ranging from 1914 to 1980, have been added. Pictures of works of art owned by the Italian state are available thanks to the kind permission of the MINISTRY FOR CULTURAL ASSETS AND ACTIVITIES. Alinari directly takes care of rights in conformity with the Ronchey law. The new photographic campaigns in color continue to enrich an archive that so far contains over 2,350,000 acquisitions of historical negatives, on glass plate and film, in varying format, in black and white. New additions to the photographic fund include 400,000 color photos, 350,000 other latter-day photographic prints and 900,000 vintage prints that bring the total of pictures owned by Alinari to 4,000,000.
The Fratelli Alinari Museum of the History of Photography was inaugurated in 1985 by Sandro Pertini, at the time President of the Republic of Italy. This was the first large museum ever in Italy in which the history of photography and its instruments were collected.
The Alinari Museum currently has in its custody 900,000 vintage prints,
including salted paper calotypes, daguerreotypes, albumen prints, bromide
prints, charcoal prints. The Malandrini, Palazzoli, Gabba, Reteuna, Zannier,
Favrod collections have poured into the Museum holding. Not to mention
one of the most cospicuous albums collection,over 6,000 pieces, and an
extraordinary whole of antique cameras, lenses and lab instruments besides
a collection of containers and period frames.all found their way to the
museum and there is also an extraordinary collection of albums (over 5,100)
and one of antique.
Many works by the great nineteenth- and twentieth-century photographers are also in the museum, including Alinari, Anderson, Brogi, Caneva, Nunes Vais, Primoli, Puccini, Ponti, Naya, Wulz, Mollino, Gabinio, Morpurgo, Miniati, Trombetta, Peretti Griva, Tuminello, Antonio and Felice Beato, Balocchi, MacPherson, Sommer, Fenton, Robertson, Sebah, Bernoud, Flacheron, Von Gloeden, Noack and many many others.
In the course of the years, the Fratelli Alinari Museum of the History of Photography has organized over 200 of exhibits, some of which dedicated to the most important Italian and non-Italian photographers of the nineteenth and twentieth century, and on the history, the cultural, social and artistic evolution, to the traditions of Italian regions and even more.