Non-Film Archive

History of the Photo Archive

A visual journey that continues today

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A collection of photographs from near and far

The Cineteca’s Photo Archive was created in the 1960s thanks to the foresight of the then-Councilor for Culture, Renato Zangheri (who later became Bologna’s mayor). Zangheri wanted to complement the growing collection of regional films and books with photographs of Bologna and Emilia-Romagna. Renzo Renzi was among the first to help shape the budding photo library. He left his mark by establishing a careful acquisitions policy that focused on thoroughly documenting 19th-century Bologna in photographs.


The collection over time

Opened for consultation and study in 1962, over the years the collection changed locations as the quantity of material grew. Originally housed in the Archiginnasio, it was moved to Via de’ Foscherari, then to Palazzo Aldrovandi-Montanari on Via Galliera, followed by its current site at the Manifattura delle Arti on Via Azzo Gardino.

Continuing acquisition and new perspectives

The new acquisitions policy that started in the 1980s is the reason behind the collection’s expansion. Acquisitions drew from historical Bolognese studios (Studio Camera, Nino Comaschi, Enrico Pasquali) and important private collections, plus pictures by professional photographers commissioned by the Bologna city administration (The Paolo Monti Collection). Film photographs come from the collections of great connoisseurs (Mario Natale, Giuseppe Galliadi), stills photographers (Angelo Novi), famous directors (Alessandro Blasetti) and film experts. As a result the collection is in constant expansion and currently includes over 800,000 images of the city as well as around 350,000 film-related photographs.