The Photo Archive at the Deutsche Kinemathek collects, inventories and documents photographic prints, slides and transparencies, negatives and original digital images from all eras and subject matter related to film history. Moreover, the archive views its central task as making this inventory accessible – within the context of general and scholarly publications, for example, in exhibitions, and also for use in the print media, i.e. in connection with retrospectives.
The documentary section of the photograph collection at the Deutsche Kinemathek is comprised of 425,000 stills and 50,000 photographs of people. About 15% of these are accessible in digital form. The inventory is filed under original film titles (currently c. 36,000 filmic works) and names of individuals (currently c. 15,000 people). This information has also been entered into a categorized database that is searchable by keywords. In addition, there are collections concerned with specific individuals as well as thematic collections, including photographers’ estates and inventory related to the history of cinema and the early film studios. The spectrum of materials in the collection spans from early glass plate negatives and historical vintage prints to color slides and digital photographs. Collections in the storehouses of the Deutsche Kinemathek that have not yet been indexed contain approximately 600,000 photographs.
The collections department at the Deutsche Kinemathek actively seeks contact to still photographers or their descendants in order to be able to grant permissions for the use of photographs, including rights, in as many cases as possible, or to be able to establish a legal copyright situation at the very least. At present, the Deutsche Kinemathek holds the rights to works by the following photographers: Ilse and Richard Angst, Hans Casparius, Gabriele duVinage, Horst von Harbou, Heinz Köster, Gerd Viktor Krau and Mario Mach. Furthermore, the Deutsche Kinemathek has acquired the rights to a selection of Berlinale photographs taken by Erika Rabau and a compilation of Hans Schaller’s works.
- Image research
- Personal assistance by phone and email
- Appointments to view archival materials in the reading room at the Deutsche Kinemathek
- Providing digital images
- High-resolution scans (300 dpi) in TIFF format
- Making materials available over the download server