Image database

At present nearly 110,000 pictures (photographs, watercolours, ink drawings etc.) are available for research. The pictures, which emerged between 1830 and 1964, show prehistoric rock drawings, portraits, landscapes, architecture and material culture. Most originate from research expeditions undertaken by colleagues of the Institute in the first half of the 20th century in Africa, Australia, Indonesia and South America.

Between 2006 and 2009, and with financial support from the German Research Partnership (DFG), the ethnographic picture archive and the rock art archive (altogether ca. 40,000 pictures) were extensively and systematically digitalised, and their contents widely examined.

Besides the picture archive, the digitization of a photo archive (with approximately 70,000 pictures) has been underway for some time through the Institute's photo department. Photos are being scanned using a small format for the photo catalogues. A detailed analysis of the contents of this collection has not yet been possible.

Both archives are accessible in our online picture database. We look forward to comments, critiques, or suggestions and will consider / respond to them as quickly as possible.


Contact: Dr. Richard Kuba, Kuba[at], phone: +49 (0)69 79833056


Here you can get assistance on how to use of the picture database, how to order a picture, and information on the DFG project "Digitalization and analysis of the ethnographic picture collection of the Frobenius Institute".


Funded by

 dfg logo