Fine Arts Library

Prints and Photographs


Carlos Naya. Canal of San Canciano, Venice. VSCO44.00001.

These collections document works of art, architecture and material culture from the ancient world to the present and reflect the teaching and research of the History of Art and Architecture faculty and the Harvard University Art Museum’s curatorial staff during the first half of the 20th century. Image formats include photographic prints, lantern slides, 35mm slides, postcards, facsimiles and albums. Areas of strength include Western art and architecture (particularly medieval architecture and Renaissance and Baroque painting), Islamic art and architecture, and Asian art and architecture. The collection of architectural images in particular includes many significant 19th-century images by well-known photographers. The core of the collection is represented by cataloged photographs arranged by medium (architecture, sculpture, painting, decorative arts), then by culture or country, location, and/or artist. 


John C. Heenan, Champion of the World (The Benicia Boy). Currier & Ives. Part of the Portrait Collection of the Fine Arts Library. VSCO230.00049.

The Portrait Collection includes over 30,000 historical portraits from the 19th  and early 20th centuries in both print and photographic form including 5,000 cartes-de-visite, 6,000 cabinet cards, 200 Imperial-size portraits by Mathew Brady and 16,000 tintypes.

Other photographic resources include the entire Corpus Photographicum of Drawings, prepared by Walter and Jutta Gernsheim, an attempt to document all the old master drawings in European and American collections and, for paintings, the Courtauld Survey of Private Collections.

  • For more information about the collections, contact Joanne Bloom, Photographic Resources Librarian.