Picture Archives of the Rhineland

The RBA (photographic archives of the Rhineland) was established in 1926 and is responsible for object photography for and in Cologne's museums. Photographs of works of art and collection exhibits are therefore at the core of the RBA's collection. Its photographers document exhibition openings, presentation of exhibits and other important events at Cologne’s museums. In addition, they document events of general importance and people of public interest in Cologne.

The collection also includes photographs by non-RBA photographers. The number of items increases as a result of the inclusion of collections of other institutions and by other photographers. The RBA is also in charge of stewarding important documents of the Cologne and Xanten cathedral workshops. The RBA collection comprises negatives, positives, digitalised microfiches, medium and large format colour slides and digital photographs. They are being successively made available in a data bank. The accessibility of the photographs depends on their formats, photographic quality and degree of digitalisation. Some of the photographs are still only available in analogue form. In addition, certain photographs are not shown on the Internet for copyright or ethical reasons.

Part of the collection can be researched in the new image data bank "Kulturelles Erbe Köln" (cultural heritage). Its purpose is to make available photographs of exhibits in the collections, photographers‘ archives, and to jointly present these collections. The RBA is open to the general public and supplies digital photos, digitalised analogue negatives, slides in the form of image files or print-outs as well as manual prints of analogue negatives. Fees apply. Other services provided are new photographs, picture research and photographic services.


For further information regarding services and data bases please visit the homepage of the archives.