The Collection

The Picture Archive of the Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM) is the service point for ordering photos of objects in the museum’s collections. But beyond that the Picture Archive is also an extensive collection of photographs. Unlike the artistic photography in the Photography Collection, the Picture Archive contains works above all from the estates of press photographers and photo agencies as well as the entire picture archive of the former Museum für Deutsche Geschichte (MfDG) of the GDR. The latter archive focused primarily on the German and international labour movement, the general history of the GDR, and the documentation of the Militaria Collection from the former Royal Prussian Zeughaus (Armoury).

Since 1990 the archive has been supplemented, thanks to intensive collecting activities, by numerous important press photo archives that reflect German and European history from a varied perspective. Outstanding examples are the Bildagentur Schirner with 1.5 million negatives in its archive that deal not only with the history of sports since the 1930s, but also the political and cultural history of West Germany, as well as the extensive collections of the press agencies Presse-Foto Röhnert and Schostal.

A further core section of the Picture Archive consists of collections from the estates of photographers:

Gerhard Gronefeld (1911–2000)
Negatives from the time between 1936 and 1965 with some 50,000 motifs: rearmament in Germany, World War II with photo series from the Soviet Union, Poland and Yugoslavia, the post-war period in Berlin and the occupation zones up to 1949, social and political life in the Federal Republic until 1965

Max Kirnberger (1902–1983)
Colour slides from 1937 to 1941 with 482 motifs: pictures from Jewish ghettos in Poland

Klaus Lehnartz (1936–2008)
Negatives from 1960 to 1989 with 14,200 motifs: places and landscapes in the GDR, political events in the GDR 1954 to 1981

Ursula Litzmann (1916–2004)
Negatives from 1938 to 1950 with some 15,000 motifs: “East workers”, cultural life in the Western occupation zones and the Federal Republic 1945 to 1950 (e.g. portraits of writers and musicians), prisoners of war and refugees

Liselotte Orgel-Köhne (1918–2002)
Negatives from 1942 to 1949 with 700 motifs: everyday life of women and women’s organisations under National Socialism, Berlin after 1945

Boris Puschkin (1915–1967)
Negatives from 1942 to 1947 with 170 motifs: World War II/Battle of Berlin, life in Berlin in the years 1945 to 1947

Martin Schmidt (b. 1925)
Negatives from 1958 to 1989 with some 40,000 motifs: social and political life in the GDR with emphasis on agriculture

Kurt Schwarzer (1927–2012)
Negatives from the 1950s to the 1980s with some 40,000 motifs: almost all areas of life in the GDR

Ordering photos

The Picture Archive not only provides material for numerous exhibitions, but also supplies museums, printing houses and agencies with historical motifs.
Photo files are subject to service fees. A fee is also charged for publication of the material.

Pictures can be requested by e-mail: