Visit Gallerie Estensi, places of enchantment
discover SERVICES



Artistic heritage
The archive was founded at the same time as the Galleria Estense opened in Modena (1894) and developed mainly through photographic campaigns of in the early twentieth century, initiated by the then-Director Giulio Bariola. From 1939, the archive grew, also becoming the archive of the new Office for the Historical, Artistic and Ethno-anthropological Heritage of Modena and Reggio Emilia, a role it held until 2014. When the Ministry was reformed and Gallerie Estensi established, the archive was enriched with new photographic materials relating to works at the Pinacoteca Nazionale in Ferrara.
Today, the archive holds a collection of around 8000 glass plates, 50,000 negatives and 10,000 colour photographs, and an ever-growing collection of digital files from photographic campaigns entrusted to specialists in the field.
Access to the archive is by appointment only.


Biblioteca Estense Universitaria
For a long time, the library’s photographic archive consisted of analogue assets only: colour photographs, microfilms, microfiches and slides. Today, however, it is characterised mainly by digital assets. In addition to the vast proportion of the collection digitised in the early 2000s, the library has recently launched important digitisation campaigns through investment in instruments, protocols and advanced professional profiles, which have led to the online publication of the Estense Digital Library.
The library’s photographic archive is being constantly updated and, in addition to the Estense Digital Library’s content, it also preserves files of the digitisations carried out over time, for reasons of protection and to fulfil requests from publishers, cultural institutions, students and specialists.

For information, appointments and to obtain archival images, please send a detailed request to: