Over the years the photo archive of the Federico Zeri Foundation has steadily increased until its present size of 435,000 photos. New photographic collections, documenting works of art and the cultural heritage, have been donated to the Foundation and added to the original nucleus of Federico Zeri’s materials.

EXPLORE THE COLLECTIONS is a tool that allows users to surf and search all the photographic collections acquired by the Foundation and to obtain information on the provenance, contents, structure and accessibility of each collection. From the entries related to each unit of description, one may switch to the photo archive database and view artworks, images and attached documents, if catalogued.

The archival description proceeds in parallel with the cataloguing of the individual photos and documents. For this reason, we recommend users to periodically access the database to discover the new content available. The cataloguing campaigns in progress are reported in the Archival treatment field within each collection.

Research on photographic collections can be carried out in two ways:


The EXPLORE tool allows users to view and surf all of the collections now part of the Zeri Foundation’s archive. By clicking on the corresponding icon, where you may surf the collection-level entry, where it is possible to navigate the archival tree representing the collection’s structure, obtain information on the creator, the scope and content, the archival history and the conditions governing access. Two different lists highlight the photographers most documented in the collection and its main subjects. Through the sliders below, users can browse or recall all the entries on photos and attachments that have been catalogued at item level inside the system.

On opening the hierarchical tree in the STRUCTURE OF THE COLLECTION section, one can reach the entries of all the different units of description: archival series, containers, folders, items. Entries at each level contain descriptive information about the unit and, equally, give access to photographs and attachments, if these materials have been individually catalogued.


The SEARCH tool allows transversal research on all the units in the archive.

Please, note that all data in the catalogue are in Italian. Search terms must be entered in this language.

Searching on the strings is facilitated by an autocomplete system that suggests the values present in the database and by a drop-down list (second string) that allows you to limit the results to certain levels or documentary types.

The result set shows tabs of any level up to a maximum of 100 results per page, which can be sorted according to type, name and date thanks to the drop-down menu at the top left. The facet filters in the right-hand column allow you to refine the results according to collection, type, people/organization and subject.
Each string in the result set shows the image or the characteristic icon of the level and reports essential information about the resource, including the position of the unit in the archival hierarchy.

Inside the entries of each level you may find icons at the top right allowing you to:

- Send an email to the Zeri Foundation to ask for information about the unit of description
- Go to the level immediately above
- Start a new search

Once you have accessed a Photograph entry or an Attached document entry, by clicking on Go to the Artwork you may be connected to the art work sheet where all the information regarding the subject depicted is collected.