The Rheinisches Bildarchiv of the City of Cologne currently encompasses some 5.4 million photographs. Its photography stocks are used for research and science, but they are equally available for commercial image exploitation and private use.
Since its founding in 1926 it has specialized in the taking of sophisticated shots of exhibits in and on behalf of Cologne’s museums. In addition to these, architectural shots and documentary records of Cologne trade shows, and specifically of the art trade, can be found among its holdings, with the image archives of the city curator and Koelnmesse.
These focuses are supplemented by the archive’s own collection of predominantly analogue photographers’ stocks, among others, for example, Chargesheimer (1924-1971), Heinrich Ewertz (1852-1916), Peter H. Fürst (*1939), Jossi Kaufmann (*1936-2017), Heinrich Pieroth (1893-1964), Karl Hugo Schmölz (1917-1986), Kurt Wagner (1936-2009) and Fritz Zapp (1882-1960).
Between November 2019 and December 2020 the Rheinisches Bildarchiv will be preparing its entire stock for the move to the archive’s new home at the Eifelwall. For the Artist Meets Archive project, the Rheinisches Bildarchiv is hosting an artist who will devote himself to the move and the changes that it instigates and directly visualize the central courses of action and consequences of the RBA’s migratory process.