A specialist library comprising more than 12,000 volumes and 1,000 rare books on photography is available for use by students and researchers. The collection’s reputation as a major center of photography was established by a series of monographic and theme-related exhibitions during the 1970s. The past 20 years have seen numerous retrospectives on photographers such as Nobuyoshi Araki, Roger Ballen, Felice Beato, Joachim Brohm, Samuel Bourne, Frank Eugene Smith, Thomas Hoepker, Annie Leibovitz, Herbert List, Stefan Moses, Irving Penn, Toni Schneiders, Giorgio Sommer and Juergen Teller. Some of the theme-based exhibitions have set out to document the cultural history of photography. These explore the social and political impact of photojournalism and the importance of home and family photography. Manifestations of contemporary European photography are featured in the so-called "FORUM”.
Selected works from the archives of photographer Philipp Kester (1873-1958) are available at www.bpk-bildagentur.de. Some of the works of photographer Elfriede Reichelt (1883-1953) and a number of works by photographer Ingeborg Hoppe (1920-1983) may be viewed at www.deutschefotothek.de. The collection of approximately 400 photos by Heidelberg painter and photographer Georg Maria Eckert (1828-1901) can be accessed via bpk-Bildagentur (formerly called Prussian Heritage Image Archive) and the Deutsche Fotothek, together with the works of further photographers, drawn from the Siegert Collection: Leopold Ahrendts, Ludwig Belitski, Georg Koppmann, Charles Marville und Felix Alexander Oppenheim.
In spring 2012, the archives of German-American photographer Hermann Landshoff (1905 -1986) were donated to the Münchner Stadtmuseum’s Photography Collection for research purposes. The following year, the findings of this intensive research were presented at an exhibition entitled “Hermann Landshoff: A Retrospective. Photographs 1930-1970” and in its accompanying publication. This was the general public‘s first opportunity to view Landshoff’s varied photographic oeuvre which has been especially influential in the field of fashion photography. His extensive portrait cycles of contemporary photographers, artists and authors are unique in their field. The archive’s 3,600 photographs have been digitized as part of the research project and may now be accessed in their entirety at www.deutschefotothek.de. For any enquiries about the images, please contact www.bpk-bildagentur.de.