The photo collection of the Prehistory Department of the Budapest History contains the original photo documentation of the Prehistoric finds from excavations in Budapest and its surroundings. The collection is a unique and complete source for research.
The earliest photographs are on glass negatives, which are also valuable in themselves from the point of view of museum history. There are images of scenes taken at at excavations in the collection which add background color to the photographs of archaeological finds, exhibitions and other events.
Our photo collection comprised 63,819 images by the end of 2011. Of these photographs, 40,127 are digital photos that have been saved in multiple copies on CDs, DVDs and on the computer network of the museum. The traditional photo collection contains 23,692 images including glass negatives and negatives of various sizes as well as, framed and non-framed slide-positives. The photograph inventory is organized by thematic units (an exhibition, an excavation or a special group of finds). Thus, images of different sizes and type (e.g. negatives and positives of different sizes) may follow one another.
The museum received financial support from the Ministry of Education and Culture to modernize the collection in 2012. During this process, a unified storage system was created, making the inventory easy to follow and resolving issues surrounding protection of the images. The whole photo collection, together with the inventory books are kept in two fireproof cabinets. The very valuable 800 glass negatives are wrapped in special paper and kept in purpose-made boxes. Other negatives and slides as well as the CDs and DVDs are stored in uniform, see-through storage packs that ate PAT (Photographic Activity Test) appropriate and can be tied up. Presently, this type of storage system ensures the greatest transparency, research availability and physical protection for the collection.
Dr. M. Virág Zsuzsanna, archaeologist, curator of the collection.