Photographic archives

STERN Photo Archive

Collection of portraits and views

The collection of portraits and views forms the core collection of the Image Archive of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. It includes over 28,000 individual sheets in original-graphic techniques (xylographs, copper, steel and wood engravings, lithographies, etc.), photographs, as well as medals and death masks. Here, you can find images of:

  • Persons from the fields of scholarship, music and literature
  • Regents of Europe – and partly beyond Europe
  • Artists, in particular actors of the 19th and 20th century
  • Representations from the field of ethnography

The collection also includes views of towns and buildings, particularly in Bavaria, produced in highly diverse techniques.

The sheets are classified in the order of their formats (Portr.A to Port.G).

The collection is expanded continuously.

Searching in the   Bildarchiv   (Image Archive)   |   Conditions of use

Photographic archive of Heinrich Hoffmann

The archive of the "Reichsbildberichterstatter" (photo reporter of the German Reich) Heinrich Hoffmann (1885 – 1957) comprises 66,000 motifs. Up to the end of the Second World War, Adolf Hitler's personal photographer set up a company with ten subsidiaries in various European cities. The central image archive of the company was confiscated by the US military government after the end of the war. Important parts of the archive are kept today in the National Archives in Maryland. The photographs are accessible there to a limited extent.

With the support of the German Research Foundation, the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek acquired the portion of the photographic archive that had remained in Europe in 1993 and 2002. It includes:

  • Bavaria at the time of the Bavarian Soviet Republic and during the Weimar Republic
  • The history of the NSDAP during the Weimar Republic
  • The Third Reich and the Second World War
  • First post-war years

The photographic archive of Heinrich Hoffmann has been catalogued and digitized in its entirety.

Searching in the   Bildarchiv   (Image Archive)   |   Conditions of use

Horn, Reinhard: Heinrich Hoffmann – Reichsbildberichterstatter. In: Bibliotheksforum Bayern 22 (1994), p. 87-95.
Herz, Rudolf: Hoffmann & Hitler: Fotografie als Medium des Führer-Mythos. München, 1994.


Photographic archive of Felicitas Timpe

The Munich photographer Felicitas Timpe (1923 – 2006) captured the academic, cultural and public life of the city of Munich on film. The archive comprises black-and-white and colour photographs from the years 1950 to 2002. It contains images on the topics of:

  • Classical music
  • Light music, jazz, rock music
  • Writers, scholars, artists, actors and directors
  • Cabaret, opera, theatre and television (studios of the broadcasters ARD and ZDF in Munich)

Including over 1.3 million units, the photographic archive of Ms. Timpe represents the largest individual collection of the Image Archive of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek. The cataloguing and digitization is still in its early stages.

Searching in the   Bildarchiv   (Image Archive)   |   Conditions of use

In case your search does not yield the desired results, please send your inquiry to:

Horn, Reinhard (ed.): Von Armstrong bis Zappa: in Bildern von Foto Felicitas Timpe: Ausstellung München 28.1.1997 – 31.1.1998. Starnberg, 1997.

Photographic archive of Bernhard Johannes and successors

The photographer Bernhard Johannes (1848 – 1899) lived in Partenkirchen and documented landscapes, locations, buildings, people and traditions in the Werdenfelser Land region and in nearby Tyrol. After his relocation to Meran, his successors Max Beckert (1860 – 1919), August Beckert (1893 – 1961) and Franz Kölbl (1922 – 2004) continued the business "Photo-Haus B. Johannes". The archive contains images from the period from 1870 to around 1990.

The most important parts of the archive have been catalogued.

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Photographic archive of Josef Beierl

Comprising around 800 photographs, the archive of Josef Beierl (1905 – missing 1943) documents the Berchtesgadener Land region, its surroundings and the life of the photographer’s family during the 1920s and 1930s. A qualified electrician and cooper, Beierl had a passion for photography and liked documenting his outings, preferably with a self-timer. The archive was acquired in 2018/ 2019 as a donation from the ownership of his descendants.

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Photographic archive of Georg Fruhstorfer

In the archive of the journalist and photographer Georg Fruhstorfer (1915 – 2003) you can find images on:

  • Munich in the wake of the Second World War, reconstruction and daily life
  • Reports about social and economic life in Munich
  • Home stories about celebrities

The archive comprises around 19,000 black-and-white and colour photographs. The cataloguing and digitization have almost been completed.

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Photographic archive of Max Prugger

The photographer and accountant Max Prugger (1918 – 2003) documented the construction and land-development history of Munich, Bavaria and partly also of Austria since 1940 by taking images from towers and aerial photographs. The around 80,000 images are unique sources related to Bavaria. In addition to photographs from the time during and immediately after the war, the collection also includes panorama images of the Alps, contract work for companies and, in particular, numerous documentary images of the construction works in preparation of the Olympic Games of 1972.

The collection was acquired by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in 2019. It has not yet been catalogued and digitized.

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Photographic archive of Dirk Hentschel

The Flensburg photographer Dirk Hentschel (1944 – 2019) was active as a freelance press photographer and journalist in northern Schleswig-Holstein for over four decades. His pictures were published in numerous media (i.a. Stern, Spiegel, Hamburger Morgenpost). They document events from the fields of politics, culture, sports and miscellaneous (visits of celebrities, disasters, crimes, etc.) in northern Schleswig-Holstein. The businesswoman Beate Uhse from Flensburg was also a frequent motif in Hentschel’s images.

The archive comprises around 185,000 negatives from the years 1961 to 2004. It came to the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek as a donation by the Hentschel family against the background of the takeover of the STERN photo archive in 2020.

The cataloguing and digitization is still in its early stages.

Photographic archive of Helmut Silchmüller

The archive of Helmut Silchmüller (1906 – 1980) comprises around 2,000 photographs. These show Munich before and after the Second World War, as well as trips and mountain hiking trips in Germany, Austria and Italy between 1950 and 1960.

The archive has been catalogued in its entirety.

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Photographic archive of Tino Walz

The architect Tino Walz (1913 – 2008) worked for the Bavarian Department of state-owned Palaces, Gardens and Lakes. His images document the destruction of the Munich Residence during the Second World War and its reconstruction.

The collection comprises around 1,000 units and has been catalogued and digitized in its entirety.

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Liebherr, Hermann: Untergang und Neubeginn: der fotografische Nachlass von Tino Walz (1913 – 2008) im Bildarchiv der Bayerischen Staatsbibliothek. In: Bibliotheksmagazin (2010) 2, p. 8-12.

Photographic archive of Gerhard E. Habermann

The journalist Gerhard E. Habermann (1911 – 1982) took photographs of cultural events in Munich between 1955 and 1976. In addition, he collected image materials on historical events, not least from the holdings of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek.

Volume: around 20,000 motifs. Only a few parts of the archive have been catalogued yet.

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Photographic archive of Dieter Lorenz

The collection of the meteorologist and publicist Dieter Lorenz (1931 – 2013) on the topic of photography, in particular three-dimensional photography, comprises:

  • 3,000 monographs and journals since the beginning of the 20th century
  • Over 58,000 stereo images, slides, postcards and negatives
  • Three-dimensional objects such as stereo-image viewing devices and stereo cameras
  • Biographical documents, correspondence and material collections

The individual monographs and journals are catalogued in the OPACplus/ BSB catalogue.

Search in the   OPACplus/ BSB catalogue

The image material and the written documents have not been catalogued yet.
For further information please see:  Personal papers  (in German)

Photographic archive of Peter Strauß

The photo archive of Peter Strauß (born in 1936) contains predominantly coloured photographs of persons from contemporary history, with an emphasis on music.

A municipal employee and hobby photographer, Strauß took photographs of musicians, but also other persons engaged in the cultural sector, functionaries and politicians at public events in Munich and at personal meetings. He maintained a lifelong friendship with the singer Sari Barabas and the composer Harald Genzmer. A multitude of photographs bears witness to this.  

In addition, the archive includes photo postcards of partly already deceased, partly still active artists, frequently with autographs.

Reconstructing the personal history of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Peter Strauß visited the places of birth, abode and death of the family and took photographs of houses and graves.

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Photographic archive of Ernst Liesching

The photographic archive Liesching contains photographs of the deployment of the certified engineer Ernst Liesching as a radio operator in the 1st World War. Coming from Gelsenkirchen, he was ordered to the east front from September 1915 to February 1916. Two albums with 209 and 158 glued-in photographs document the advance and the stay of the "Heavy Radio Station No. 37" in several Eastern European countries.
Serbia between September 1915 and February 1916  (digitized photo album)
Serbia and Macedonia between September 1915 and February 1916  (digitized photo album)

Around 290 further motifs, besides a number of private photographs, bear witness to the deployment of the "Imperial German Radio Operator Division 151" at the front in Mesopotamia, a secondary theatre of the 1st World War. From the end of 1916 to September 1918, Liesching belonged to this division, which was allocated to the 6th Turkish Army. The images show the set-up of a radio station in Iraq by German and Turkish soldiers, officers in their free time and the local population. Also documented are buildings and street scenes in Constantinople at the time. The archive was taken over from family ownership in the year 2006.

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Further photographic archives and photo albums

The collection is complemented by further, smaller photographic archives. Among these archives, those of Josef Beierl (photographs of the Berchtesgadener Land region), Adi Blumenthal (Werdenfelser Land region), Ursula Mandel and Kurt Marr (travel photography, 20th century), Christoph Wolf (broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk) and Joachim Kankel (Bavaria, in particular Munich, 1960 – 1984) should be mentioned.

The collection also encompasses over 100 photo albums, which are catalogued in the online catalogue of the Image Archive and are progressively also entered in the OPACplus/ BSB catalogue. They are shelved and can be searched under the extra classification mark "Portr.T".

Moreover, the library's collection of personal papers also contains many photo albums. Some individual, already digitized albums can be viewed as part of the Digital Collections.

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Searching in the   OPACplus/ BSB catalogue

Photo albums from the personal papers of Princess Theresa of Bavaria (1850 – 1925)  (in the Digital Collections)
Photo albums of Major Julius von Bernuth (1861 – 1957)  (at

Books with the classification mark "BA"

Books bearing the shelf mark "BA" (= Bildarchiv, image archive) can be consulted exclusively in the Reading Room for Music/Maps/Images and are subject to special conditions of use. These are volumes with original photographs or representations in elaborate printing techniques. Also a number of illustrated journals from the first half of the 20th century form part of this collection. Overall, this collection comprises around 4,000 units. All volumes have been entered in the OPACplus/BSB catalogue.

Searching in the   OPACplus/BSB catalogue

Library archive/ Library documentation

The archive of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek consists of various registries and the documentation (BSB-Dok.). The files of the old registries A, B and C, spanning the period from around 1800 to 1971, were transferred to the Bavarian Main State Archive. They are accessible there.

The documentation (BSB-Dok.) forms part of the Image Archive. In addition to graphic representations, it contains predominantly photographs documenting the history and development of the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek: Representations of the building, images of events, but also exhibition posters, plans, films and models. This material can be found in the online catalogue of the Image Archive.

Main State Archive, Court and State Library, holdings: Directorate General of the Bavarian State Libraries:
Holdings of the  Main State Archive

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