Originally coming from Munich, the "royal Bavarian court photographer" Bernhard Johannes (1848 – 1899) lived in Partenkirchen as of 1869, becoming the first resident photographer in the Werdenfelser Land region. After his relocation to Merano, his brother in law Max Beckert (1860 – 1919), Max’s son August Beckert (1893 – 1961) and Franz Kölbl (1922 – 2004) continued the business "Photo-Haus B. Johannes" (later renamed into "Fotohaus Beckert") as of 1888 as his successors.
They documented landscapes, places, buildings, people and traditions in the Werdenfelser Land region and in nearby Tyrol. The collection also comprises images of numerous sports events in the region, amongst others of the Olympic Winter Games of 1936 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, and of the Passion plays of Oberammergau.
The archive comprises almost 500,000 individual photographs from the time from 1870 to around 1990. It was acquired by the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek in 2003 and 2006.
Its most relevant parts (predominantly from the period up to 1950) have been catalogued.