The Photographic Archive of the Museo Egizio contains around 2000 images of various Egyptian archaeological sites, to which are added important other photographs belonging to other organisations and associations.

The difficulty of consulting the photographic documentation and the renewed need to obtain information and insights for research led the museo Egizio to undertake a reflection on the study, conservation and valorisation of the entire corpus. A number of needs emerged from this reflection, including the digitisation of the entire archive, an operation implemented for a small quantity as early as 2010, and the recognition of the subjects represented. A more structured project was started in September 2018, and immediately focused on scanning the material, starting with the Paper Photographic Collection and then continuing with the Slip Collection and finally the Slides.

Following the completion of the digitisation of the Plates Fund in 2019, the part relating to the archaeological activity conducted by the Museum in Egypt since 1903, consisting of over 1500 plates, was examined as a case study. For this homogeneous set, which includes 11 different locations, the aim was to correctly recognise the places represented and, where possible, to indicate the date of execution and the author. An attempt was then made to relate the individual images to each other, also on the basis of the few archive data in our possession and through the use of significant landmarks.

This study enabled the launch of an initial version of the site in December 2021

Next, the collection of 19th century photographs was examined, consisting of around 500 photographs printed on albumin paper and taken by professional and amateur photographers in Egypt in the second half of the 19th century. These were also studied, recognised and ordered according to their content. The heterogeneity of the images prompted the creation of further geographical reference areas.

In 2023, digitisation was extended by adding to the website an important corpus of images belonging to the State Archive of Turin, the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography of the University of Turin and the Centro di Egittologia Francesco Ballerini in Como.

It was thus possible to place the photographs in the geographical context in which the 19th Century shots and archaeological research were carried out. Recognition in the photographs of the sites, of the monuments, of the scientific personnel, often different each excavation season, or of the state of progress then made it possible in many cases to place the photographs in time. The digital scans were placed in virtual geographic folders and subfolders according to the detailed subject represented. The photographic material was then divided according to the following locations:

•    Alexandria
•    Heliopolis
•    Cairo
•    Giza
•    Saqqara
•    Ashmunein
•    Asyut and Deir el-Gebrawi
•    Qau el-Kebir and Hammamiya
•    Abydos
•    Dendera
•    Theban Area
•    Gebelein
•    Edfu
•    Kom Ombo
•    Aswan
•    Nubia
•    Miscellanea