The Photographic Archive contains about 2000 images related to different Egyptian archaeological sites.

The difficulty of consulting the photographic documentation and the renewed need to obtain information and ideas for research, led the Egyptian Museum to undertake a reflection on the study and conservation of the materials in question. A number of needs emerged from this, including the digitization of the entire archive, which was carried out for a small quantity as early as 2010, and the identification of the subjects depicted. The project that was launched in September 2018, immediately focused on scanning the material, starting with the Photographic Paper Collection, then continuing with the Photographic Plate Collection and finally the Slides.

Following the completion of digitising the Photographic Plate Collection in 2019, the part of the collection relating to the archaeological work carried out by the Museum in Egypt since 1903 (consisting of more than 1500 plates), was examined as a case study. For this uniform set (which includes 11 different locations) the aim was to correctly identify the areas depicted and where possible, indicate the date and the author. An attempt to then connect the individual images to each other was made, on the basis of the little archival data in the Museum’s possession, and through the use of significant reference points. This method was undertaken as the numbering system applied to the plates over time was no longer a reliable feature.

Next, the collection of 19th century photographs was examined, consisting of approximately 500 photographs printed in albumen 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 content. The heterogeneity of the images prompted the creation of additional geographical reference areas.

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