In the Image Archives of the University Archives you will find treasures concerning the history of the University of Heidelberg: images from six centuries that preserve the visual past of the University. The extensive image collections, along with traditional archival records, play an important part in preserving the heritage of the University and are often used in research for exhibitions and publications.
The Image Archives make accessible the visual memory of the University from its founding and the time of the first rector, Marsilius von Inghen. It offers a range of services such as high resolution scans. In the past, materials of the Image Archives have been used multiple times by researchers, exhibition organizers, and authors.
The collection currently contains around 30,000 pictures, including positives, negatives, glass plates, and other image media. The subjects also show significant personalities from before the invention of photography. Well known scholars of the university from the 19th and 20th centuries — Bunsen, Kirchhoff, Jaspers, Gadamer — become alive again in their portraits. The student ID card of Hannah Arendt shows a young woman, who stimulated intellectual life around the world. There is a picture of Raymond Klibansky taken in front of the memorial stone plate, which commemorates those who were expelled from the University by the Nazis. Dolf Sternberger and Hilde Domin reveal a lighter side of an intellectual high point at the end of the millennium. Another focus is photos of university anniversaries and historic buildings as well as classes in lecture halls and around patients in the medical center. There are some outstanding examples of these photographs in our Gallery.
In 2003 the digitalization of the main collection, around 12,000 pictures, was completed, thanks to the support of the Klaus Tschira Foundation. The collection is catalogued in a finding aid, making it more searchable. New portfolios are available through HeidICON, the Heidelberg University Image Database, and also searchable online.