The Supino Photo Archive comprises 8,220 photographs that belonged to Igino Benvenuto Supino (1858-1940), the renowned scholar who founded the first Art History Institute at Bologna University in 1906. Under the terms of an agreement with the Department of Arts which owns the collection, the Federico Zeri Foundation has completed scientifically filing of a first batch of 3,260 photographs.

The Supino Photo Archive is the oldest and most prized collection in the photo library of Bologna University’s Department of Arts. Most of the 8,220 photos are from the nineteenth century or the turn of the century, collected and arranged by the scholar himself. Owing to its documentary value and the light it sheds on relations among photography, art history and art teaching, the Supino Photo Archive has undergone various studies, re-orderings and security projects.

In 2019 an agreement was drawn up between the Department and the Federico Zeri Foundation to catalogue the photos within the Foundation database where recent years have seen an influx of factsheets and images due to cataloguing of new collections besides Federico Zeri’s.

By the cataloguing system adopted one may, independently within the incoming collection, describe each photograph or hard-copy document and the photograph collection itself in all its peculiarities and detail. By contrast, information on one and the same subject converges into a single artwork file which is thus updated and integrated with information from various other sources.

In October 2020 the first nucleus of 3,260 photographs from the Supino Photo Archive has been published in the new integrated online catalogue, as well as re-ordering of the rest of the archive.

The project has been supported by Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna.