In 2009 the Zeri Foundation received as a donation from his family the photo archive that had belonged to Stefano Tumidei, a teacher at Bologna University who died prematurely on 9 May 2008.
The bequest seals the relationship of professional esteem that linked the scholar to the Foundation where he had worked as a scientific adviser since 2002, taking part in the research and cataloguing project for the Zeri Photo Archive.
The collection comprises 11,247 photographs in two sections. The first was arranged alphabetically in monographic folders divided according to artist, forming 31 box-files. The second still needed sorting.
The 5,655 photographs that make up the ordered part of the collection reflect the scholar's scientific and critical research from 15th century painting, to 17th-18th century sculpture in Emilia and Romagna.
This section is largely composed of black and white gelatin silver prints and colour photographs (cibachrome and chromogen prints), slides and photomechanical prints dating from the early 1980s to 2007.
The photographs come from museums and superintendency photo archives (450 from the Bologna Superintendency archive), from the Central Institute for Cataloguing and Documentation, from auction sales and from Italian and foreign photographic firms.
Many shots were taken by photographers working in Romagna, like the Forlì firm of Giorgio Liverani and the photographer from Russi, Enrico Para. About 50 are reprints from negatives from prominent Bolognese photographic studios which are no longer extant (Villani, Croci, C.N.B. & C., Fotofast). Their collections partly went to form the photo archives of the Bologna Superintendency and of the Department of Visual Arts.
From the early 1980s Tumidei commissioned some 60 reprints from negatives belonging to Anderson and Fratelli Alinari.
As well as the ones devoted to painting and sculpture, there are 2 box-files of photographs and photocopies of ornament drawings from the Certani collection, kept at the Cini Foundation in Venice, and the object of a study by Tumidei in 2003; two more contain photographs of the Palazzo San Giacomo at Russi, on which he published a monograph in 2004.
The most interesting part of this section is 450 film negatives and 1,750 test prints which show Tumidei's own activity as a photographer. They were taken on his many trips round Italian and European churches and museums, and reveal a constant search for the best angle of observation, the perfect composition and attention to artwork detail.
As well as photos, the folders contain a number of enclosures: the scholar's handwritten notes, photocopies of photos kept at the Florence Kunsthistorisches Institut and the Biblioteca Hertziana in Rome, photocopies of files from the Bologna Superintendency, essays and auction catalogs.
The second section of the collection comprises 5,592 photographs (over 4,000 film negatives and 700 test prints by Tumidei, 560 prints, 252 postcards and 3 stereoscopes). There are also some CDs of images and microfilms.
There are no notes on the back of the photographs. Only on prints used for publications and on test prints does one find notes in the scholar's hand.
All the photographic material has been inventoried and conditioned ready for consultation. A Fondo Fotografico file (FF) has also been compiled giving a detailed description of the archive.