Photo archive

The Photo Archive of the Excavations of Ostia was established in 1908 by Dante Vaglieri (Trieste 1865 – Ostia 1913) and fully equipped for shooting in Ostia. About 2000 negatives were shot between 1908 and 1913, in various formats, partially taken by Italo Gismondi (Rome 1887 – 1974). These photos represent the graphic support to the written reports delivered by Vaglieri during the excavations. The Archive also preserves an interesting collection of aerial photographs taken from the beginning of the last century by operators of the Photographic Section of the special Brigade of Engineers of the Italian Army, on baloons or airships. Ostia’s first planimetric survey can be dated back to this period (May and July 1911).

From 1950 onwards the photo collection has steadily increased. In the 60s and 70s the Superintendent M. Floriani Squarciapino continued the photographic campaigns along with the restoration and consolidation of the buildings. The black and white on film and color slides were used in the excavation campaigns that led to the discovery of new buildings such as the Building with Opus Sectile outside Porta Marina. Since about 2000, traditional photography systems have been replaced with digital ones and the old photos have been digitized for better availability, use and conservation of the originals.

The photo Archive has been recently divided into two large chronological partitions called the Historical Archive (1908-1950) and the Current Archive (1950-today). It is accessible for consultation to students and researcher, upon authorization and by appointment. The request must be addressed to the Director of the Archaeological Park:


Manager: Marina Lo Blundo

Collaborators: Luciano Fauci, Giulio Sanguinetti

Opening times: by appointment to be made by email






Functional Areas