Image Archive

ETH Library has an extensive and historically valuable collection of images. Selected photographs are being digitized and these can be searched for via ETH Library's Search Portal (external link) and in Image Archive Online (external link).


Archive of the photographic agency Comet Photo AG

  • Era: 1952 to 1999
  • Subjects (external link): architecture, culture, nature, politics, sport, technology, transport, etc., relating to Switzerland
  • Portraits of famous Swiss and international personalities
  • Aerial photographs of landscapes, the infrastructure and buildings of Switzerland

Documenta Natura Archive

  • Era: 1987 to 2010
  • Comparative documentary photographs on changes in landscapes and townscapes in Switzerland, mostly in long-term observations, taken by professional photographers
  • Subjects: settlement areas, wasteland, agricultural land, traffic systems, industrial buildings, housing, traffic projects, tourist projects, renaturation schemes, afforestation schemes, storm damage

Industrial Culture Foundation Archive

  • Era: 1965 to 2015
  • Holding recordings and reports by Dr. Hans-Peter Bärtschi on technical objects such as industrial buildings and means of transport in Switzerland and worldwide
  • Subjects: industry and transport in Switzerland and worldwide

Luftbild Schweiz Archive

  • Era: 1918 to 2011
  • Aerial photographs taken by Walter Mittelholzer during flights in Switzerland and abroad (external link)
  • Vertical and angle shots of Switzerland, taken by Swissair Photo AG

Photographs in personal papers

  • Photographs and drawings from the personal papers of emeritus professors
  • Image holdings from the institutes of ETH Zurich and scientific associations affiliated to ETH Zurich
  • Photographs in personal papers are described in inventories and in the Archivdatenbank Online (external link).


Swissair Photo Archive

View Collection

Searching and using

  • The image holdings of ETH Library are gradually being digitized selectively.
  • Whenever possible, the digital images in ETH Library's Image Archive can be downloaded for free in web resolution (1024x768) and as high-resolution JPGs and TIFFs in the Image Archive Online (external link). The licensing type and the terms of use are indicated individually for every image.
  • To search for photographs that have already been digitized but are not yet published in the ETH Library's Search Portal or in the Image Archive Online, there is a database access available in the Reading Room Collections and Archives.
  • Documents that have not yet been digitized and inventories can be used in the Reading Room Collections and Archives. Please book in advance.
  • On request, photographs can be digitized for a fee. The images can also be ordered as high-quality prints. This service carries a charge.
  • The photographs are used subject to copyright restrictions.