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Photographic Archives

The Fototeca (the photography section of the Archives) of the Veneranda Fabbrica is made up of more than 90,000 documents from the second half of the 19th century up to today, produced with different photographic processes.

Among the various media conserved here, there are mainly albumen and gelatin silver prints, collodion and gelatino-bromide emulsion glass plates, film negatives, and slides.

The key themes represented within the collection are inextricably linked to the Fabbrica’s many activities, providing a precious visual testimony not only of the cathedral and related interventions over time, but also to mining activities at Candoglia, exhibits at the Duomo Museum, worksites, and cultural and religious initiatives.

Among the most significant are:

  • Fototeca Vecchia Grande (Greater Old Photographic Archive) and Fototeca Vecchia (Old Photographic Archive): The oldest sections, they hold collections of negatives on glass plates and photographic prints of various formats and types that mainly document the cathedral as well as some drawings and archival documents.
  • Fototeca Nuova (New Photographic Archive): Currently, this is largest section, a collection of plate and film negatives and positive prints in gelatino bromide. These are subdivided into ten thematic subsections: Duomo, Candoglia, Duomo Competition, Ceremonies, Buildings, Documents from the Archive, Drawings and Prints, Buildings, Museum, Treasure.
  • Fotocolors: This section features colour slides of various formats with different themes and various activities related to the Cathedral.
  • Cassette Ratti: This section conserves glass plate negatives and photographic prints of the burned fragments remaining after the fire at the Veneranda Fabbrica del Duomo’s pavilion during the 1906 International Exposition in Milan.
  • Album Section: This section includes photographic albums related to the 1900s, containing mostly photographic positives of ceremonies and events.


The material has mostly been inventoried, indexed and digitised and is available for consultation and research.