About Us

The Visual Resources Collection of the Department of Art and Archaeology has existed since the end of the 19th century. The primary mission of the collection is the provision of visual materials to support the department curriculum, as well as providing resources for departmental research. The collections include digital images, slides, and photographic prints.

The department digital collections, available in ARTstor, include more than 110,000 images in addition to the general collections found in these repositories (over 1,000,000 images are available in ARTstor). Digitized images may be used for teaching and research uses. The Princeton institutional collection in ARTstor includes additional distinct collections:

The William L. MacDonald Collection

View to arch from theater, Timgad, Algeria. March 1967.

View to arch from theater, Timgad, Algeria.

William L. MacDonald was Professor of the History of Art at Smith College where he taught the architectural history of Classical Rome from 1965 until his retirement.  He is the author of The Architecture of the Roman Empire (in two volumes), The Pantheon: Design, Meaning, and Progeny, and, with John Pinto, Hadrian’s Villa and its Legacy, as well as other publications.

The photographs were taken by Professor MacDonald over a period of more than 40 years. The collection includes sites that now are largely inaccessible (Roman Libya and Syria) and provides unique views of monuments that are now permanently changed. Coverage includes ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman architecture in about 30 countries, Byzantine and Baroque architecture, and the city of Rome, which is documented in depth.

The John A. Pinto Collection

Villa dei Misteri, exterior, Pompeii Italy

Villa dei Misteri, exterior. Pompeii, italy. Located outside the Herculaneum Gate

A student and colleague of William MacDonald, with whom he co-authored Hadrian’s Villa and Its Legacy, Pinto served as the Howard Crosby Butler Memorial Professor of the History of Architecture at Princeton University 1996-2013.  His research interests centered on architecture, urbanism, and landscape in Rome, especially in the 18th century. Other interests included the reception of classical antiquity and the image of Rome, particularly in the work of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.  This collection includes images photographed in the 1970s and 1980s, concentrating on ancient Roman architecture, and Baroque and neoclassical architecture, in Rome and Italy.

The Research Photographs Collection holds primary source materials relating to expeditions and excavations conducted by Princeton University over the last one hundred years. A collection of photographs relevant to specific research interests is also housed here.