Photographs and Prints

The National Museum Collection of Photographs and Print


The National Museum of Iceland holds Iceland´s largest public collection of images. The collection is varied: drawings, watercolours, prints, graphic prints and paintings, but principally photographs in various forms. A total of about 6.5 million photographs are in the collection.

The bulk of the National Museum´s photographic collection consists of collections of plates and films taken by individual photographers. The majority are portraits. The collection contains 229 collections by individual photographers, both professional and amateur, from the period 1866-1993. The majority date from the period 1890-1960. The collection also contains 51 specialized collections of different sorts, such as the Portrait Collection, Photograpic and Print Collection, Postcard Collection, and photographic archives from the Federation of Icelandic Cooperative Societies, the daily Morgunblaðið newspaper and the RÚV national broadcasting company.

Seljalandsgarðar, Reykjavík 1958

The museum´s experts carry out research relating to its collections, and Icelandic photographic history in general. There are two exhibition spaces devoted to photographic exhibitions on the groundfloor of the museum. The museum has published several books on the work of individual photographers and the history of photography. The museum has a photographic studio which processes pictures for the museum and makes copies for clients. Photographs are lended for a fee to publishers, newspapers and film makers, and copies of photographs can be made to order for the general public.

Sigfús EymundssonSigfús Eymundsson