Image Archive and Research Platform for the Islamic, Ancient and Christian Orient

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Das Bild des Orients is a specialized analogue und digital image archive, offering a great variety of authentic images of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) Region for research, publication or private use. 

Strong fields are Islamic Architecture of the  Near East  (esp. Turkey, Syria, Israel/ Palestine, Yemen, Iran) as well as the Caucasus (Armenia, Georgia) and Central Asia (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyztan, Tadzhikistan) from the beginning of the Islamic Period, i.e. from the 7th century until today. Historical buildings (mosques, madrasas etc.) in the old city of Cairo, Egypt are also well documented. 

The analogue archives contain 

  • More than 30.000 slides
  • Middle format slides (6x6 cm - Rollei SL 66)
  • Black and white prints 
  • Negatives
  • Historical Images - color and black/ white images from the 1950s and 1960s 


Images from Xinjiang (East Turkestan, today West China) visited in 2006 are documenting historical mosques and mausolea, urban landscape, e.g. the office block of Rabiya Kadeer in Ürümqi as well as colorful markets (bazar) or camels at the margins of the Taklamkan desert. 

Another main area is the Gulf region (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, and Oman), a region under extreme change and development in the last years. See e.g. the rising skyline of Doha, Qatar and the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, Qatar.

For the systematical research in the archives click here (currently under maintenance), where also an alphabetical list of all covered countries from Egypt to UAE (more than 40) can be found under "region" in "advanced search". 

Photographs on Islamic applied arts, Ethnographic motives, views on landscape and people are also available.


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