Finding aid prepared by Ann Harrison

Descriptive Summary

Title: Study photographs of ancient coins
Date (inclusive): 1900s
Number: 76.P.3
Creator/Collector: Getty Research Institute
Physical Description: 8.7 linear feet (41 boxes)
The Getty Research Institute
Special Collections
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles, California, 90049-1688
(310) 440-7390
Abstract: A collection of photographs of ancient coins, predominantly Greek and Roman, assembled by the Getty Research Institute.
Language: Collection material is in English

Biographical/Historical Note

In 1974, the J. Paul Getty Museum began assembling a "photo library" by consolidating the visual resources of each existing curatorial department. By the early 1980s, the Photo Archive was actively acquiring large collections of photographs from commercial and private sources and scholars' archives that contained a photographic component. In 1983, the nearly one million photographs of the Photo Archive were incorporated into the Research Institute's Special Collections.

Other Finding Aids

The Photo Archive Database  includes photograph level access to approximately 1% of the photographs in this collection.

Administrative Information


Open for use by qualified researchers. For further information, consult the Guide to the Photo Archive and Database .

Publication Rights

Photographs and permission to publish must be obtained from copyright holder(s). For further information, contact Library Reproductions and Permissions .

Processing History

Finding aid created in 2009.

Scope and Content of Collection

An assembled collection of photographs of ancient coins, predominantly Greek and Roman. The major source for these modern prints is the commercial vendor Hirmer Fotoarchiv (circa 2,800 photographs). Other sources include the Rheinisches Bildarchiv (especially for material from the western Roman empire, circa 200 prints); Bulloz; Photographie Giraudon; Alinari; and Christie's (circa 100 prints). Approximately 200 photographs were transferred from the repository's Becatti archive, and circa 107 were produced in a project undertaken in connection with the publication of an exhibition of 50 coins from the Jonathan Rosen collection at the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1983.


Arranged in two sections of photographic prints and a third section of negatives. The first section of prints is arranged by culture, and then by location or type of material. The second section is arranged alphabetically by vendor.

Indexing Terms

Subjects - Names

Becatti, Giovanni, 1912-1973 -- Photograph collections

Subjects - Topics

Coins, Ancient
Coins, Greek
Coins, Roman

Genres and Forms of Material

Photographic prints


Becatti, Giovanni, 1912-1973
Getty Research Institute
Hirmer Fotoarchiv
Rheinisches Bildarchiv
Rosen, Jonathan, 1944-

Container List


Study photographs of ancient coins

Box 1-18

By culture

Box 1-13


Arrangement note

The Greek coins are arranged by the current country of the ancient mint location.
Box 1-5


Box 6-7


Box 8-10


Box 11-12


Box 13

Other mints and mintage unknown

Box 14-17


Box 14-16


Box 17

Impressions and molds

Box 18

Other cultures: Etruscan, Graeco-Persian, Punic

Box 19-40

By photograph source

Box 19

Becatti archive; Christie's

Box 20-21

Getty Museum

Box 22-37

Hirmer Fotoarchiv

Box 38

Rheinisches Bildarchiv

Box 39

Jonathan Rosen Collection of Archaic coins

Box 40

Emile Serafis; Smithsonian Inst.; Walters Art Gallery; unknown and miscellaneous sources

Box 41