Founded in Florence in 1852 by Leopoldo Alinari (1832-1865) and by brothers Joseph (1836-1890) and Romualdo (1830-1890), it was the first museum dedicated exclusively to photography in Italy and around the world. The archives house the company’s heritage of portraits from the beginning of the history of photography (1839), with over 3.5 million original vintage images.
Fratelli Alinari Photographic was the first company to be admitted to the service of the Vatican Museums and the Louvre. The catalog Alinari was enriched especially through the work of Victor, the son of Leopold and during the twentieth century images dell’Alinari became the most complete source of illustrations (over 10%) for the Italian publishing.
The museum was opened in 1985 with headquarters in the Palazzo Rucellai, then transferred later in Largo Alinari in temporary placement, was reopened November 1 2006 in the hospital of St. Paul in Piazza di Santa Maria Novella.
The hospital was initially a hospice for pilgrims , administered by the Franciscans and in 1345 also became officialy a hospital. In 1451 was enlarged (perhaps under the supervision of Michelozzo ) and the porch was built with ten arches, after 1592 the hospital was home to convalescents.
Apart from organizing exhibitions, the institution today is also involved in the conservation and restoration of original media: with about 350,000 original shots spanning the 1800 and 1900.
Their web site today offers also an online shop so you can buy collections of photos for your own works, for more info visit the Alinari Official Web Site