The Collections of TopFoto: the image works

Millions of images to license for your project on every subject. Plus a huge treasure trove of images in the photographic negative and vintage print archive which are digitised, captioned and uploaded daily.


  • TopFoto has exclusive images you won't be able to find anywhere else
  • We are a great first stop for generations of Royalty, and global wars / conflicts, for example.
  • Account customers can download high resolution files for editing and layout purposes / your internal reference at no charge while your project is ongoing.
  • Ideally suited to social studies/humanities our single most comprehensive topic area is the global history of the 20th century - though we cover the arc of time, from cave paintings right up to the present day.  For that reason, it is ALWAYS worth a quick search to see what we have, whatever the topic or era is.  We generally surprise our customers.
  • A good place for an initial quick visual overview is to look at our curated area (added to frequently)
  • In our “museum” downstairs we own a major historical archive – photographic negatives, prints and illustrations. This is one of the largest and most significant private photographic archives in Europe. Catalogued, it can be rapidly searched by our team, and our digital studio scan and upload onto our site within 48 hours (usually on the same day). It provides international historical imagery that is fresh, rare, impressive, drawn from the archives of prestigious photo news agencies during the golden era of London’s Fleet Street, acquired and saved by TopFoto with all rights during the iconoclastic 1970s and 1980s when much original news photography was being destroyed.
  • There is also a global network of archives represented by TopFoto, including Roger Viollet (France), ullstein bild (Germany) plus first class specialist historical archives from Europe and other parts of the world.
  • Unique and exclusive representation includes the Punch Cartoon Library (1841 to 2002 – covering the entire history of the British Empire plus more recent days of society and politics). TopFoto also exclusive licenses the previously unknown 1950s photographic work of film director Ken Russell.
  • New collections (2020) include Take Stock USA (Civil Rights specialist), Pictures From History, Underwood Archives, Mark Godfrey (eg Watergate series), contemporary USA collections such as Jim West, Chris Fitzgerald and other individual USA-orientated collections and photographers
  • Our account customers benefit from in-house search support at no charge – speak to Christine, our senior picture researcher.
  • We supply a global customer base including Burberry, OUP, Yale University Press, Macmillan, McGraw Hill, Penguin Random House, HBO, BBC, Disney – to give just a very few examples.
  • From 2020, TopFoto added much of the archive and contributors of The Image Works USA ( as part of their closure process.

Image Collections at TopFoto

This is not a full list (as it would be very long!) but our collections and photographers include:

  • AA World Travel Library
  • Action Plus Sports
  • Albatross Aerial - Israel
  • Alfieri Picture Service (1914-1939)
  • Alinari - Italy
  • Ancient Art & Architecture
  • APA - Austria
  • British Library
  • Caro - Germany
  • Central News (1890-1930)
  • Charles Gatewood Archive
  • Charles Walker Collection of Paranormal
  • Chet Gordon
  • Chicago History Museum
  • Chris Fitzgerald (photographer to major US political election campaigns)
  • ClassicStock - USA
  • Colin Jones
  • Dan Porges
  • Dinodia Photo Library - India (inc. the Gandhi archive)
  • dpa Picture Alliance - Germany
  • Ellen Shumsky (inc. early Pride)
  • EUFD - Europeana Food and Drink
  • Fortean Picture Library
  • Fotomas Index UK
  • George Douglas
  • Grace Robertson
  • Graham Keen
  • Granger - USA
  • Harold Chapman
  • Heritage-Images
  • Hy Money
  • Illustrated Magazine
  • Imagno - Austria
  • INP (1945-1955)
  • Interfoto - Germany
  • Jane Bown
  • Jason Laure (inc. Woodstock)
  • Jim West
  • John Topham (1927-1968)
  • Ken Russell
  • Mark Godfrey
  • Mirrorpix, London
  • Natural History Museum, London
  • Odhams Periodicals (-1969)
  • PastPix
  • Peter Davis
  • Press Association
  • Planet News Ltd (1928- 1970)
  • Pictorial Press (1938- 1960)
  • The Picture Kitchen
  • Picturepoint
  • Pictures from History
  • Polfoto - Denmark
  • Punch Cartoon Library
  • Rachel Epstein
  • Rainbird
  • Rio Tape Slide Collection
  • Robert Golden
  • Roger Bamber
  • Roger-Viollet - France
  • Rowena Chowdrey
  • SCRSS - UK (Society for Cooperation in Russian & Soviet Studies)
  • Smith Archive
  • Süddeutsche Zeitung Photo, Germany
  • Take Stock (US Civil Rights movement and the Farm Workers Union)
  • UK City Images
  • ullstein bild - Germany
  • Underwood Archive
  • UNEP (1991-1995)
  • United Archives - Germany
  • UPI (1932-1970)
  • UPPA
  • Visual & Written
  • Woodmansterne
  • World History Archive

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Find out more about TopFoto


  1. To register for an account: 
  2. for image searches - -  we do not charge account customers for this service and we search online, and offline, and through our partner archives.
  3. for rights queries - - also for any guidance regarding our website functionality.

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