Welcome to histalu.orgThe site for the history of aluminium

Photographic Collections

The IHA has a rich photo library of more than 60,000 images, which it preserves, manages, and promotes.

Manufacture of duralumin bicycles (1933). ©IHA, collection of L'Aluminium Français

Pechiney Central Administration. -Switchboard [1953]. ©IHA, collection of L'Aluminium Français

Manufacture of cases and boxes (1932). ©IHA, collection of L'Aluminium Français

Vats of the New Galia (Paris). - Assembly of walls by oxyacetylene welding (1945). ©IHA, collection of L’Aluminium Français

The collection of L'Aluminium Français (1890-1967)

The IHA holds two important photographic collections. The first was put together by the photographic department of L'Aluminium Français, a sales counter and organization for the development of aluminium and its various applications founded in 1911.


It consists of about 23,000 paper prints, in black and white or colour, organized according to subject in 193 albums, and about 30,000 originals, glass plates and chemical negatives, covering the period 1890-1967 (with a strong focus on the years 1930 to 1960).

This collection was enhanced with a dual purpose: it represented a source of documentation for the various companies behind Pechiney (production, transformation, sales) and it provided the Revue de l'aluminium, published from 1924 to 1984 by L'Aluminium Français with a its principal source of illustrations.

This archive was entrusted to the IHA to promote: it led to the donation of the collection of a wide variety albums organized according to subject in 1994 and then of all the originals to the Institute in 2023.

Pechiney's Historical Collection (1862-2007)

The second collection was put together by the IHA. It includes a collection of images relating to Pechiney and is regularly enhanced by donations from individuals, documents from collections have been entrusted to the IHA for archiving, as well as by some purchases.