In 2013, the documenta archiv acquired the documenta photo collection of Kassel-based photographer Dieter Schwerdtle (1952-2009). Through the funding "WissensWandel. Digital program for libraries and archives within Neustart Kultur" from the dbv, it has now been possible for the documenta archiv to digitize a central part of the collection, describe each image unit with scientifically sound metadata, and relocate it according to conservation considerations. A total of 22,000 digitized images were created and recorded.

In the first phase of the project, the digitization of the collection could be started thanks to the generous support of documenta forum and the IMPULSE für Kassel Foundation.

Schwerdtle's photographic documentation of the documenta exhibitions from 1977 to 2002 represents a significant source of images and information on the history of the exhibition, both artistically and in terms of motifs, the digitization of which has long been a desideratum. Since the documenta archiv owns the exclusive exploitation rights to the photographs, the images can be put online while preserving the rights represented by VG Bild-Kunst.

The collection will soon be made available to national and international scholars.