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Photographic Archives: World War II Resources

Munich Central Collecting Point Archive
The Munich Central Collecting Point Archive at the National Gallery of Art consists of photographs of Nazi-confiscated works of art and other objects that were processed through the Munich Central Collecting Point. This archive is part of a collection of extensive visual and textual documentation on World War II restitution activities by the Allies, housed at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

The Munich Central Collecting Point was established to accommodate repositories of Nazi-confiscated works of art and other cultural objects, hidden throughout Germany and Austria, which were discovered by the Allies at the close of World War II. At the Central Collecting Points of Marburg, Wiesbaden, Munich, and the Offenbach Archival Depot, objects were identified, photographed, and restituted to their countries of origin. The works of art that passed through the Munich Central Collecting Point originated from many European museums and from private collections, a large percentage of which were French and Dutch. The recovered objects comprised a wide variety of media, from painting and sculpture to textiles and metalwork. The Munich Central Collecting Point ceased its restitution activities in 1951.

The complete Munich Central Collecting Point records are currently housed in two repositories.  The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) retains original textual records (including the inventory card file of all works of art processed through Munich), existing negatives of the works of art, and a full set of photographs printed from the negatives;  NARA also handles all photo orders for images from the collection.   The National Gallery of Art’s Photographic Archives holds a microfilm copy of the front faces of the inventory cards and a second set of photographs printed from the Munich negatives.

The Munich Central Collecting Point Archive is available for research use by appointment. To request further information or to make an appointment, please contact

Photographic Archives
National Gallery of Art
Washington, DC 20565
Fax: (202) 789-3068
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